“It is a night of ritual, of communion with the dead...” narrates Brian Cox at the start of doc The Lore And Legends Of Halloween, Trick ‘R Treat’s extras highlight.
And those who love Halloween – the stories, symbols, scares – will adore this pitch-perfect embodiment of the spirit of the year’s spookiest holiday.
Harking back to the ’80s, Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘R Treat is a Creepshow-style anthology weaving together four tales (no cheesy Crypt Keeper here, just smart linking devices).
Dylan Baker is the headmaster teaching a tough lesson to kids who break tradition; Anna Paquin proves it’s also the ‘season of the bitch’ in a Red Riding Hood riff; thelegend of a lost school bus haunts local bullies; and little sack-clothed, seasonal mascot Sam unleashes his fury on Brian Cox’s grumpy old curmudgeon.
Clever and full of mischief, this is one of the most entertaining Halloween movies ever made. So why straight to DVD? Despite the great cast, the film has been haunting Warner’s shelves for several years, with no clear explanation as to why it’s been denied a theatrical release. Perhaps, as Dougherty believes, the fact that it’s not a sequel, remake or adaptation meant execs just didn’t know what to do with it.
Buy it then, and enjoy the ace doc, deleted scenes and Dougherty’s precursor short ‘Season’s Greetings’, as well as the film itself; a playful love letter to the scary season that, despite the retro feel, is every bit as fresh as a recently garrotted corpse.
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