Trick 'r Treat [Blu-Ray] Michael Dougherty

Trick 'r Treat [Blu-Ray] Michael Dougherty
The man behind the pen for both X2 and Superman Returns steps behind the camera to direct this charming slab of comedic Halloween horror. Taking place in a humble town on Halloween night, four macabre stories are interwoven as cautionary tales about making light of the deep-rooted holiday's lore. Horrible things happen to horrible people and a few innocent victims get caught in the crossfire; they're just not always who you'd expect. Starting with a man (Tahmoh Penikett, on a break from battling and boning Cylons) and his wife arguing about taking the Halloween decorations down directly after the trick or treating wraps up, Dougherty dives quickly into the creepy, introducing the film's unknown antagonist and setting up the first of many circular story references that pepper the script all the way to the finale. Dealing with time and perspective on their own terms, the film introduces a group of slutted-up young ladies teasing the inexperienced Laurie (Anna Paquin, sporting a Little Red Riding Hood outfit) before nodding to cinema's creepiest father with the casting of Dylan Baker as Steven. Yes, according to Dougherty's feature commentary, he wrote the role specifically for Baker after watching Happiness (if you've seen it, shudder away). This sinister daddy segment is possibly both the funniest and most unsettling sequence, establishing much of the film's tone while delivering a killer pay-off of its own and acting as an essential step in the mounting horror. There's a classic ghost story prank with a capable group of child actors and a home invasion culmination that deftly weaves everything that came before (and after, chronologically) into a sensible whole. Additional scenes with optional commentary were mostly cut for pacing but there are some wicked dialogue barbs from a dirtier cut of the ghost story kids' tale. An "FX Comparison" of the school bus scene is a pretty cool technical feature and "The Lore and Legends of Halloween" doubles as a history of the holiday and a mini-"Making Of." For an extra something good to eat, Dougherty includes his original animated short thesis project, the seed of inspiration for Trick 'r Treat. Gruesome, cheeky and whimsical in all the right places, Trick 'r Treat should delight audiences seasonally for years to come. (Warner)