anthology

WEIRDO’WEEN #31: Trick ‘r Treat [2007]

weirdoween2015Well, it’s official: this review marks the finale weirdo’ween post for 2015! We’ve reviewed all sorts of movies over this past month, and even though I tried to look at films I haven’t talked about before; some obviously overlapped. Today though, our review is special, being one that I had in mind since I did the first review for weirdo’ween. It’s a movie that I consider the definitive Halloween movie, and I try and make a point of watching it every year. [although I can’t tonight because I have plans, plus I work] It’s an anthology film, with four stories interwoven into one big “super-story”. It has demon children, werewolves, and even the little spirit of Halloween himself. So let us move on to the one, the only: Trick ‘r Treat.

weirdo'ween-#31As I said, Trick ‘r Treat is a horror anthology which interweaves stories that all take place on Halloween night, kind of like genre classics as Creepshow and Tales From The Darkside. Our stories involve: a costumed couple who learn to respect tradition.. the hard way, a group of girls who head out into the woods for a “howling” good party, the school principal has a [literal] taste for blood, four kids attempt to play a “trick” on someone they know – only to end up becoming “treats”, and a grumpy old man gets a visit from a holiday visitor who has been looking to settle a decades-old grudge.

Like most anthology films, these stories are best watched when viewed on an empty mind. Without any context. The twists are less predictable than most horror films are these days; and half the fun is wondering just where – and how – the hell these characters are going to end up. Keep an eye open though, the one constant throughout the stories is a costumed, little guy named Sam, who appears to come off as the Spirit of Halloween, in order to remind people why they should take care in following the traditions set forth hundreds of years ago for All Hallows Eve. Trick ‘r Treat is filled with tradition, reminding the audience of just why we celebrate the Halloween in the first place. It manages to be effectively creepy and blood-soaked, yet it never goes over-the-top with gratuitous gore. It’s always “just enough”, which I love about it! There is also a very obvious helping of black comedy laced throughout the film, so if it feels like too much – which it really isn’t – there’s enough jokes to keep you laughing.

But, I think the most impressive aspect of this film is the filmmaker’s incredible attention that has been paid to detail. Every single shot of the film is beautifully framed and composed, coming off as looking more like a cryptic painting we’re meant to decipher, rather than a frame of film. The dark and broody look of Mr. Kreeg‘s dark house, the ghostly palette of the rock quarry, the incredible werewolf shape-shifting sequence around a roaring fire in the woods.. everything in this movie feels, and is gorgeous. The cinematography is so well put together, that it manages to make you feel like you’re a part of the celebration; and not just someone watching on. As someone who is as big a fan of the Halloween holiday, this was especially important, and it was done right! It’s been far too often when a film actually does take place on the holiday but ends up lacking the depth that is given to us here. and then there’s the cast of the movie..

For such a large ensemble cast, there isn’t any one performance that stands out above the rest – everyone here is perfect. From characters such as Anna Paquin‘s “virgin wolf” of her female group, to perhaps my favorite role of Mr. Kreeg, played really well by veteran character actor Brian Cox. His look was even inspired directly from another person known for horror, John Carpenter, and there are a couple of well-placed nods to his work that were fun, so long as you caught them. Also providing great support throughout the film is newcomer Quinn Lord who plays Sam, our little sack-headed fiend who “stiches” the film’s stories together.

But let’s face the real problem with this movie. It isn’t that it has too many jump scares, or that it’s a terrible film but something more meta: there was NO set distribution deal lined up when it was first released. Initially, it was set to be released in October 2007, then it was pushed to February 2008, then October 2008 and, then finally, placed on the shelf indefinitely. Eventually, in Canada anyway, it ended up being a direct-to-DVD release in October 2009, which I can only say that is disappointing for something this genuine to it’s genre. I mean, that’s two years after the movie was made.. But, I suppose that’s what the problem is; because this is a movie that goes to uncharted territory, the studios were probably clueless about how they were going to try and market it to the public. I mean, I guess I can understand some of their hesitation, [since a good majority of the film features children either killing or being killed] but knowing they waited two years after the movie was made to release it, makes me upset..especially because for the fans: that feels like it took itself an eternity.The bottom line is, I still don’t completely understand why Trick ‘r Treat didn’t get a theatrical release, and I probably never will, but even if it was a direct-to-DVD title, it deserves some much-deserved exposure. The only disappointment here is in the bonus features, where they’re almost none, but the film itself is good enough to make up for it. If only I wasn’t working tonight, I’d take advantage of today to watch it again on this Halloween night, with a Jack-o-lantern lit and bowl of candy at the ready – just in case.

So now I turn to you, what are your thoughts on Trick ‘r Treat? Have you seen the movie? If so, what were your thoughts; mindless Halloween film, or one of the greats? Let me know in a comment or two! As noted by the big “#31” at the top title, this is the last weirdo’ween post so be sure to check out the other reviews I wrote during this month! Also – for those in the know, the universe of Trick ‘r Treat recently expanded with the publication of the graphic novel Trick ‘r Treat: Days Of The Dead, and it was while discussing the book with the series creator that we learned some key details about the upcoming sequel: Trick ‘r Treat 2. Director Michael Dougherty was hesitant to offer too much information, but he did explain that a big part of his goal with the sequel is to dive further into the history of Halloween.

But, If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more in the future – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 125+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!

always check your candy!

So have an awesome Halloween everyone, be safe, be smart, and keep an eye out for Sam; he could be anywhere. I hope you enjoyed Weirdo’ween as much as I enjoyed writing it. As expected with this being the last review of this month, posts won’t be as frequent now, coming out every other day or so. Especially with work, I’m going to be caught up feeling slightly more busy, but that doesn’t mean I’m gone for good; just that I won’t be writing something every day. I’m not entirely sure when my next post will be, but hopefully it’ll be sooner than later; and it won’t be a review either – I’ve done enough of those for now 😉

STAY WEIRD, and as always:

THANKS FOR READING.

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so I FINALLY saw ABCs Of Death 2.. [OR] “Some People Never Learn”

ABCsOfDeath2Oh ABCs Of Death.. I wanted so badly to like you; what with your concept of 26 different Directors with their 26 different short horror stories. But by the end of the film, I quickly realized that of all the shorts I was presented with, I only really enjoyed five of them.. You were brave with your efforts, even courageous with some of the things you were willing to show on screen. [I’m not one for animal cruelty – I’m looking at you: “P is for PRESSURE”!] But alas, I was not overly impressed with the end result.. So when I heard about a sequel, aptly called ABCs Of Death 2, I was obviously nervous; how could I enjoy a sequel to a movie I didn’t like? With the movie hitting Netflix recently, I decided for myself that it was time to finally find out if the wrongs of the first film, could actually be corrected in this sequel:

in short,  ABCs Of Death 2 shocked me. Like, actually took me by surprise! and yes, I mean this in the most positive way. Unlike it’s predecessor, this sequel was actually [overall] a decent film. Sure, I wasn’t a fan of every “short film” in it, but the Directors’ choice for each word, and even the direction the film took – actually “worked” together this time around; It felt more consistent. It’s like the first film was an almost “trial run” and that this sequel was their response – now knowing how to make a film like this work as a whole.

Below, I will be posting each letter and what it stood for in the movie, Unfortunately, as it would probably take up a thousand more words, and a ton of more time, I will not be explaining each short. However, if you’re curious as to what each short is about, you can always read this article which will explain each short in greater detail then I ever could here.


A is for Amateur:


B is for Badger:


C is for Capital Punishment:


D is for Deloused:


E is for Equilibrium:


F is for Falling:


G is for Grandad:


H is for Head Games:


I is for Invincible:


J is for Jesus:


K is for Knell:


L is for Legacy:


M is for Masticate:


N is for Nexus:


O is for Ochlocracy [mob rule]:


P is for P-P-P-P SCARY!:


Q is for Questionnaire:


R is for Roulette:


S is for Split:


T is for Torture Porn:


U is for Utopia:


V is for Vacation:


W is for Wish:


X is for Xylophone:


Y is for Youth:


Z is for Zygote:


[taken from “W is for Wish”]

Overall, if you couldn’t already tell, my overall opinion of ABCs of Death 2 is definitely a positive one: much more than the first film. Assuming they aren’t already planning it, I would love to see a third installment, as long as the same style and the same variety is kept the same as this sequel. Did you see the movie ABCs Of Death 2? How did you like it? Did you prefer it over the first film? Or was it still too “WTF” for your tastes? Let me know in a comment or two!

If you enjoyed reading this piece, take a minute and head over to Facebook to click the “like” button on my page. By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post the moment it’s been posted; if that’s not convincing enough, I also share things that will not be featured here on the blog! So, be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with family and friends!

THANKS FOR READING.

FRIDAY FUN FACT: Creepshow [1982]

Inspired by the E.C. Comics from the early 1950s, Creepshow was an anthology movie from 1982 by George A.Romero and Stephen King [already two big names in horror] who bring a few different tales of terror to our screens. These tales are expertly written and deserve awards on their own, let alone as an anthology film! These “shorts” are titled: “Father’s Day”, “The Crate”, “The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill” [which stars King himself!], “Something To Tide You Over” and finally, “They’re Creeping Up On You!” To this day, the film is a gem among horror fans, and many people see it as a classic, including it’s sequel, “Creepshow 2“.. though we don’t talk of the third film. [it wasn’t even written/directed by Romero or even King!]

but did you know?

Ted Danson, who played the character of Harry Wentworth in “Something To Tide You Over“, said in an interview that his daughter was on set during the scene where his character returns from the dead encased in rotting flesh and seaweed. [see what that looked like here] He claimed that he’d purposely avoid his young daughter, out of fear of scaring her. Finally, and despite his best efforts, she saw and went up to him: and when she finally was face to face with her father, she simply said, “Oh, hi Dad!”

Why is there a picture of Greedo from Star Wars above this trivia piece? besides being fucking awesome, Stephen King reportedly carried one exact model of this action figure – which is worth a grand total of over $400. His reasoning? “good luck” on the movie. Leave it to Stephen King to carry a damn toy with him on set just because of luck! Greedo is pretty bad-ass though!

this last one is an important piece of trivia. In the first short, Father’s Day, There is an important to the story marble ashtray. But were you aware that it’s actually featured in all five of the film’s stories if you look closely enough? Let me elaborate; In Father’s Day, it’s obvious; as it’s shown to viewers multiple times and it plays an important role. In The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill, it’s seen next to the cash box at The Department Of Meteors, when Jordy is trying to sell the fragment. During Something To Tide You Over it is seen on the nightstand next to Richard‘s bed. In The Crate, you can see it on the writing desk when Henry writes his letter to Wilma, and finally in They’re Creeping Up On You!, it’s directly beside the soap dish when Upson Pratt is washing his hands. As an added bonus, it’s also on Billy‘s [played by Stephen King‘s son, Joe] desk when he first starts stabbing the voodoo doll near the end of the film.

So there you have it, a ton of new trivia around one of my favorite anthologies of all time. In fact, it still stands the test of time – with a creep factor surpassing some horror movies from today! What trivia did you find the most interesting? Was it the marble ashtray? Or even learning about Stephen King‘s geeky side? Let me know in a comment or two below!

THANKS FOR READING.

PS: please be aware that this is my last post before the move to the new apartment – therefore, there won’t be a new post until we get Internet back up and running..which could be up to a week.

THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING.

Michael Dougherty’s “Krampus” film gets THREE teaser cards!

heeeeeeeeeere’s Krampus!

Before I talk about the Dougherty‘s new anthology horror film, I think it’s best if I explain just what [the] Krampus truly is. c’mon guys! it a Christmas related demon-thing: it’s pretty damn relevant, right? So let us talk about this “Anti-Claus”, and then we’ll get into talking about the movie. hold on to your seats, this is going to be a fun, and dangerous, one!

According to German-speaking Alpine folklore, [the] Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure. The traditional story behind Him is that [the] Krampus will punish children during the Christmas season who have been “naughty”. This is such a contrast with Saint Nicholas, who [in opposition to Krampus] will reward the “good” children with gifts. Some regions in the Austrian diaspora actually ‘believe’ in similar “Christmas demons” to the point where [the] Krampus is one of many partners to Saint Nicholas. Where the origin of the this “Anti-Claus” is unclear; but some folklorists have suggested that it started back in Pre-Christian times. Sometimes, there’s even parades in which young males dress themselves as [the] Krampus, during something called the Krampuslauf [the GermanKrampus run’], occur yearly in some Alpine villages; in fact, [the] Krampus is often featured on holiday cards which are called Krampuskarten – one of which, I’ve included below:

that’s..pretty damn terrifying.

Let’s move back to Michael Dougherty‘s film: not much is known about the film [no plot, or anything] other than the release date – which is December 5th, 2015. The film is simply being called Krampus“. and I am fucking stoked. Let me explain why – first off, the name Dougherty should sound familiar, as he’s most known for one of my favorite Halloween films: Trick ‘r Treat. already, that makes Krampus one of my most highly anticipated horror films of 2015! [don’t make me eat my words, Dougherty!] Add to that the fact that it’s his second holiday anthology: [Trick ‘r Treat was bad-ass!] Oh man, I’m totally excited. To get us excited for the film, Dougherty and Legendary Pictures [who are producing the film] have sent us, the fans, some season’s greetings.. in the form of three Krampus teaser Christmas cards.  [just like the Krampuskarten cards that we talked about earlier!] Seriously, they’re fantastic looking: check out these Krampuskarten for the film!


KRAMPUS_TREE_CARD

KRAMPUS_SHADOW_CARD

KRAMPUS_FACE_CARDMichael Dougherty has described his new film as a “twisted horror-comedy”, and that Krampus is [naturally] about our favorite holiday Beast who accompanies Saint Nicholas and makes it his business to punish the misbehaved children of the world..

How do you feel about Dougherty‘s new monster film? Is it going to be as fantastic as Trick ‘r Treat? Or is it going to be something more? Be sure to unleash your thoughts down in the comments! I’m for one, super excited for this film, I’m a big Krampus fan, and the fact that there will be a movie based around this Monster, I’m sold!

Be safe this Holiday season, and be sure to watch out for [the] Krampus!

THANKS FOR READING.