By Kenny Hedges
Too often, a film with great energy and thrust loses its way, hitting a mid-point slog or going off on unfortunate tangents. It’s surprising then, that Patrick Lussier’s Trick has the opposite problem: it could do itself a favour and take a breath.
While playing a perverted version of spin the bottle called “Spin the knife” teenager Patrick “Trick” Weaver takes his turn, instead grabbing the weapon and going on a gruesome rampage on Halloween, 2016. After being wounded and hospitalized, Trick breaks free, continuing his rampage and getting shot out of a window by Detective Mike Denver (Omar Epps). With no body found, Denver always suspects he somehow survived.
That’s within the first five minutes of the film, mind you. It’s ambitious, it’s gruesome and unforgiving. Next thing you know, it’s a year later and a Trick-like figure goes on another spree before disappearing.
That’s Trick’s handicap. While it’s almost refreshing to see what Lussier and co-writer Todd Farmer are trying to do, what they excell in with violence and gore they lack in character development. We barely have time to get to know anyone before they’re dead, or another year has passed and a new spree must be endured.
Despite that, it’d be a lie to say the film doesn’t have fun. With his brief screentime, Lussier regular and horror icon Tom Atkins plays his grumbling old self, and the murders are appropriately mean-spirited.
Ultimately, however, the film betrays that with a fairly obvious twist and an all-too upbeat ending that would better serve itself for a TV pilot.