TRICK / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: PATRICK LUSSIER / SCREENPLAY: TODD FARMER, PATRICK LUSSIER / STARRING: OMAR EPPS, JAMIE KENNEDY, ELLEN ADAIR, TOM ATKINS / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 30TH
When a game of spin the, uh, knife goes wrong, troubled teen Patrick 'Trick' Weaver freaks out at the prospect of having to kiss a dude and instead busts out into an impromptu stabbing frenzy. Talk about gay panic to the extreme. Stabbed by his classmates and then shot (five times!) by detective Mike Denver (Epps), Trick pulls the full Mike Myers by disappearing, presumed dead, only to return every Halloween to kill off the cop's colleagues and friends. It's like doing five Halloween sequels, back to back. Can Denver bring in (or take down) a killer that his colleagues and superiors don't even believe exist?
Co-writer Todd Farmer (Jason X) and Patrick Lussier's seasonal slasher film shares more DNA with their My Bloody Valentine remake and the Saw franchise than John Carpenter's classic. Their kills are clean and inventive - a combination of death trap and stabby slasher action. Epps makes for a workmanlike, if overly stoic hero, burdened with a slightly embarrassing script and a weird story structure that misses out on whole years of his life at a time. None of the characters are particularly interesting - not even Trick himself, in spite of a variety of creepy masks and violent kill sequences. That the killer manages to run rings around Denver and the cops is a bit too hard to swallow, but Lussier makes up for it with multiple twists and red herrings. Turning the monster into a Joker-like internet antihero is a nice touch, and one that the film could have done more with.
Amongst Trick's various other treats are cameos from Scream star Jamie Kennedy and cult icon Tom Atkins. Slasher fans will enjoy the ample gore and violence on show, which Lussier certainly doesn't skimp on. As with his My Bloody Valentine and Drive Angry, this film is a one trick pony, but a reasonably entertaining one.