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‘Trick’ Review: Dir. Patrick Lussier [Frightfest Halloween]

Trick review: The gritty cop serial killer thriller and teen slasher genres collide in the latest horror offering from director Patrick Lussier. 

In Trick, Omar Epps stars as Detective Denver whom becomes obsessed with a spate of killings that span several years and all happen around All Hallow’s Eve. After initially capturing the assailant, Patrick ‘Trick’ Weaver, Denver finds himself part of a manhunt after Trick escapes. A gunfight ensues and Trick falls to his death. A year later the killings begin again and Denver is convinced that Trick is responsible. The years pass by and the murders continue, leading Denver to believe that not only is Trick not dead, he might be supernatural in origin.

Trick begins well, but the concept doesn’t seem to have been fully fleshed out before being put onto the screen, meaning that before long everything gets rather muddled. The opening twenty minutes follows the murders and Denver through the years, with each massacre becoming more lavish and intricately constructed. But then as we arrive in the present year, the wheels start to come off. As the film progresses, we stray away from Denver and his fellow investigators in favour of meeting random townsfolk such as Tom Atkins’ Talbott, and survivors of the original massacre with whom Trick has a score to settle. This shift in focus is confusing; were we to have been checking in on these characters in the interim years as we did with Denver, it wouldn’t be as jarring, but as it stands it just leaves you a little confused as to who everyone is. The sudden influx of characters also means that most don’t get any real story arc. The characters of Nicki and Troy are brought back from the beginning only to have their involvement just taper off.

Strongest during it’s first half when it’s channelling ScreamSeven and SawTrick slowly runs out of steam, evaporating into generic cliches. There’s plenty of attempts to subvert expectations, but the more we progress, the easier they are to spot and the impact of them is dulled considerably. We fall into the pitfall of too many plot holes and giant leaps of logic, and it’s here that the previous good work begins to come unstuck.

This is a film that feels like it was made a couple of drafts of the script too early. Trick entertains the viewer, at least during its opening act, but fails to engage them overall.

Trick was reviewed at Arrow Video Frightfest Halloween 2019. 

Kat Hughes is a UK born film critic and interviewer who has a passion for horror films. An editor for THN, Kat is also a Rotten Tomatoes Approved Critic. She has bylines with Ghouls Magazine, Arrow Video, Film Stories, Certified Forgotten and FILMHOUNDS and has had essays published in home entertainment releases by Vinegar Syndrome and Second Sight. When not writing about horror, Kat hosts micro podcast Movies with Mummy along with her five-year-old daughter.


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