Friday, October 14, 2011

31 Days of Horror: Trick 'r Treat

2009, Michael Dougherty -- download

And then there was a breath of fresh air in the room.

This movie is just Halloween glee, four stories that cross back and forth over each other in a small town that just loves to celebrate Halloween.  It starts up weaving in a comic book style with overlaid pages and comic bubbles.  It smacks of those anthology shows that were popular in the 80s and 90s showing limited gore and its low budget showing through with cheap special effects.  No matter, it is so much fun that we don't care.

We open with a couple returning from Halloween partying and she wants the whole scary decorating torn down before her family arrives the next day. He goes upstairs to get ready (wink wink, nudge nudge) while she starts tearing the sheets off her faux ghosts. Immediately we are awaiting something unexpected to be under the sheets. A few fake outs and suddenly she is attacked by something child sized. BF comes out later and finds her, as expected, dismembered with a Halloween sucker in her mouth.

Earlier.  Principal Wilkins poisons the annoying fat kid in the neighborhood and starts to bury him in the yard, along with a few other kids, some not quite dead yet. Next door, the curmudgeon neighbour is complaining about the noise and the stink.  He doesn't catch on but is more likely so grumpy he doesn't care.  Evil Principal goes in to carve things with his Chucky looking kid.

Later, some kids are collecting pumpkins to sacrifice to the local urban legend.  Thirty years previous the school bus driver for the short-bus drives his busload of costumed not-quite-right kiddies over the quarry edge. Legend tells that you have to sacrifice something to the kids or they come back on Halloween. Of course, the pumpkins actually dredge the kids out of the swampy quarry.  Munch munch.

And then there are  the girls who come to town to party.  One girl seems the virginal and is left alone to find a date to bring to the party in the woods.  Dressed as Red Riding Hood she wanders around annoyed until she is stalked by the local homicidal pervert (the vampire!).  She is attacked on the lonely road but suddenly shows up, vampire wrapped up in her cloak, at the party in the woods.  If we pay attention we will notice the men seen in previous scenes are oddly absent.  Boo!  They are all werewolves and shed their skins, literally, and eat all the slain men at the party.  Vampire is revealed to be Principal Wilkins before he is torn apart.

This town really has too many boogie monsters, perverts and homicidal maniacs.  I am not sure how they could have more than a couple of Halloweens before people would notice.  We have the Principal, the schoolbus driver who survived the drop into the quarry all those years ago, we have the visiting werewolves and we have that lil child sized creep seen wandering around the entire movie, wearing the creepiest spherical scarecrow costume I have seen.  Really, if Sack Boy from Little Big Planet was a murdering spirit, he would look this creepy cute.

The last story is about the curmudgeonly neighbour who was last seen being jumped by the evil Sack Boy, in the last bit from the evil Principal's point of view, before said Principal was eaten by she-wolves.  The kid has got into the house and he is prowling around creeping out the old man. A few failed shotgun blasts later and the old man has the kid blasted to bits on the floor, all pumpkin guts and fluff.  Under the sackcloth is a weird carved pumpkin face.  This is the spirit of Halloween come to life and murdering anyone not fully into the night, thus the poor girl in the opening sequence.  Old Man Curmudgeon almost dies but gives the kid a candy bar, which lets him off the hook.  Unable to be killed, the evil Sack Boy wanders off into the Halloween night.  Old Man Curmudgeon doesn't take any more chances and starts handing out candy.

Oh wait, did we mention that he happens to be the school bus driver?  And remember those kids who came out of the swamp, all undead and murderous?  Heh heh heh... munch munch munch.

Seriously, this was a movie for Halloween fans, the night not the movie.  Its not scary, just a little creepy. Its silly and fun and shot through with sugar. Like the night.