Patrick Lussier returns to the Slasher genre after the success of his 2009 remake My Bloody Valentine, this time turning his attention to Halloween. But instead of a love letter to everything Myers, Trick is an old fashioned slasher flick that gives us a clear reminder of why the the genre died in the late 80’s.
This is an odd review to write!
Being a massive Slash fan, Trick actually ticks a lot of the boxes needed for a good old time. A cool killer, endless death scenes that are gory, the setting of Halloween, which is just perfect for a horror film,
Yet somehow, it just didn’t work. Patrick Lussier who to his credit delivered a pretty good slash remake with his My Bloody Valentine and was once linked to make a Halloween III after the Rob Zombie era, but if this is the taste of how that Myers chapter could have ended up, then we may have had a lucky escape.
The problem with TRICK is that from the off the pace is relentless. There is no time for the viewer to take stock with what is happening, as we move from one bloodbath to the other, with Lussier failing to hold back the shackles.
This may work for an 80’s Jason flick and for some strange reason, it should here, but it all feels a slog and by the time you get to the 20th killing, you can not help but feel that its all gone a bit tiresome.
The opening scene sums up the entire film. Its an Halloween party and someone wearing a pumpkin mask goes a little bit too happy with his kitchen knife. Its such a savage beginning that you just about able to gather your breath when the killer, badly injured after one of the partygoers fights back, is transferred to hospital, escapes, kills a few more in gory fashion, before being shot by Detective Mike Denver (Omar Epps) and believed to be dead.
There is such a high death count at the beginning, that you’ll honestly believe that the film will calm down and get some plot going, but no! Its a year later and the killer returns on Halloween, wearing a different mask and brutally kills a few more.
This notion carries on every year. More people die, Denver and his officers frustrated and struggling to find any clues and decide if its a copycat or if the original killer did survive the gunshot! A hint that the man behind the mask is some Supernatural force, does peak some interest but then more kills and lashes of blood wash over your thoughts and you soon don’t really care who is what and why!
Bizarrely the writer is the one and only Todd Farmer who also gave the world JASON X, so he and Lussier do know how to create an enjoyable Slasher flick.
There is something really idiotic about Jason being in Space and yet if you are a die-hard slash fan, then you’ll embrace the nonsense and get the enjoyment from watching something so daft. The trouble here is that TRICK is humourless, which is a mistake if you are making an all out bloodshed of knife brutality.
The tone of the film screams out that this should be a serious caper and yet how can it when its just an endless barrage of deaths with no thought of the plot progressing from A to B. Most viewers will struggle to understand what they are actually watching here as, you will fail to grasp onto any tension of suspense. Jump scares are great if they are used subtly but when its on an endless loop, it does remove any scare factor its trying to achieve,
At times it even criminally moves away from the slash formula offering up a JIGSAW style set-piece that lack creativity and imagination which even SAW VIIIIII somehow managed to achieve.
Rapid camerawork frustrates more than it excites as it detracts from the danger and while the final reveal offers up a bit of cleverness, it doesn’t take you long to think of a few plot holes that has led us to that point.
Trick for all his 1 hour and 40 minute running time, plays like the last 15 minutes of a slasher film, in which all is revealed and those left standing face the bogeyman for a final fight.
The idea may work for some die-hard fans but not even the brilliant casting of horror legends Tom Atkins and Jamie Kennedy could save this horror fanatic from having a splitting headache and thinking that this Halloween slasher was more trick than treat!