At the Long Beach Comic Con last month, I was able to see a special screening of the horror movie Trick ‘r Treat to an amped up audience. Trick ‘r Treat, directed by Michael Dougherty, is an independent film that was just released to DVD. In the dark tradition of Creepshow and Tales of the Crypt, this movie tells several intertwined stories of horror that all occur on Halloween night to innocent treaters.
I will be first to admit that I am not much of a horror fan. I grew up watching a lot like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street. Now as an adult, horror has lost a lot of its appeal. I have little to no interest in seeing all the newly re-imagined slasher films nor the SAW movies. I don’t mind the blood-n-guts, when used right, it can be very effect in any movie. However, to sit through a movie just for the blood-n-guts, does not interest me. So as you can guess I am not going to give this movie high marks- but please know this is coming from a non-horror critic.
For an indie flick, the production value was surprisingly high. This didn’t feel cheap to me or quickly processed. I could tell director Michael Dougherty invested a lot of time into the look and feel of the film. The blood is ample but not too overboard. The music and sound effects are very strong. There is a large and likeable cast. The creep factor is fairly solid too. I think the best part I liked was the twist endings for each of the vignettes. Now the here comes the blood…
I ended up walking out of the film about 3/4 of the way through. The disturbing element that made me not enjoy this was the extreme violence towards children. We are not talking teenagers but kids 8 to 12 years old. They are poisoned, beaten, decapitated and eaten. It started to make me a little sick, especially since I was sitting right in front of an 8 year old boy at the screening (come on parents!). Part of it is because I am a father of young kids, another part is the fact that we are starting to become desensitized to hurting kids in our culture. I usually can separate myself from the movie experience but I had to draw the line with this one. So I left and had another Babbler tell me what happened. So while many elements were solid, I don’t think I would recommend this movie just from a moral standpoint. So for me, I would have prefered a trick over this treat.
I give it 2 Babbles out of 5.