FrightFest 2009: Trick R Treat review

"It's a weird movie," says director Michael Dougherty. "It's not a remake, it's not a sequel, it's not an adaptation. A lot of today's execs look at that and they don't know what to do with it."

80s homage anthology movie Trick R Treat 's been on our radar for a fair while and we finally had the chance to check it out. Couldn't be happier. This is a cheeky, slick and funny Halloween movie, a loving flashback with a seasonal sense of mischief.

"The 80s was the golden era of horror anthologies. It was a very inspiring time," says Dougherty. "And I have an obsession with Halloween. It's truely a magical holiday, everyone's inner horror fan comes to the surface. You get your scares and your laughs, it's cute but it's creepy."

Just like the movie.

Four stories intertwine over one Halloween night: A suburban couple break Halloween tradition at their peril; A headmaster wants to teach greedy kids a serious lesson; Anna Paquin looses her innocence in style, the legend of a missing school bus comes back to haunt local kids and Brian Cox battles a half-child, half-pumpkin Halloween imp.

Bryan Singer is the producer and Dougherty wrote X2 which helped when it came to casting Paquin and Cox. Cox admits he's not strictly speaking a horror fan but found there was something a bit special about Trick R Treat . "I think it's a really interesting movie, it's quite original. It's probably the most archetypal Halloween movie there's been in years," he tells us. "It celebrates the spirit of Halloween." Cox's part is self contained - it's a mostly a two-hander with Cox grappling with a pumpkin-headed dwarf. "We had a model, we had a little boy and we had this girl athlete who lept on my back," says Cox. "It was a lot of night shooting, which I'm not mad about, but it was extremely well handled. It was really exhausting. I used to go off and sleep in a corner."

You can catch Trick r Treat on DVD on 26th October, but sadly not on the big screen. "The people in charge decided it was too much of a challenge for them to give it a shot." Says Dougherty. "I wrote it in the era of post- Scream knock offs. To be totally honest I think the current state of horror's a little depressing. I like the
occasional remake - it's not so much that it's a remake, it's that we're drowning in them. For every remake I want to see an original film. They used to be a novelty and now they're the norm."

We want to see more of this, more movies like Trick R Treat and we want it on the big screen - funny, playful horror with shocks and laughs and heart. It's what Halloween is all about.

Rosie is the former editor of Total Film, before she moved to be the Special Edition Editor for the magazine group at Future. After that she became the Movies Editor at Digital Spy, and now she's the UK Editor of Den of Geek. She's an experienced movie and TV journalist, with a particular passion for horror.