Written by Happywax on April 25 2011
Rating 8 1/2 out of 10
Director - Michael Dougherty
Cast Dylan Baker - Steven
Rochelle Aytes - Maria
Quinn Lord - Sam/ Peeping Tommy
Lauren Lee Smith - Danielle
Brett Kelly - Charlie
Hey all you Halloween Horror Freaks old Happy's in the Dungeon tonight with a little Halloween treat for ya, I know its only April but its never to earliy to be thinking about Halloween or all the great movies that go along with it.
Writer/director Michael Dougherty obviously knows and loves his anthologies...everything from the classic CREEPSHOW to the Hammer Studios greatest hits of yore like TALES FROM THE CRYPT and ASYLUM. There isn't any particular tale in his film that I could call strikingly original, but it's been one helluva long time since I've seen a film more stylishly or even-handedly presented.
Weaving together about a half-dozen interlocking stories, rather than doing each as a stand-alone tale as in George Romero's cult hit, TRICK 'R' TREAT employs everything eerie, unsettling and ghoulishly fun about the holiday to explore the classic campfire tropes that everybody knows and loves, but this time with plenty of fatalism mixed with liberal doses of good, hearty black humor.
The lone virgin in a group of her costumed girlfriends is stalked by a shadowy figure; a small-town principal moonlights as a serial killer, who treats himself to more than a few gory tricks at his victims' expense; a group of teenagers single out one of their peers for a Halloween Night prank that goes wrong in a way they could've never imagined; the neighborhoods Old fart who is basically the "Ebenezer Scrooge" of All Hallows' Eve, gets his comeuppance when his secret past comes to call, and a couple of partygoers find out the hard way why you should NEVER, EVER blow out your Jack O' Lantern early on Halloween Night.
Featuring a cast of actors who either weren't big names when they did this, or recognizable character actors who are known for their great performances, the lineup includes TRUE BLOOD'S Anna Paquin, BSG's Tahmoh Penikett, CSI's Lauren Lee Smith, Dylan Baker and Brian Cox, who gives a well-done performance as the grizzled "mean old man", that CREEPSHOW'S late, great E.G. Marshall could appreciate.
Co-produced by Bryan Singer under his Bad Hat Harry Films banner, it's obvious from the production values that Dougherty was given plenty of resources to go out and make the film he wanted, and i think he did a pretty good job of it too, but its puzzling as to why warner bros never released this movie into the theaters, especially with all the crap that has come out over the last couple of years, it would have been a TREAT to see this gem on the big screen.
However, it's a fortunate thing that the DVD format allows films like this to find an audience, rather than slipping unnoticed into a dusty archive somewhere, never to see the light of day. Kudos to Mr. Dougherty and his cast and crew for putting together what deserves to become a Halloween staple. For my part, it's going on my library shelf right between perennial favorites CREEPSHOW and TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE, and if your like OL Happy you'll pull this movie out every October and give it a watch or two, this one is definatly not to be missed, Make sure you check out the trailer below.