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TRICK (2019)

Directed by Patrick Lussier
Written by Todd Farmer, Patrick Lussier
Starring Jamie Kennedy, Omar Epps, Tom Atkins, Alex Breaux, Ellen Adair, Vanessa Aspillaga, Kristina Reyes, Thom Niemann, Todd Farmer, Gary J. Tunnicliffe, Aaron Dalla Villa, Dani Shay, Summer Crockett Moore, Hilary Greer, Jerome Charvet, Melody Hurd, Sasha Diamond, Robert G. McKay, Adrienne Rose Bengtsson, Kya Brickhouse, Max Miller, Raith Kell, Tony Mitchell, Robert M. Jimenez, Ana-Maria Corizo

Attempting to come up with a new Halloween film franchise is not a new thing. Ever since Carpenter was able to exploit the holiday into one of the most successful horror films ever, people have tried (and occasionally even been successful) to make new terrors set in the month of October. Unfortunately, I have found that the best horror films come out in months that aren’t October. I have also found that trying to make a new franchise about Halloween is impossible as HALLOWEEN has staked its claim on the holiday slasher for keeps. Try as they might, it just is an impossible task to best it. TRICK is the latest horror film trying to usurp the title of THE Halloween slasher.

For hazy reasons, a teen outcast named Patrick Weaver (Thom Niemann) flips out on Halloween and begins stabbing all of his fellow students at a Halloween party. No one really knows or likes Weaver in his class, but for some reason he has earned the name Trick. After murdering most of the kids at the party, Trick is shot by policeman Mike Denver (Omar Epps) and hospitalized. After a daring escape from the hospital, Trick disappears, but is assumed to be dead as he hasn’t resurfaced in a number of years since. Now it is Halloween night again and it appears Trick is up to his old…tricks (I hate myself for that one), forcing Denver and the rest of the police to be on alert as Trick tries to finish off the remaining partygoers who survived that fateful night, including the man who put him down, Denver himself.

I honestly can’t believe the team that brought us the frenzied but fun DRIVE ANGRY and the bodaciously awesome MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D shat out this turd of a movie. It wants desperately to make Trick a thing, but doesn’t really do any of the heavy lifting to give him any kind of interesting backstory to do it. He doesn’t even look interesting as he switches masks numerous times throughout the film and the only thing that makes him stand out is that he waves his special knife (with the word “TRICK” carved on it”) at his victims. This is supposed to be terrifying. Trick also seems to have teleportation powers, or so he’s like to make his victims and the audience think (it’s explained later with a swipe from another movie franchise). This hints at some kind of supernatural aspect added in, but none of it makes any sense. By the end of the film, TRICK tries to ape another Halloween film, SAW (which was a Halloween staple released in October for almost a decade) as an intricate plan it set up relying on a shit-ton of coincidences to occur to pull it off.

With a cast including Omar Epps, Tom Adkins, and MALIBU’S MOST WANTED’s Jamie Kennedy, one might think at least the acting is tops. Omar Epps tries to carry this film as the cop who is as obsessed with Trick as he is with him, but the scattershot plot fights him every step of the way. Tom Adkins is always great, but this film breaks the one rule of thumb; Tom Adkins must always, ALWAYS sleep with a woman much younger than him in every movie he is in. He doesn’t do it here and it makes for one of his most lackluster performances. And Jamie Kennedy is just…Jamie Kennedy (Nuff said).

I did appreciate the damage Trick does with his trusty knife. The swipes cause a huge amount of damage–think Wolverine’s claws from the comics. And there is some nice sound effects that go along with the stabby stabby. Still, it’s not enough to set this slasher apart from the herd.

The main problem here is the plot. It’s just all over the place, desperate to get you to love this nonsense killer with no backstory. Sometimes I can really get into a bad movie, but this one even lacks a fun factor. Everything about TRICK reeks of a desperate attempt to be relevant with dusty old ideas of what a slasher film should be. It could have been interesting as the film focuses more on the cops after Trick than the kids, but even that proves to be lackluster and without a spark of inspiration; simply using cop clichés instead of innovative moments.

I’m really disappointed with this film as it delivers hardly any scares, relies on a nonsensical plot, allows for no character from any of its cast, and yet still ends only with the hopes that everyone will be fawning over its coolness and demand a sequel. If I am to be forced to pick between TRICK and a year-old treat with hair and lint all over it, I’d choose the treat any old day. This one is the rock in Charlie Brown’s treat bag, folks. Avoid it.