While Trick’s PR department attempts to disguise itself as a horror thriller film with sophistication, it actually reveals itself as a slasher, especially in the first 10-minutes with a splattering inferno of slaughter that occurs on the screen. If you find yourself upset with the commonplace slasher fare released this Halloween season, then director and writer Patrick Lussier, who definitely understands the subgenre since working in various capacities on the remake of My Bloody Valentine (2009), Dracula 2000 (2000) and Scream (1996) and speaking of these flicks, a quarter of the cast and crew worked on these movies. In addition Todd Farmer who also stars in the movie assisted in the writing of the project, worked on creating a lot of great atmosphere which vastly translates to on-screen holiday Halloween. Some criticize the film which clocks in at 100-minute of runtime rather than the standard 90, fret not, the storytelling moves swiftly by, with many subtle references to Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, this isn’t a one-trick pony, much more definitely occurs with distribution from RLJE Films releasing on all platforms.
It starts with a party on Halloween night in 2015, where Patrick “Trick” Weaver (Thom Niemann), already noticed how the killer named after the director, is wearing a two-faced pumpkin mask, while quietly sitting on a version of Spin the Bottle with a knife, and appears he needs to kiss another boy, but he spans and commits a massacre by slashing and stabbing. He’s known for being ultra-quiet, nothing known about his family or friends, appears as often bullied. However, before he finishes his slaughtering fest two gutsy women Cheryl (Kristina Reyes) and Nicki (Kya Brickhouse) subdued Trick, though a jock named Troy (Max Miller) lives on the false fame that he stopped the killing. Trick ends up handcuffed in a hospital, treating his wounds is Dr. Steven (Jamie Kennedy (The Sand ) though, he escapes taking numerous shots from Sheriff Jayne (Ellen Adair) and Detective Mike Denver (Omar Epps (Scream 2 ) before falling from a second story, it’s later perceived he crawled into the cold Hudson River to drown, but Denver isn’t too sure since no body was recovered. Every Halloween after, a masked killer fitting Trick’s description and following the Hudson River, stops in small town and goes on killing rampage, before vanishing once more, all driving Denver off the case and heading straight to the looney bin. Meanwhile a bloody body count continues to rack up each new season. However Denver (portrayed wonderfully by Epps) as a believable offer, is determined to solve the mystery, as Trick has become an internet sensation the murders spree to some as art form, a backlash against society’s norms, all leading to many action scenes. Don’t forget to look for both Farmer’s and Tod Atkins (Season of the Witch ) contributions equally fun moments, for a film filled with twists, tricks and treats for viewers to enjoy.
As the story presents itself as supernatural meets superhuman, it does mask so much more with a few jump scares and dozens of references to the horror genre itself, some obvious and others not so much, but gives a wonderful array of practical effects. That’s all thanks to Gary J. Tunnicliffe who served as special makeup effects designer, and knew Patrick’s style have worked on previous films of his and Keep Watching (2017). A neat aspect is that not all the killing sequences occur in the darkened rooms or outdoor spaces, but rather in well-lit places something of rarity in independent horror films. There’s no true POV shots, rather relies on the creative cinematography of Amanda Treyz known for The Night Watchmen (2017) to give a fresh view for the fans to enjoy, one more another individual who understood the slasher genre for her work on Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 (2011). Now some state that viewers likely have eye rolling moments of disbelief, but that’s true for many films even those outside the horror genre, though it is not to the level of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), rather it involved a swinging tombstone rigged to a crane that hints to Halloween (1978), and an interesting stunt overall.
The overall conceptual design captures the true feel on the holiday Halloween, while establishing a new development for those die-hard slasher fans, and curious hint for some that crave a newish subgenre, this flick contains references to cult-horror, think of Jim Jones waltzing with Charles Manson and The Purge cuts in for a dance-off involving knives.
IMDb Rating: 5.6/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.5/10