This movie starting on Halloween 2015, a college costume party looks like your typical full night of drinking and flirting. That is, if you consider playing “Spin the Giant Dagger” a typical substitute for “Spin the Bottle.” As quick as the game started, it pivots into a night of stabbings and bloodshed, but that’s just the beginning and if you don’t believe just watch it online. The anonymous killer is injured and brought to the hospital, only to find that he’s untraceable and has no family. When he disappears out of the window a la Michael Meyers, it appears improbable anyone will ever see him again… until he reappears next Halloween.
For the next three years, on Halloween night, the killed named “Trick” comes back to this sleepy town in upstate New York to torment and kill. His motives are unknown and it seems impossible to stop him. When Halloween 2019 rolls in and detective Mike Denver (Omar Epps) is about to leave town, he finds that he just free download and can’t escape without trying to trap Trick one last time.
The things that Trick gets right, it gets very right. The kills and the element of surprise keep it a quickly moving fright fest. Though a few exposition scenes slow down the blood flow, the short 97 minute running time is generally focused on more mayhem than drama.
Trick is also one of the rare horror films to feature a haunted house that’s actually scary. Too often we’re forced to live vicariously through frightened characters because we can’t quite understand why they’re so scared by the amusement attraction. Here, we have an honest to goodness creepy time for audience and characters alike.
Where Trick falls flat, however, is the inconsistent mythology. This hoodie boogeyman appears only at a single location on Halloween for four years running, but on the fifth year suddenly starts killing ahead of that date. It makes no sense. As we get to learn more about Trick, the killer becomes more interesting, but the internal inconsistencies of the self-imposed pattern are baffling.