Well folks, it’s that time of year again. We here at Hidden Horrors You Must See have spent the past month recommending some of the best hidden horrors, underrated gems, underrated sequels and anthology television, to put you in the Halloween spirit.
Personally, they are some of the films that hold a special resonance, and perhaps to some of our readers too, reminding us of the Halloweens of yesteryear. We’ve also embarked on some new films never seen before, and it has all led up to quite possibly the Halloween horror flick that everybody needs to see, so without further ado…
Trick ‘r Treat is commonly mistaken as an anthology film. Only it’s not. It’s a collection of five stories all weaved together to make a smart, well-paced, single narrative. Think of it as if Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) penned a horror script.
These stories include a couple who condemn themselves for breaking a Halloween tradition, a murderous elementary school principal hungry for blood, a group of prankster teens who get what they bargain for, a 22-year-old looking for her “first time” with the aid of her promiscuous friends, and a disgruntled old curmudgeon – a real “Scrooge” – who gets a visit from a supernatural being (and it’s not the ghost of Christmas past, present or future!) all taking place on All Hallows’ Eve.
Although the opening sequence regarding the ill-fated young couple is quite short in length, it wets the viewers’ whistles before the retro comic book title sequence, paying homage to films like the Tales from the Crypt franchise and the Creepshow films.
The second story, titled The Principal, is as dark as it is disgusting. Dylan Baker (Fido, The Cell) nails it as the overly nice, but peculiar, principal Wilkins and Brett Kelly (you all remember Thurman Merman?) does a swell job of playing the gluttonous adolescent who would put Hansel and Gretel to shame.
The School Bus Massacre Revisited concerns five kids paying a visit to a haunted site where a busload of “special” children met their end decades before. The flashback of events is truly disturbing and not for the faint of heart.
And in Surprise Party, Anna Paquin (True Blood) plays the irregular prude amongst her group of trolloping friends, but things begin to change after her friends decide to play matchmaker.
There are several twists and turns throughout the film, and each segment is told in fragments spread out to make one hell of a mosaic masterpiece. It may seem a bit confusing at first, but things are all tied together nicely by the dénouement, which all funnels through the final segment titled Sam, where Brian Cox (Red Eye, The Ring) must face a demon, as well as some of his own. The titular character of the final story is a strange little burlap-veiled trick ‘r treater who mysteriously binds these strories and characters in one way or another. Some of the highlights include many of the interesting effects, from revealing Sam’s ugly mug under that burlap sack and one of the most original werewolf transformations ever put to screen.
Trick ‘r Treat 2 is slated for an October 2015 release, so let’s hope this time around more people will see it, then little Sam may find his place in the horror icon hall-of-fame, with the likes of Michael Myers and the boys.
Till next year: Godspeed on the next two months of over-crowded malls and Christmas music, and, HAPPY HALLOWEEN from HIDDEN HORRORS YOU MUST SEE!
~ Matthew “Spooky Mulder” McPhee
And for a special Halloween treat, here is director Michael Dougherty’s original short film Season’s Greetings