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The Wrong Homage

Trick follows a determined detective (Omar Epps) on his quest to stop a seemingly immortal serial killer named Trick. After is apparent death, mounting copycat murders continue to happen around Halloween. Convinced it is somehow still Trick at work, detective Denver tries to catch him before he kills again...and again.

Trick Review

Every horror fan loves Halloween and therein Halloween. It's a staple of horror and one that all slasher films are compared. But when you put your slasher during the dark holiday, the microscope zooms in even further. On the surface, the Halloween holiday seems like a gimme for horror success, but it actually poses a lot of issues. Halloween is the hallowed ground of horror films and it is far too often abused.

Trick is a good example of abusing Halloween. The film feels like a made-for-TV movie produced in the mid-90s, which is not the kind of homage you want to remind a horror fan of. The mid-90s were full of camp and cheese and most of the films lacked the heart and corporeal feel of the 80s. It was this awkward period in horror between the camp-tastic practical effects-laden 80s and the teen angst-heavy horror of the late 90s. The mid-90s couldn't decide if they wanted to stick with practical effects or branch off into CG. They wanted to go bigger and badder than the 80s, but regularly used daylight action sequences and poorly executed technologies to be the focal point of the horror and drama and it just felt awkward.

Trick feels like that, with abysmal writing, acting, and this mid-90s-esque cinematography and camera work that feels like a weak sequel to an imagination-less Wishmaster than even being considered an unoriginal Halloween rip-off. Trick doesn't even do enough to be considered a cowardly copy of the holiday themed slasher. It has virtually no bite and the dialogue is cringeworthy.

If there is any redeemable quality, it is in the attempt to create some fun kills. It kind of succeeds, but again it uses daylight sequences that dilute any tension and camera work that avoids any real visceral moments in the kills. What's the point of a slasher movie that is supposed to amp up the kills if everything is just...bland?

And if you have a weak script, the mystery of it all just never delivers. And in this case, the "twist" just feels schlocky. As the final act kicked in, I was just relieved for it to soon be over.

It seems harsh, but Trick just wasn't worth the time and I only finished it to be able to properly write a review. I'd skip this one and just rewatch something better, like maybe a Friday the 13th marathon that you could do on Shudder right now, or do Haunt if you haven't caught that one yet because it does the Halloween slasher realm some justice.

Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 8/10

Horror Quality: 4/10 Film Quality: 2/10

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