Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

Trick ‘r Treat
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer: Michael Dougherty
Cast: Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Quinn Lord, Lauren Lee Smith, Moneca Delain, Tahmoh Penikett, Brett Kelly, Britt McKillip, Samm Todd, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Leslie Bibb
Seen on: 26.12.2021

Content Note: fatmisia, (critical treatment of) ableism

Halloween is a night where the usual rules don’t apply. When Emma (Leslie Bibb) blows out the jack-o’-lantern before midnight, her husband Henry (Tahmoh Penikett) is worried about the consequences. High school director Steven (Dylan Baker) also thinks its important to stick to Halloween rules, and he will do his share to see them obeyed. Rhonda (Samm Todd) loves traditional Halloween costumes, but that’s not the only reason why she doesn’t fit in with other kids her age who prefer more modern costumes. Those kids have come up with a plan to use Rhonda’s love for Halloween. Laurie (Anna Paquin) doesn’t quite fit in with her sister Danielle (Lauren Lee Smith) and friends either. Where the other women are eager to flirt and fuck, Laurie is still a virgin. But maybe that will change tonight. Mr Kreeg (Brian Cox) would rather forget that its Halloween altogether, but that won’t happen as Halloween keeps coming to him.

Trick ‘r Treat is a fun little Halloween flick. Not all of its episodes worked equally well for me, but it’s a neat celebration of Halloween that will especially appeal to people who like Halloween a lot in general. For me (as a European, maybe), Halloween is not that important, so the film is maybe not as exciting for me, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

The film poster showing a child-sized figure with an orange onesie wearing a burlap sack over its head. Or maybe the sack is its head.

Trick ‘r Treat is an episodic film which I generally like. The structure works pretty nicely here, even if the last few connections are rather obvious in the end. But no matter, that certainly didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the film.

It did suffer a little from a fatmisic bit in Steve’s story: of course, it’s a fat kid who greedily steals chocolates and doesn’t keep to Halloween traditions. Because we all know that fat people can’t control themselves in the slightest, especially when it comes to food and that fat kids are pretty unsympathetic and generally deserve all the bad things. The film isn’t quite as bad as my exaggeration, to be fair, but it plays right along with those tropes.

Laurie (Anna Paquin) wearing a Red Riding Hood costume talking to her sister Danielle (Lauren Lee Smith) in a cinderella costume.

But I did enjoy that the film treats Laurie and her friends with no trace of slut-shaming, although the obsession with Laurie’s virginity almost keeled over into acemisia (it manages to teeter back from that particular edge, though). And I generally appreciated the backstory with the bus accident that lays bare the ableism beneath the suburban veneer – an ableism that is still very present in Rhonda’s story (although the way her autism is portrayed is rather stereotypical).

There were some excellent scary moments, some funny bits, and overall, Trick ‘r Treat may not be a revelation of a horror film, but it’s a more than decent entry into the genre. I had fun with this one.

The child-sized figure with the burlap sack head stranding next to a bed. Behind it we can see writing in red color on the wall.

Summarizing: entertaining.

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