The rules of Halloween are paramount in our next film, Trick ‘r Treat, by director Michael Dougherty. Doughtery imaginatively blends five unique stories (an everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband; and a mean old man meets his match with a demonic, supernatural trick-or-treater) together to construct one of Ed Bolden-Greer’s, the creator of the Ravens Vail Podcast all-time favorite horror films. Unlike movies of our past reviews, Trick ‘r Treat has a well-paced intermingling narrative that combines horrors of each kind, keeping the audience engaged as witnesses. There are quite a few “gotcha” moments where the character earns their end and one good twist that has the audience cheering (or at least I did).
Anthologies can be tricky, either executed with grace or ineptitude. Indeed, Dougherty takes a page from Tarantino’s book, splicing and blending the stories with intention. In the case of Trick ‘r Treat, I would argue that the editing was handled gracefully. The film continuously engaged me with a balance of just enough violence and just enough plot. Overall, for a late 2000s horror flick, I was entertained (and impressed) but not traumatized. Arguably, though, that may not be what Daugherty was going for. If he aimed to engage and entertain, he succeeded. Trick ‘r Treat was a delightful little treat for this impending holiday season, and I would likely recommend it for a Halloween movie spree.
Editors Note: Trick ‘r Treat director Michael Dougherty offered an encouraging update on the status of Trick ‘r Treat 2, the long-awaited sequel planned for over a decade. 16 years after the first film’s release, Dougherty expressed excitement for the project by saying. “I will say this because we said it last year at the Beyond Fest screening: the sequel is in active development with Legendary. I’ll go so far as to say that we have several drafts of a script. … I brought back the same storyboard artist I mentioned before, Simeon Wilkins, so we have a stack of storyboards and a good fat stack of concept art done by Breehn Burns as well. So it’s inching along. They’ve been wonderful, like great collaborators. But so much of it is timing, and as you know, we just got out of a strike, so the next step, fingers crossed, would be looking at the budget, of course, schedule, and all the rest.” (October 25, 2023)
At four years old, R.F. Greer wrote, directed, and starred in her first film titled, “Princess Asleep.” Since then, she has been a storyteller of many colors, honing her skills at North East School of the Arts in San Antonio, TX, and earning the Co-Editor position of their literary magazine “After Midnight” before graduating. In a gap year, Rhiannon wrote two feature films, maintained a website, and recorded poetry. In college, she was published in the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s literary magazine “Phoenix” and her book of poetry, “The Habit of Breaking Routine,” on Amazon Kindle. At the same time, she continues to earn her bachelor’s in Psychology and work full-time.