I am always one to welcome a new Halloween themed film during October. So I was excited to take a look at the new film TRICK from Patrick Lussier and his frequent collaborator Todd Farmer. The duo responsible for notable films such as My Bloody Valentine 3D and Drive Angry, were also THIS close to helming the follow up to Rob Zombie’s two Halloween films. Knowing this info certainly had an impact on how I felt watching their latest fright flick.
Trick starts off well enough, with a brutal massacre at a 2015 Halloween party by a killer wearing a pumpkin mask. The scene is a good setup for all that comes next, however the killer is injured by one of his would be victims, taken into custody and then to the hospital where he is questioned by the local detective played by Omar Epps. He somehow escapes, is shot and survives a fall from the hospital window and ends up disappearing into the night. Fast forward to the next Halloween and another murder occurs mirroring the events of the past, rinse repeat. while I may be simplifying the plot part of that is so as not to spoil anything, the other reason is because things in this film just get so convoluted and confusing at points I don’t think I could properly break it all down with just retelling the entire story. The majority of the film is told from the perspective of the police officers and their dealings with this killer named “Trick” who keeps reappearing on Halloween, even though he seems to have died that first year.
Trick is interesting in that while watching I couldn’t help but wonder how many of the set pieces were left over ideas from Farmer and Lussier’s Halloween 3 project. Sadly the problem with that is that some of these ideas found here, might have been really cool if the killer was Michael Myers. However in Trick, the majority of the time we just get some guy in face paint and a hoodie just mostly being annoyingly lucky and fast while stabbing and slashing people. And yeah that certainly sounds like it could makes for a good slasher, but there is just nothing particularly scary about this character after the opening scene or the film in general. These Halloween setpieces they set up throughout such as a haunted maze, or old movie theater would have worked really well with someone like Michael Myers, but in this case, the “villain” is just not compelling and you kinda just want the cops to solve this case and kill this guy so the movie can be over.
Part of the issue for me with Trick was just the whole look of it which felt overexposed and TV-esque coupled with it’s non descript, generic score made everything feel much more like an extra gory episode of CSI than anything else. There IS plenty of gore, for the horrorhounds and there is also a somewhat interesting ending, however overall the most fun I had while watching the film was just thinking about how much more I might be enjoying this if Michael Myers was the killer and this was their version of a Halloween film. Hats off to the main cast members like Omar Epps, Ellen Adair, Tom Atkins, and Kristina Reyes for doing their best to play everything so serious, but without a more compelling or scary villain, Trick lacked the hook for me to get really invested in it. I also wish it had capitalized more on it’s outside of the city, New York setting. I don’t doubt some will still be able to find enjoyment in it especially for this time of the year, you could certainly do worse than Trick this time of year, it will easily kill some time while staying in the spirit of October, but for me it was not as much fun as I had hoped it would be.