Effectively Fun Slasher

Has another Halloween legend been born? Director Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine) hopes so with the wickedly fun Trick. The slasher stars Omar Epps (House) as a determined cop, hunting a ruthless killer who began his murder spree with a high school party massacre. Every following Halloween, the masked killer returns to claim more victims.

The cast includes Jamie Kennedy, Tom Atkins, Kristina Reyes, and Ellen Adair. The film reunites Omar Epps and Jamie Kennedy, who starred together in Scream 2.

Relentlessly paced and filled with a constant stream of slasher set pieces, Lussier’s experienced hands crafts a horror movie heavily inspired by Scream and other slashers. Trick may be derivative but puts its thrills together with a nice twist. Patrick “Trick” Weaver was just another quiet high school kid when he massacres almost everyone at a costume party, wearing a uniquely two-sided pumpkin mask.

Apprehended by the police, Trick escapes into the New York night after being shot by Detective Mike Denver (Omar Epps). Believed dead, he possibly resurfaces when a masked killer shows up again the following Halloween. Only the detective thinks Trick has returned. The sheriff thinks it’s an imitator spoofing him.

… all the blood and on-screen death needed to please gore fans

Omar Epps is good as the frustrated detective following the case, even as it costs him friends and allies. The other primary protagonist is Cheryl (Kristina Reyes), a high school student who survives Trick’s original massacre. Character actor Tom Atkins also has a part that will please horror fans. Jamie Kennedy’s role as a doctor at the hospital is more of a token supporting character and not a main character. Trick reunites Omar Epps and Jamie Kennedy, who starred together in Scream 2.

Nothing about Trick is particularly original. What it does well is deliver fantastically designed set pieces for a slasher, including all the blood and on-screen death needed to please gore fans. The action rarely lets up in the thriller, even when the plot suffers.

Trick is a cinematic experience that starts falling apart if you can’t suspend your disbelief. The enjoyable thrill-ride has a few plot holes that some viewers won’t look beyond. This is a movie about placing pivotal characters in danger and letting the adrenaline from their impending doom take over.


Trick doesn’t attempt to go overboard with moody cinematography like some horror movies. This is a slasher with solid definition and clarity, without the razor-sharp gloss of big-budget Hollywood fare.

RLJ Entertainment provides a fine transfer of the movie that likely reproduces the filmmaker’s intentions. Its palette may be on the muted side but the contrast holds up fairly well with strong black levels. Nothing of note is lost in the constant shadows and dark settings.

The 2.35:1 presentation has consistent picture quality in clean condition. The 1080P video has serviceable fine detail despite a real lack of depth to the cinematography. There are no major artifacts in the stout AVC encode, as the 100-minute main feature gets a BD-25 to itself.


Trick has killer 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio and I was wondering how this indie horror slasher had such effective sound design. The movie’s design and mixing was handled by Skywalker Sound, the sound division of Lucasfilm.

Music is nicely spread throughout the soundstage with a full, lively presence. Directionality is tastefully used and rear cues provide the usual audio frights. Dialogue is nicely balanced with a dynamic, active mix that comes alive when needed.

Optional English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles play in a white font, always inside the 2.35:1 widescreen presentation.


Distributed by RLJ Entertainment, Trick arrives on Blu-ray with a nice slipcover. A making-of featurette and trailers for other horror movies from the label round out the bonus features. Trick’s own trailer apparently was left off.

The Making of Trick (14:48 in HD) – Interviews with director Patrick Lussier and several lead cast members dominate this decent featurette that delves into the movie’s background and casting. A commentary by Lussier would have been nice but this is good enough for what is basically a straightforward slasher.

Mayhem Trailer (02:00 in HD) – Plays before the main menu.

Monster Party Trailer (01:34 in HD) – Plays before the main menu.

The Shed Trailer (01:48 in HD) – Plays before the main menu.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

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Experienced genre director Patrick Lussier crafts an immensely fun thrill-ride with an interesting new villain.

User Review
3 (2 votes)

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