Trick or Treats is the bargain bin, off-brand Trick ‘r Treat Mom says you have at home. Not an anthology, the movie is about the son of magicians being babysat on Halloween night by the most gullible sitter in the world. I have to be more careful with which doorbells I ring.
The majority of the film is the kid pranking the babysitter with his magic tricks and masks. I have to give him credit for being a likable brat but the horrible acting and atrocious plot pacing drag it down massively. There is a subplot of the original head of the household breaking out of the loony bin but he only shows up for the finale. Trick or Treats might have skimped by if they did a couple things differently.
Firstly, don’t make the opening scene the intro to your slasher villain and then keep him locked away until the final scenes. Or, scrap him completely and focus on the little shit shenanigans, maybe throwing in an unexpected supernatural element towards the end. They could have had the kid’s innocent pranks get more and more unintentionally cruel until he goes too far and accidentally kills the babysitter. Then he snaps after realizing what he did and gets his asshole parents when they come home. It would have made more sense than the stupid ending we got. Like most of the kids in the film that ended up at the door with their hands out, I left Trick or Treats feeling baffled and short-changed.
1 stale treat out of 5
BONUS REVIEW (MM 2018)
THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT
A sequel ten years in the making, The Strangers: Prey at Night is the 2018 follow-up to what I felt was an overrated slasher. This second chance at telling the story of the three menacing murderers who are just out for the kicks really comes into its own. Prey at Night was shot with its own obvious style, interesting kill concepts and more action, all things missing from the bland, monotone original. It sure beats the “suspense” of a killer standing behind the main character for minutes on end.
4 thoughts & preyers out of 5
BONUS REVIEW (MM 2019)
Final Exam‘s most memorable scene must hold the record for the cruelest way to get out of testing, a sequence that you would be hard-pressed finding in theaters today. Apart from that, it doesn’t have many things to help it stand out from the slew of 80’s films clamoring for slasher-laden success. It’s not a total slouch, though. The characters all have things going on as opposed to being brainless psycho-fodder. Who can forget the lovable Radish? The antagonist has zero backstory (he is literally credited as “Killer”), even less than Billy in Black Christmas, but the film makes it work. A solid if unimpressionable take that is more than enough for slasher hounds.
3 just a prank bros out of 5