Film Review: Trick (2019)

Rating: 18
Length: 1hr 40
Release: 18.10.2019 (No UK theatrical release)
Dir: Patrick Lussier
About: On Halloween night in 2015, Patrick `Trick’ Weaver massacred his classmates at a costume party. After being arrested, he managed to escape police custody, but not before being shot five times by Detective Mike Denver. Everyone believes Trick must be dead, but when a masked killer reappears the following Halloween, and every Halloween after that, they realise the nightmare is not over.


The Good

  • The film has an excellent, visceral, opening. With a bloodbath opening on par with 2009’s My Bloody Valentine, it doesn’t let up even when we change location.
  • The whole sequence on the docklands is frighteningly good. From the set up, the people involved and the effects.
  • Omar Epps is a great casting choice as the detective obsessed with the Trick killer. While the framing of the story doesn’t give him protagonist status, he really should be.

The Bad

  • Sheriff Lisa Jayne’s insistence that there’s no case when people are being slaughtered in the name of Trick, if not Trick himself, really is shit. Even if she doesn’t believe it is Trick, there are connections and Detective Denver shouldn’t be dismissed as much as he is.
  • What is said to Denver is very repetitive. Almost as if dialogue was copy and pasted. it gets old… fast.

The Ugly

  • Its way too disjointed and lacking any flow at all. By opening the film up on Cheryl and the massacre, it has implications that she’s the ‘final girl’; the protagonist. However, she’s missing from the narrative for over half of it and certainly has no impact upon the murders between the first and third act. This then means there’s no investment with the characters or the outcome.
  • This lack of coherent protagonist also means that everything feels really shallow. The lack of connection and screen time with the survivors means there’s no real backstory to Trick and the dismissive nature of the police and FBI means there’s no real investigation to clue us in to any motivation.
  • Jamie Kennedy having such prominent billing yet so little screen time does disappoint. It does also make the final scene a little too obvious and lacks the shock that was intended.
  • The ‘reason’ for the attacks is such bullshit. “No one needs a reason to be evil.” and “We do this because we can.” I mean, what the fuck?! While there is an element of the tv show The Following with this ending, but it just doesn’t match up with the rest of the film.

Final Thoughts

It was great to have a modern slasher to watch and this really did have potential. Its just a shame it didn’t follow through with the set up.

Cujo (1983)

Rating: 18
Length: 1hr 33
Release: 18.11.1963
Director: Lewis Teague
About: Donna, a suburban housewife along with her young son Tad, drives out to the home where a perturbed St Bernard is driven insane by rabies. She must now save herself and her son from a brutal attack.


The Good

  • The second half of this movie is incredible; it taps into basic fears and keeps the body count coming. While Cujo started off as a sweet Saint Bernard he quickly becomes a volatile, foaming-at-the-mouth fuzzy monster. There are two massive dog-related scares that left me petrified; the initial attack on the car and the attack on Donna.
  • There’s an incredible shot in which the camera does a number of 360 degree spins, the revolution getting faster than a teacup ride. It has a emotive and physical effect that is perfect for a horror.
  • The bats that bite Cujo are proper scary. Like the teeth and the hissing. If there was anyone I was invested in from the start, it was poor Cujo. He was having a nice time, chasing a rabbit. He gets bitten and no one cares. No one gets him to a vet. Poor Cujo. Poor, poor, Cujo.

The Bad

  • The music is rather tv-movie and a good chunk of it, doesn’t match the tone of the movie.
  • I feel as if something was missed out in regards to Donna and her views about dogs. Her reaction to Cujo when she meets him for the first time almost hints at a long standing fear or dislike. However, it’s never confirmed. Given that so much time is spent on exposition that had no value, I’m certain they could have dedicated a bit to this.
  • Donna makes some dumb-ass decisions, much like many people in horror movies.

The Ugly

  • The first half of the movie is total dog shit (excuse the pun). The film takes up over 40 minutes developing characters and I really don’t understand why. With the Camber family, the mother and son are built up to just disappear for the second act which feels a little pointless.
  • Then there’s the matter of the lead. What we learn about Donna in the first 45 minutes is that there are problems in her marriage, perhaps because of his stressful and totally BORING job. She’s ‘screwing around’ with her ex boyfriend. Yes, it gives us a final act misdirection when the husband is searching for her, but it also makes her an unlikable character who I am not invested in.
  • Tad, Tadpole, Tadders. The kid takes up a lot of the film and while research has suggested the opening scene has more significance within the book, it feels pointless. Although, I must admit I did like the way in which he prepared to launch himself into the bed once the light was turned out.

Final Thoughts

All in all, there’s way too much build up and not enough pay off. I’d have liked to have seen Donna and Tad get into their peril much earlier and perhaps one of the other deaths happening a little earlier.