30 October 2011

October 30th

Trick 'r Treat (2007) directed by Michael Dougherty
My third Halloween season in a row watching this one.  One thing that struck me this time out is that the film is quite hard on its kids.  We start with one of them getting poisoned and killed by a serial killer and then watch as that killer beats more of them to death with a shovel in his backyard grave.  Later, we flashback to some kids being killed when a schoolbus is driven off a cliff, then see those kids come back as zombies to kill some other children. I wonder if this was part of the reason WB sat on the film for so long before releasing it direct-to-video?  As a parent, I have to admit the scene in the backyard grave makes me wince.

On the other hand, it also makes me think of Grimm's fairy tales.  In those stories, children are never safe.  There are witches who want to bake and eat children, evil stepmothers who try to have their step-daughters killed, and ugly step-sisters who cut off their own toes in order to fit into glass slippers.  It's a cruel world out there, even on kids, and this used to be reflected in our stories all the time.

One of these Halloweens, I'm going to have to try to watch this film in chronological order.  I suspect it'll hold-up, as this third time around I kept noticing even more tiny little details that connected all of the stories together. (8/10)

Trick 'r Treat: The Lore and Legends of Halloween (2009)
This was the documentary on the Trick 'r Treat blu-ray.  It's half promotional video for the film and half a history of the origins of some Halloween traditions.  Though I'm clearly a huge Halloween nut, I haven't really read into the origins of the holiday since I was a kid.  It's fascinating to think that the whole "trick 'r treat" thing is such a recent invention.  Apparently, it was invented in the 1940s as a way to keep unruly kids from causing trouble on Halloween.  Clever, but I think the kids were even more clever when they moved their mischief to Devil's Night instead.

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