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Michael Dougherty
Dylan Baker, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox
Writing Credits:
Michael Dougherty

A creepy, darkly comic celebration of the scariest night of the year with four interwoven tales set on Halloween night.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 82 min.
Price: $34.93
Release Date: 10/9/2018

Trick ‘R Treat: Season’s Greetings Animated Short with Optional Commentary
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Michael Dougherty, Composer Douglas Pipes, Concept Illustrator Breehn Burns and Storyboard Artist Simeon Wilkins
• “Tales of Folklore & Fright” Featurette
• “Tales of Mischief & Mayhem” Featurette
• “Sounds of Shock & Superstition” Featurette
• “Tales of Dread & Despair” Featurette
Season’s Greetings Short Film
• “The Lore & Legends of Halloween” Featurette
• School Bux FX Comparison
• Additional Scenes with Optional Commentary
• Storyboard/Concept Art Gallery
• Behind the Scenes Still Gallery
• Comic Book Gallery
• Fear.net Shorts
• Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Trick 'R Treat: Collector's Edition [Blu-Ray] (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 23, 2018)

Just in time for Halloween, 2008’s Trick ‘r Treat gives us a direct-to-video scarefest. Rather than tell one narrative, the film provides four separate, interconnected tales.

Trick launches with a quick pre-credit killing of a woman who cleans up her Halloween decorations before it jumps into the more extended tales. From there, it jumps to earlier in the evening of October 31.

Set in Warren Valley, Ohio, we meet a group of hot young women who come to town in search of a party. Three of them seem to be pretty slutty, but Laurie (Anna Paquin) remains a virgin. We see her attempts to alter this status – and the surprising revelations that come along the way.

Local principal Steven Wilkins (Dylan Baker) takes his Halloween traditions seriously – so seriously, in fact, that he poisons and kills a ne’er-do-well student (Brett Kelly) who fails to respect them. That seems to be his favorite tradition, as this isn’t his first slaying, and he follows up with more.

For another tale, we meet Wilkins’ neighbor, a crotchety old man named Kreeg (Brian Cox). He likes to scare trick-or-treaters and steal their candy. This comes back to haunt him.

Finally, a group of teens embarks on a mission to collect as many Jack-o-lanterns as possible. Why? To play a prank on an autistic girl named Rhonda (Samm Todd) – a prank that doesn’t end well for its perpetrators.

The anthology construction of Trick certainly isn’t original – heck, the original DVD’s case even alludes to it following in the tradition of Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt - but that doesn’t mean it can’t still work well. Unlike Creepshow, however, Trick attempts to actively interconnect the various stories – and it throws in a little foreshadowing for the opening vignette as well.

Sometimes this technique works pretty well, especially when a few of the stories tie together in a surprising manner. However, the structure has flaws as well, primarily in the film’s first half.

We lose track of some characters for far too long, so the flick doesn’t always balance them particularly well. For instance, Laurie goes absent for quite an extended period, and the film fails to integrate the various tales in a consistently smooth manner.

I do admire the movie’s attempt to try something a bit more ambitious, though. It easily could’ve stayed with a simple episodic method, so the fact it shoots for a more integrated telling is pretty cool. Despite the occasional failings of the narrative, I give the film points for its creativity.

Most of the four vignettes work pretty well, too. To my disappointment, Steven’s fares the worst.

It starts out nicely and I like the premise, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. The film does use the Steven character in a fun way later in the story, but his own sequence doesn’t really satisfy.

The other three are more compelling, and they come with some surprises. I’ll admit the Laurie plot goes somewhere I really didn’t expect, and it’s a delight to see what happens.

The tale with the teen pranksters seems more predictable, but it’s still quite satisfying. Indeed, it’s ultimately probably the best of the four tales, as it provides the strongest scares and impact.

As for the Kreeg story, I like the way that it connects to the rest of the film. It turns out the narrative has a link to Kreeg above and beyond his proximity to Steve, so that side of things offers a clever and unexpected twist that satisfies. The Kreeg vignette isn’t great as the film’s climax, but it works for the most part.

Indeed, in terms of scares, the Laurie sequence probably would’ve been the best way for the movie to go out on a high note. However, I understand that this wouldn’t work within the movie’s structure.

Trick features a continuing mysterious background character named Sam (Quinn Lord), as he pops up to view all the film’s brutality. The film has to finish with Kreeg to make the Sam side of things fit together. That makes the finale a little disappointing in terms of impact, but I understand its thematic necessity.

Overall, I think Trick provides a good horror anthology. It wears its influences on its sleeve and doesn’t always coalesce as well as I’d like, but it throws out the requisite number of scares and proves to be moderately clever along the way.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus A

Trick ‘r Treat appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a generally good image.

Sharpness was usually positive, as the majority of the film came across with positive delineation and accuracy. A few minor soft spots occasionally emerged, but these remained modest.

I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement was absent, Source flaws also weren’t a concern.

Colors looked solid. Of course, the film favored the oranges prominent during Halloween, and they appeared lively and vivid.

Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows appeared clear and smooth. Though not great, this was a more than adequate presentation.

I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Trick ‘r Treat seemed good but unexceptional. The soundfield tended toward atmospheric information, though it came to life a bit better during the more active scare sequences.

For instance, the scene at the rock quarry used the five channels in an active, effective manner that surrounded us with creepy material. That wasn’t the rule here, though, as most of the movie went with general – though useful – ambience.

Audio quality appeared positive. Speech remained natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Music was bright and full, and effects seemed solid. Those elements showed good definition and clarity. Nothing here dazzled, but the audio was more than competent for this sort of flick.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio showed a little more pep, while visuals offered superior clarity and accuracy. As expected, the whole thing turned into a good upgrade.

With that, we head to the Blu-ray’s ample extras, only one of which was on the DVD: an animated short called Trick ‘R Treat: Season’s Greetings. It runs three minutes, 47 seconds and shows the adventures of Sam, the creepy little kid who crops up throughout the live-action film. It’s mildly spooky but not the most fascinating thing I’ve seen.

Greetings can be viewed with or without commentary from writer/director Michael Dougherty. He tells us about the creation of the animation and a few other aspects related to the short. He throws out a few interesting details.

Apparently Trick got a special edition release overseas, and the 2017 Collector’s Edition Blu-ray brings those supplements to the States. It also adds a few exclusive bits.

An audio commentary from writer/director Michael Dougherty, composer Douglas Pipes, concept illustrator Breehn Burns and storyboard artist Simeon Wilkins offers a running, screen-specific affair. They discuss the opening credits and design choices, music, sets and locations, cast and performances, story and editing, story/characters, effects, and influences.

We get a pretty lively chat here, one that covers a lot of territory. It can be a little loosey-goosey at times, but it includes plenty of fertile information, so it’s a good discussion overall.

A bunch of video extras arrive, and first we find Tales of Folklore & Fright: Creating Trick ‘r Treat, a 16-minute, five-second show with Dougherty, Burns, and Wilkins.

“Creating” looks at the project’s roots and development, influences, story/characters and the non-linear narrative, design choices and storyboards. They bring us a good view of some of the film’s pre-production work.

A sibling piece, Tales of Mischief & Mayhem goes for 19 minutes, 46 seconds and includes Dougherty. “Mayhem” examines the movie’s visual design, casting, various effects, locations, and related production topics. I’m surprised only Dougherty appears here, but he offers a lot of useful info.

Music comes to the fore with Sounds of Shock & Superstition, an 11-minute, 10-second reel with Dougherty and Pipes. Score becomes the main topic here, and Pipes dominates this informative take on his work.

With Tales of Dread and Despair, we find a seven-minute, 23-second piece with Dougherty “Shock Waves” podcaster Rob Galluzzo. “Dread” covers aspects of the movie’s release and reception. The show starts well but includes most of its quality material in its first few minutes.

For a mix of elements, we go to The Lore and Legends of Halloween. It takes up 27 minutes, 26 seconds and features Dougherty, Burns, producer Bryan Singer, Halloween historians David J. Skal and Lisa Morton, costume designer Trish Keating, special effects makeup Guy Himber, co-producer Peter Lhotka, executive producer Alex Garcia, stunt coordinator Ernie Jackson, visual effects supervisor Charlene Eberle Douglas, and actors Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Samm Todd, Brett Kelly, Leslie Bibb, Alberto Ghisi, Moneca Delain, Rochelle Aytes, Lauren Lee Smith, and Quinn Lord.

“Lore” looks at the history behind Halloween and its traditions as well as aspects of the movie production. The former offers by far the most interesting moments, and I wish the whole show had taken on that topic. The film-related bits are fine but semi-glossy.

Under School Bus FX Comparison, we get a one-minute, 13-second split-screen reel. It shows the final shot on the left and a “VFX breakdown” on the right. It turns into a decent look at the effects work.

Eight Additional Scenes fill a total of 17 minutes, 13 seconds. They spread among the Steven/adolescent kids/college women plots. Some interesting moments occur across them but none of them seem especially significant on their own.

We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Dougherty. He offers notes about the sequences and thoughts about why they didn’t make the final film. Dougherty delivers a solid view of the segments.

Within Fear.net Shorts, we get 12 minutes, 57 seconds of footage. We get 15 of these, most of which offers promos that connect to Halloween, though a few “celebrate” Easter and Christmas as well.

Why do these appear here? Because a handful feature the film’s Sam character, though most don’t. Still, they’re clever ads.

A Storyboard and Concept Art Gallery ensues. It comes with 221 screens of storyboards as well as three elements of concept art. The inclusion of so little concept art feels bizarre, but at least we get a slew of storyboards.

We also find a Behind the Scenes Still Gallery. It presents 156 panels that mix shots from the set with close-ups of makeup effects and concept art.

Yeah, I said concept art. Why is there concept art here and not in the section called concept art? I don’t know, but it remains a good compilation of images.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we finish with a Comic Book Gallery. This 34-page offering gives us a graphic novel with a story set in the Trick universe. It seems reasonably effective.

Though direct-to-video movies come with low expectations, they don’t automatically stink. Trick ‘r Treat offers a reasonable winner. Though not without flaws – most of which stem from its interconnected narrative – the film exhibits cleverness along with its scares. The Blu-ray brings generally good picture and audio along with an excellent compilation of bonus materials. Trick holds up as fun Halloween entertainment.

To rate this film visit the DVD review of TRICK 'R TREAT

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main