31 in 31: Trick ‘r Treat

Story:  There are thousands of stories every Halloween, but in one little town four stories have particular significance.  Make sure you come correct ’round Halloween, kiddies.

Scares: Quite a few in this new-wave genre classic.

Splat factor: That’s a big-old yessir.  Blood, guts and monsters, oh my!

Closing scene “shocker”?: Since this is an anthology, not really.  But each story has a great Bloch-like twist ready to give you goosebumps.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: 100% original, baby.

Trick or Treat?: Oh how I waited for this movie to come along, like I was Linus in the pumpkin patch.  But after seeing the trailer in multiplexes for what seemed like years, it finally hit DVD in 2009.  It was worth the wait.  This anthology brings Halloween traditions to bloody life in four stories and a wrap-around tale that ties everything together.  Genre favorites like Anna Paquin (X-Men, True Blood), Dylan Baker (Spider Man), Leslie Bibb (Iron Man, Popular) and Brian Cox (Deadwood, Red) all turn in well crafted performances, and the set design is Halloween the way the good lords of Cthulhu created it.

This is a movie that gets better upon repeat viewings, as you start to notice the little details director Michael Dougherty (X2, Superman Returns) drops in here and there.  Since this movie takes place in a small town one Hallows Eve, there is quite a few instances of characters from one story popping up in another.  There’s also a good bit of “better watch out!” as Sam(hain?) the little pajama wearing burlap sack-hooded figure goes around town making sure everyone sticks to tradition.  If they don’t?  Well, let the stories show you what’ll happen.  This is as near to perfect a Halloween movie as it gets.  Enjoy…and don’t forget to light that Jack O’ Lantern.  You never know who’s lurking about, making sure you do.

Score: out of 5 pumpkins.

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