Wicked Wednesday: Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

I’m not quite sure why Trick ‘r Treat passed me by for so long. The movie came out on DVD in 2009 – the year I had first gone to college. My friends and I were obsessed with the local movie rental place in the fancy area of Milwaukee.

So something like this should have been right up our alley. And yet, here I am over a decade finally playing catch-up.

There are probably two reasons I’ve avoided it for so long:

  1. I get this movie confused with Satan’s Little Helper way more than I should.
  2. Movies this lauded always intimidate me because there’s always a pressure to “like” something that everyone else in the community does.

But I was in the mood for something that just bled Halloween spirit. It finally felt like the right time to watch the iconic Trick ‘r Treat that dons everyone’s favourite Halloween movie lists.

And…

Well…

I thought it was ok?

I’m starting to think I might be delusional. Between this and my enjoyment of Book of Shadows, I’m starting to feel like a contrarian even when I don’t want to be.

Trick ‘r Treat is an anthology movie of sorts. Several different stories are woven together over the course of Halloween night. We have a group of terrible teens, a couple of creepy men, and a group of girls out on the prowl for men.

The one image linking them all is the presence of Sam, a small kid-like figure that keeps an eye on everyone. He watches over the town, making sure everyone follows the traditions of Halloween. Those who stray from tradition or ignore the Halloween spirit soon find themselves to meet a gruesome demise.

I struggled the most with the aesthetics of the movie. I love a visually-appealing film, and most movies in this era just aren’t my jam. That’s totally a personal choice. I’m sure most people will love it. If I don’t like a film visually, I tend to check out more easily. That being said, I do love the shots of all the jack-o’-lanterns. So eerie and beautiful.

The pacing was overall pretty snappy until the final scene where Sam fights a grumpy old man. The scene seemed to be twice as long as the rest of the movie. I was so bored by the ‘fight scene’ that I got up, looked for a snack, made a snack because there were no ready-to-grab snacks, and came back to find that the scene was still going on!

I think I’m pretty distracted by my own disappointment that I didn’t love this movie. There were a number of things I really liked about it. The twist in the sort of the women and the serial killer was fun. Though again, I struggled with the pacing. The reveal was revealed, then just kept hitting you over the head with its reveal.

But I’m still confused as to why people love this Halloween movie so much. It’s universally acclaimed. Am I too late to the game that I’ve missed out on the nostalgia? Can you be nostalgic for a movie that’s barely a decade old?

I’d be willing to give Trick ‘r Treat another try in a few years. I loved director Michael Dougherty’s Krampus when I watched it, and I feel like the two have quite a lot in common. Perhaps my anxiety levels are too high to really sit back and laugh at anything. Without a sense of humour, movies like this are impossible to like.

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