reviewed by Matt Hayden
Rating: Not Rated
Director: Patrick Lussier
Premiere Date (Streaming): Oct 18, 2019
Trick is a 2019 American slasher horror film that came out in time for Halloween that same year. The storyline follows a spate of murders that take place on Halloween every year from 2015 to 2019, with a focus on the final year.
Trick stars Omar Epps, Thom Niemann, and Kristina Reyes. And despite the star power, Trick doesn’t have much going on except for the murders. The story is contrived, though it fits with what we as an audience have come to accept as a slasher film. But the main issue is that despite a promising premise, our interest peaks within the initial 30 minutes.
We get straight into the action with a murder party, followed by a spree inside a hospital, (with open questions around powers that an individual can have and where they may have received the type of training while remaining off the grid). But over the course of the film it’s impossible to maintain interest.
As the story unfolds, we see nothing broader than the derivative tropes of the genre: murders, blood, calling out the police, a killer who seems a step ahead of the authorities, and the cultlike following the killer has garnered online. Possibly, the cult element was the most interesting, though it failed to keep my interest, or even maintain a focus on anything of real novelty.
Sadly, the film focused instead on blood. The murders continue to get more and more gruesome, between decapitations, slashing across faces, lost fingers, and a battle between our protagonist and the subsequent antagonist. Though Trick had all the things needed to grab our attentions and create a film that could have matched some of the lore seen in the Halloween films, the execution failed. Instead, we end up with a mashup of horror tropes, some questionable camera placement which take the viewer out of the experience, and—in the opening 15 or so minutes—some terrible editing that was way too quick for the scenes that were taking place, which removed any interest I had in trying to keep up with who was being killed. The film took me three sittings to get through in its entirety, which was disappointing as the short description I had read piqued my interest. My high hopes came crashing down.