February 11, 2020  (Web Review)

Trick

RLJ, 101 min., not rated, DVD: $27.99, Blu-ray: $28.99, Dec. 17

Reviewer rating: 1.5/4

Filmmaker Patrick Lussier’s homage to John Carpenter’s Halloween is—to employ the expected cliché—no treat. The plot centers around Patrick, a high school student who goes berserk at a costume party, knifing several of his classmates (to death). He is shot multiple times while trying to escape by Detective Denver (Omar Epps) and Sheriff Jayne (Ellen Adair), eventually falling from a third-story window. But—gasp!—he disappears, having apparently crawled into a nearby river, where he presumably drowned. The following year, however, a similar massacre occurs on Halloween at a neighboring town. Denver is certain that Patrick is the killer, but others believe a copycat is responsible. When yet another massacre occurs the following October, Denver enlists Jayne in a mission to track Patrick down. But they prove to be remarkably inept: not only civilians but their own law enforcement colleagues wind up dead, some killed in extraordinarily brutal ways (the gore is quite profuse). Nevertheless, the villain is eventually unmasked, and in a ridiculously complicated finale, the truth about the slayings is revealed in an utterly risible twist. Not recommended. (F. Swietek)