Trick ‘r Treat is a film of various, entwined Halloween-related vignettes that unfold into one small town’s ultimate nightmare. Unlike John Carpenter’s Halloween, wherein the eerie holiday serves as merely the setting, Trick ‘r Treat seeks to explore the autumnal celebration as an inevitable, and mythic catalyst for evil and terror. If you haven’t seen this trailer yet, stop reading these words and click to experience it.
I am terrified of this film, and not because the trailer is uber creepy; nor that I think I will have to sleep with the lights on until Christmas. I have been waiting to see this film for over two years. I first became cognizant of its existence in late summer 2007 when it was announced it would play Fantastic Fest III. I was living in Baton Rouge at the time and Fantastic Fest was to be only my second excursion to the land of cinematic milk and genre honey known as Austin. But then, as if fate were playing that titular, festive game with me, I was tricked out of seeing it when the film was pulled from the roster. It got a screening at Butt-Numb-a-thon that year, another Austin film fest of sorts, and then vanished like a ghost into the ether. It was enough however for every respectable, and even the hack, geek-elite critic to laud it with full fervor. It was then apparently swallowed by some immeasurable chasm in the Earth’s crust and no one had any idea whether it would ever be seen again.
Advance two years to the “treat” portion of this ordeal as it was nearly simultaneously announced that the film would be released directly to video and would be among the films slated for this year’s Fantastic Fest. The trailer we present to you, more expansive than any I had seen prior, does little to quench my desire to see it. But the truth is, with the insane roller-coaster the release of this film has maneuvered, I am terrified by my own anticipation and what it may do to color my enjoyment of it. Trick-r-Treat now faces the dilemma for me, and I expect many others who have followed its volatile journey, that it cannot fail to be completely spectacular or I will be entirely disappointed with it.
It’s really not fair at all that a small film must shoulder this much hype, and I hope that most people do not have the kind of time to chart horror projects the way I do, but the simple fact is that Trick ‘r Treat’s daunting voyage to release is the stuff of legends. As such, the film will incur a backlash of horror geek angst if it fails to deliver in even the smallest of areas. When I see this film at Fantastic Fest, I am going to try with all my might to not expect one of the greatest horror films ever made. I am going to fight against my expectations and all the hype in order to give Trick ‘r Treat a fair shake. Until that day, less than two weeks hence, I will keep drooling over the trailer. Sigh.