It’s Hallowe’en night, October 31st 2015, and in Benton, New York, the screams are those of joy as the sky darkens, the younger children heading home with their parents clutching their candy, the older kids moving onto parties, trick or treat replaced with drinking games and spin the bottle, except instead of a bottle Patrick Weaver prefers to play with a knife…

With five dead at the scene and four more injured, two of them critical, it was only when high school football player Troy tackled “Trick” with a fireplace poker that he was subdued, but taken to hospital for treatment he escapes from his restraints, the rampage continuing until he is brought down with a hail of bullets from Sheriff Lisa Jayne and Detective Mike Denver.

Falling through the hospital window into the river, Trick’s body is never found, but online the reputation of Trick blossoms darkly as each year the killings start again further down the river, Riverton in 2016, Hudson Village in 2017, Shady Creek in 2018, Denver always one step behind and convinced that these are not copycat killings, that Trick is still out there and taunting him.

Directed by Drive Angry‘s Patrick Lussier from a script co-written with Jason X‘s Todd Farmer, despite being released out of season Trick makes the most of its Hudson Valley locations in southern New York state, leafy boroughs of classic architecture, dilapidated industrial sites and of course the river itself, linking the towns in the bloody flow of Trick’s “performance art” as he manifests and vanishes as the seasons change.

Surprisingly nasty and inventive in the mayhem, unlike so many similarly themed films the police are competent, led by Homeland‘s Ellen Adair as Sheriff Jayne and Shooter‘s Omar Epps as Detective Denver while the familiar genre presences of Tom Atkins and Jamie Kennedy offer support, and nor are the locals perfect Hollywood Hills faces, adding to the genuine sense of place and the impact of the wounds in the bodies and the communities.

The premise of Trick perhaps nothing new, its strength is in the execution, the Hallowee’n setting meaning neither the audience nor the characters are ever sure what is decoration and what is threat, the audience sat like zombies in a screening of Night of the Living Dead oblivious to the real deaths around them; a cut above the standard slasher, the cult of Trick starts here.

Trick will be available on digital download from 30th March



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