Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31: Trick R Treat (2007-2009)

A Month of Horror

I have always wanted to do a marathon of "HORROR" throughout the month of October, one where I would revisit a new horror movie every day from the first to the thirty-first.  I will revisit the classics as well as new entries into the canon.  There are many movies that define this time of year, and I hope to showcase 31 of them this month...

October 31: Trick R Treat (2007-2009)

The Halloween season is as much about the perception of fear, the cool nights, the anticipation of things that go bump in the night, as it is about the iconography.  My first glimpse of a leaf-strewn sidewalk is usually enough to get me going for my favourite time of year: there is a crispness in the air, and slight whiff of decay as the vibrancy of summer slowly steps aside for the long, bleak months of winter.  Without fail, once Halloween as passed, and sometimes while it is full regalia, the snow will fall.

The true beauty of Michael Dougherty's "Trick R Treat" is that it captures the true essence of the season, and not just the day.  Virtually every frame of this fantastic film is filled with iconography of the season, and the most majestic day itself.  It might be a scarecrow in a desolate filed of crops, or a hundred jack-o-lanterns, to a pile of razorblades strewn throughout a mound of spilled candy, but like no other movie before it, "Trick R Treat" oozes the essence of Halloween.

Originally scheduled for a theatrical release in 2007, this masterpiece of the season was eventually released straight-to-DVD with little fanfare in 2009.  It was an injustice to the horror film community.  This is a film that should be celebrated and revered for its pure love of the holiday that so many of us hold dear.

There are five many stories contained with "Trick R Treat", each one linked by the mysterious sack-headed "Sam" who we come to learn is the embodiment of the holiday, or Samhain (the originally Celtic holiday upon which much of our modern version of 'Halloween' is based).

After the introductory scene with Tahmoh Penikett and Leslie Bibb, we also encounter main stories headed by Dylan Baker, Anna Paquin, Britt McKillip and Brian Cox...  This is not an anthology though.

Each separate story weaves around the others and together they form an incredible anthology of all that makes Halloween special.  The stories are spooky, terrifying and overall brilliant, and that is why Warner Brothers studios failed.  This could have easily become the yearly Halloween anthology that John Carpenter had hoped to create with "Halloween III", instead it was a one-off curiosity that went straight to DVD.

Imagine a cinematic landscape where each year, a new collection of Halloween related tales was released (instead we got "Saw IV", which this would have been up against and was DTV at best - and now we have the "Paranormal Activities", which continue to recycle the same concept year after year).

When we have the opportunity to support films such as "Trick R Treat", we need to embrace them and let them know that these are the movies we want to see.  We need to make it clear that original and tantalizing visions are better than recycled nonsense ad nauseum, year after year.

"Trick R Treat" is something that could stay fresh every year because there is a abundance of material to choose from.  Every film on this list so far provides inspiration (and many of them clearly did) for what makes a great "Halloween" story.

If you haven't yet seen "Trick R Treat", or any of the other movies on this list, I highly encourage you to get off this blog and onto your nearest media viewing platform of choice.  After all, 'tis the season!

Trick R Treat everyone, and Happy Halloween to all!

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