4 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 3 minutes
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As Peter O’Brien’s short film Trick or Treat shows, Halloween is one of those holidays that people get really obsessive about. Like, dangerously obsessive. In this case, a homeless man (Steven Bendler) finds his youthful days of trick or treating over when people refuse to give him candy, despite his convincing “hobo costume.” Angered, he does the only rational thing a psychopath might think up to do.

Which I’m not going to spoil here, but let’s just say the film takes a brutal twist right into What the Fuckville. And at only three minutes, the short isn’t long enough to screw itself up anywhere; there’s the nice build and setup before the wonderfully dark climax, accented along the way by a great synth score.

Trick or Treat hits the beats it needs to hit and gets out of town before the “joke” gets old. Now, that doesn’t mean this is for everybody; the ending is definitely going to put some people off, and rightfully so. For me, I think the short came together for what it was, and left a nice, big, cinematic slap-bruise on my face, for better or worse.

Listen, I’m not saying we should feed someone’s insane obsession with Halloween, or any other obsession for that matter, but when you see the alternative, perhaps a piece of candy here or there would’ve been the better thing to do. Seriously, for all concerned, next time give the guy in the “hobo costume” a Snickers bar or something.

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Posted on March 7, 2013 in Reviews by

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