Director – Torin Langen (Late Night Double Feature, Curse of the Bog Zombie)
Starring – Holden Levack, Jeremy Charles Singer, and Raven Cousens (Dead Rush, Zombieworld)
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 3/5
Horror fans are often blinded by Halloween flicks. I absolutely love Halloween and most of you know how I feel about horror during the month of October. Just because Halloween is approaching it doesn’t mean you binge watch any horror. You have to indulge in Halloween movies. I don’t care if they are kids movies. If its about Halloween you can bet your sweet ass and half a tit that I’m down to watch it. Just like myself, many indie filmmakers are Halloween fans as well and sometimes set their films against the backdrop of Halloween.
Most horror fans go rabid for these films and get caught up in the nostalgia the film has to offer. They often praise these films when they are nothing more than a quick cash grab with no redeeming qualities other than being another Halloween flick to work into your movie marathon rotation every October. A few weeks ago I saw people on social media sharing copies of an indie anthology 3 Dead Trick or Treaters from Videonomicon. The film looked fun but looks can often be deceiving. I reached out to my friends in the north and they were kind enough to send a review copy my way. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler alert**The film follows a paperboy who comes across three shallow graves with Halloween masks on the crosses marking them. Pinned to each cross is a story written by a man who has lost touch with reality. The first story is Fondue involved some teens who don’t have a sweet tooth but are in the mood for something a little more…savory.
The second tale is Malleus Maleficarium follows a religious group who takes the bible literally resulting in a modern day witch hunt. The third story is Stash and follows a group of homeless twenty-something’s who wait for Halloween so they can get bags of candy but soon find themselves with meat on their mind. The fourth and final tale is Delivery follows two cops looking for a missing person but they have ulterior motives in mind.**Spoiler Alert**
I love a good horror anthology and I love them even more when the wrap around story works with all the stories. I recently watched the Halloween centered anthology The Witching Season and really loved how they approached the stories but was not a fan at the film’s lack of a wraparound segment to tie everything together. 3 Dead Trick or Treaters does have something to tie the film together but it’s not as enjoyable as some of the other anthologies I’ve seen.
The acting in this one is phenomenal. The film is mostly void of dialogue but there is plenty of sounds of anguish and pain. The acting is unconventional but the cast approaches it flawlessly and delivers some truly chilling performances.
The stories for this one somewhat piggy back off each other with only one or two offering up something different. Like most anthologies, this one has some that are better than others. The religious tale is my favorite. I grew up in the bible belt and relocated after college but still found myself apart of it. As a person with no religious beliefs I find religion to be the scariest thing imaginable. This story really stuck out to me because of that. The two cannibal tales were fun for what they were but one would have sufficed. They pretty much similar plot outlines and feel repetitive. I also enjoyed the cop tale with the human trafficking of sorts. With power like that comes corruption and this story also sends chills down my spine at the thought of abusive power like that.
Finally, this film is fucking gruesome. It does not shy away from blood and gore. The kills are not that original when you consider the subject but the effects are great. In fact, I was not expecting the quality of effects that we are given. Overall, 3 Dead Trick or Treaters is a solid horror anthology for the month of October. Some of the stories do repeat but that doesn’t take away from the overall film. This is a beautiful and brooding indie horror film that I highly recommend. Check it out.