Sometimes it's hard to be a horror fan. Living, as we do, in the age of "torture porn" and uninspired remakes, it's easy to slip into nostalgia for the fright flicks of years gone by. Don't get me wrong - I do love me some gore. (I mean, I count Evil Dead 2 and Dead Alive among my favorite movies.) But a film has to have more going for it than gross-out scares and jarring "gotcha!" moments for me to fall in love. If you feel the same way, allow me to make a little recommendation: Pick up a copy of Trick 'r Treat.
After spending years in movie purgatory, Trick 'r Treat was finally released on DVD this past Tuesday, just in time for Halloween. I was lucky enough to catch a screening of this at last year's Screamfest, and I have to say it met and exceeded all of my expectations. First and foremost, TrT is a movie about Halloween. If it were simply set on October 31st, that would almost be enough, but it goes beyond that, using the holiday's mischievous, irreverent, spooky spirit as its central theme. Think about it - how many movies are there that are actually about Halloween? Precious few, particularly if you exclude children's classics like It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. This is a movie that was meant to be enjoyed with the lights low, a big bowl of Halloween candy nearby, and the smell of singed pumpkin flesh wafting through the air - perfect viewing for a chilly October night.
As if that weren't enough, TrT is also an anthology movie in the vein of Creepshow or Trilogy of Terror - a rare breed indeed in contemporary horror. Of the five intersecting story lines, my favorites are the group of teens investigating a local Halloween legend and the elderly curmudgeon tormented by a mysterious - and persistent - visitor. I'll say no more; just head to the store right now, grab the DVD, and get ready to start a brand new Halloween viewing tradition.