October 14, 2019 Trick (Movie Review)
Trick or treat? From the director of 2009’s My Bloody Valentine and 2011’s Drive Angry comes Trick, starring Omar Epps and Jamie Kennedy in a brand new reason to be terrified this Halloween. RLJE Films begin to splash the blood into select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on Friday, October 18th, 2019.
On Halloween night in 2015, the “smart af” and “so quiet” Patrick “Trick” Weaver (Thom Niemann: The Deuce series, Inside the Rain 2019), wearing a two-faced pumpkin mask, massacred a group of his classmates at a costume party while playing Spin the Bottle. Alas, feisty ladies Cheryl (Kristina Reyes: Shades of Blue series, Blindspot series) and Nicki (Kya Brickhouse: Darling short 2017, The Red Line series), along with the obnoxious jock Troy (Max Miller: Dead Sound 2018, Jessica Jones series), had the misfortune of surviving. Even Trick died soon after, shot multiple times by Detective Mike Denver (Epps: Love & Basketball 2000, House series) and Sheriff Lisa Jayne (Ellen Adair: Homeland series, The Sinner series) before falling two stories and then disappearing into the Hudson River.
But if Trick is really and truly dead, then who is the masked killer that reappears in 2016 and then every Halloween thereafter in towns along the Hudson? With Denver and Jayne still frustrated as they doggedly pursue the case and the bodies continually stacking up, they will be forced to ask themselves if it’s possible that Trick has managed to resurrect himself from the dead to create the ultimate Halloween nightmare.
Clocking in at 100 minutes, Trick was directed by Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine 2009, Drive Angry 2011) and written by Lussier with Todd Farmer (Jason X 2001, My Bloody Valentine 2009). It features the acting talents of an extensive cast that also includes the aforementioned Kennedy (Scream 1996, Son of the Mask 2005), Tom Atkins (The Fog 1980, Halloween III: Season of the Witch 1982), Robert G. McKay (The Post 2017, Ocean’s Eight 2018), Vanessa Aspillaga (Law & Order series, Morning Glory 2010), Dani Shay (The Civility of Albert Cashier Live 2017, Shooting Star short 2019), Jerome Charvet (United Passions 2014, Viper Club 2018), Jahmarley Isaiah Smith, Melody Hurd (Battle at Big Rock short 2019), and more.
Billed as a Horror-Thriller, Trick is a Slasher Horror flick that boldly introduces a new villain into the upper echelon of nightmares. A smart teenager who suffered at the hands of his classmates, Trick, the character, is part Michael Myers and somehow also part Jason Voorhees. Masked and out to turn his bloody vengeance into a performance art, he is literally the ‘bad guy next door’, the unsuspecting, mild-mannered neighbor who, unable to take the emotional weight anymore, simply flips out. But does evil ever really need a motive?
With endless action from its first moments, Trick is definitely not a slow-burn offering, and its ensemble cast does a wonderful job in their myriad roles to keep the thrills coming, with Epps leading the pack as the determined Detective Denver. A proven talent, he lends a likability to his character, the detective assigned to Trick’s bizarre case who is prepared to pursue it all the way to the end. Bloodied and ferocious in his perseverance, Epps provides the anchor for his co-stars to contribute their stand-out performances. In quite the contradictory role, but with an equally impressive performance, Niemann’s cold-blooded genius is wholly unnerving, mostly due to the talented actor’s ability to appear completely unassuming, dare it be said almost likable, all while presenting an eerie darkness in his eyes.
Make no mistake, the women of Trick are fierce! Adair and Reyes receive the bulk of the screen time, and while they play very different roles—a local sheriff and a college student haunted by her past—both ladies go all in with their performances and craft two very strong and bold characters. Whereas Horror of the past tended to provide women with meager supporting roles, if that, Trick allows Adair and Reyes to truly shine. That little Melody Hurd? She is adorably sassy in her role as Nicki’s frightened little sister Janice.
With several jump-scares, practical effects, and plenty of nods to the past, Trick blends many of the best elements of Horror, old and new, to forge its own path within the genre. Certainly a film that is crafted for those that love an antihero—and some gruesomely creative deaths in broad daylight—this is one Halloween-themed offering that boldly introduces a potential new franchise while delivering a bag full of treats… or is it all just tricks? Hoping to avoid playing Spin the Knife this October 31st, Cryptic Rock give Trick 4.5 of 5 stars. Psst, when should we expect the sequel?