Eureka! After blogging about a bunch of highly disappointing Halloween themed horror movies for 2019 (which have already been added to the complete holiday horror page), it’s the final two releases that are the winners and will definitely be making it into my movie collection. Here’s a quick look at what to expect from Trick and 10/31 Part 2.
An opening massacre at a Halloween party seemed to promise a movie that would be too good to be true. It was really good, and that’s the truth. The director of My Bloody Valentine and Hulu’s Into the Dark installment Flesh & Blood doesn’t fuck around with Trick. It was all a treat for me.
HOLY SHIT! This is a non-stop slice and slash Halloween flick. Omar Epps plays a detective hunting down Trick, a seemingly supernatural killer who comes back every year to make mincemeat out of a new pile of people and becomes a man of mythological proportions on the Internet.
The action never ends as Trick taunts and terrorizes detectives in between hacking up victims each Halloween night, only to disappear for another year.
Trick is also a big fan of the holiday who delivers the seasonal spirit big time, plus there are plenty of suspenseful moments, but it’s not so much scary as it is a murder marathon.
Also in the film are Jamie Kennedy as a doctor…
…and Tom Atkins as an extraneous character who seems to be written into the movie just so they can have Tom Atkins in the movie acting very Tom Atkins. But he’s not too much of a distraction from the much more important focus of the movie.
While Trick may at first seem to be moving too fast and furious to have much of a story or character development, it actually comes together quite tightly with a really fresh, rockin’ twist at the end.
As a bonus, Trick introduced me to a new song for my Future Flashbacks modern wave show: “Lesson Learned” by Pale Honey.
10/31 Part 2 (2019)
The first 10/31 Halloween anthology was a blind buy for me, and I was quite satisfied. 10/31 Part 2 isn’t on physical media yet, so I had to rent the stream. While the completist in me demands that I own it if it does hit DVD or Blu, it’s definitely not as good as the first film, but it does have its moments, and sees the return of its horror hostess.
Here’s the breakdown of stories:
The faux trailers that open the film are super tight and nail the 80s with the style and type of synth score that made the first film so good. Honestly, most of them were more satisfying than a majority of the tales in this sequel. Now on to the stories.
1st story – Save the best for first. This one is so strong that all the others just can’t live up to it. A babysitter invites her heavy metal boyfriend over…and they discover something alive in the basement. Things get quite brutal and awesomely macabre. There seems to be a perfect zinger moment for the story to end, but then it keeps going! It’s much more complicated than it needed to be, however, even the extended story is totally satisfying and freaky.
2nd story – This tale was agonizing. A guy picks up a hitchhiker on Halloween who isn’t quite right. It’s virtually entirely dialogue driven, and there’s way too much uninteresting exposition. It was like listening to an audiobook rather than watching a movie.
3rd story – This campy throwaway backwoods slasher spoof is fun, short, and silly.
4th story – Another slasher spoof about killers on the prowl on Halloween night, this one takes a while to get to its point…and then its point takes a bit too long to make its point, causing much of the humor to overstay its welcome. Sure, it could have been tightened up a bit, but the concept of the twist is good stuff, there are loads of kills, and it’s all about the holiday. Two highlights for me were a guy in Daisy Dukes…
…and my Facebook buddy David E. McMahon in one of the lead roles!
5th story – The fifth story is very metaphorical with a hellbent religious angle. A young nun must face her demons after she gives in to sin. Some gory bits and a clever tie-in to the first and best story make this a strong way to bookend the movie.