HOLLYWOOD—It is indeed Halloween, but if you’re looking to be spooked, be aware that “Trick” is not a treat people. The horror flick follows a serial killer who returns every Halloween to unleash a bit of mayhem on the world. “Trick” has a genius concept, but that concept becomes too convoluted to the point as a viewer you feel lost and uncertain as to what is transpiring.
Horror works best when it is simple, and even if it’s not simple, you don’t want to place your audience in a situation where they cannot connect the dots as the story moves along. It’s all about Patrick ‘Trick’ Weaver (Thom Niemann) who violently kills a bunch of students while playing a game of ‘trick or treat’ on Halloween night in 2015. In the quest to capture this serial killer is Detective Mike Denver (Omar Epps), who has been on his trail since he escaped police custody several years earlier.
Trick has found a way to make his presence known each Halloween since that fatal night in Benton, New York in 2015. Rather it’s a Halloween dance or party, he ensures the world knows that he is still out there and watching. I appreciated some of the twists in this movie; I will absolutely give the writers Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier credit for making me perk up in the theater seat. For those in the dark, Lussier and Farmer are responsible for horror flicks like “Jason X,” “My Bloody Valentine (2009),” “Dracula 2000” and “Drive Angry 3D.” Not superior horror flicks, but they do indeed have an appreciation and understanding of the genre.
Have I seen better horror flicks? Without a doubt because there is a level of simplicity, but “Trick” tries to be smarter than what it needs to be. It is violent, it is bloody, it’s vicious at times. This flick loses a ton of points in my opinion because there is way, and I mean way too many characters. You lose track of who is important, who isn’t important and you really don’t care for those who die or live. In horror we want to root for the hero, but in this case I couldn’t tell you who I should root for. The detective hunting the killer, the killer or the one sole survivor of a blood bath years earlier, whose presence isn’t felt until nearly the second act of the flick.
There were too many lose ends with “Trick” to fully enamor me to want to give thumbs up to a movie that has some highs, but it also has some lows. When you weigh the overall product, it does not fully deliver. If you’re thinking “Trick” will be a great Halloween treat, you will be disappointed by the outcome.