Plot: A hiker has stumbled upon what look to be makeshift grave markers, as crude crosses adorn the landscape, but when he gets a closer look, he discovers notes have been attached. As he reads the notes, the hiker learns the notes were left by an angry, disgruntled writer and detail three dark, horrific tales. The first involves older trick or treaters who approach the wrong house, while the second story centers on religious fanatics and one young man who struggles with the vicious actions, despite being the son of the zealots. Then we’re taken inside a group of desperate kids on the streets, who need to find consistent food to survive and seek out a better method than begging, opening the door to some unexpected consequences. Meanwhile, the hiker finds himself pulled into the writer’s tales of terror, but is he just a passerby who happened to see the notes or does the hiker himself have a role to play in the madness?
Entertainment Value: This indie horror anthology takes a bold approach to ensure it stands out from the crowd, as 3 Dead Trick or Treaters has no dialogue, not even basic exposition is handled with verbal elements. This isn’t a silent movie however, as we have music and some basic sound effects, but no dialogue and it keeps the focus on mood, which helps the stories a good deal. The narratives are a mixed bag, as most of these anthologies prove to be, but I think the first and second stories are well crafted, while the wraparound segments are also solid. The weak link is the third story Stash, which isn’t bad per se, but just isn’t memorable. And I think two out of three, with a solid bookend is quite good for the genre, especially for an indie movie like this one. The atmosphere is effective and benefits from the lack of dialogue, as there is an eerie emptiness that takes a bit to get used to. The cast performs well and doesn’t exaggerate to compensate, which produces natural, believable efforts. The two hipster cops were questionable, but otherwise, the cast is better than you might expect. This one is a little rough in places, but I admire the ambition and overall, 3 Dead Trick or Treaters is a movie indie horror fans should appreciate.
No nakedness. This one also doesn’t have much blood, but that isn’t an issue, as the movie is geared more toward atmosphere than slasher style violence. A little crimson is splashed around, but there’s no real gore or much kinetic violence, just some drips and drabs. Again though, the nature of the approach and the stories themselves aren’t primed for insane levels of bloodshed. As the movie has no dialogue, the low score should be obvious, as you need some lines to earn some points. But the score isn’t a knock on the flick, as the no vocals approach works out well enough. As for craziness, the tone here is serious throughout, save the ridiculous hipster cops. So again, the low score isn’t an indictment, as the tone just doesn’t have room for wackiness.
Overall Insanity: 1/10
The Disc: Videonomicon has released 3 Dead Trick or Treaters on Blu-ray and the movie looks great, with a clean, crisp visual presence throughout. This might have been a low budget shoot, but the flick looks so good here, with more depth and detail than you might expect. The colors lean toward the warmer side, which matches the Halloween vibes, while contrast is stark and consistent. The extras include director Torin Langen’s video introduction, while he also returns for not one, but two audio commentary tracks, the second of which also includes producer Eric Repke. If you have an interest in indie horror or indie film in general, these tracks shed some light on the experience and are well worth a listen. You can also check out an audio interview with Langen and composer Stephen Schooley, deleted scenes, a storyboard comparison, some still photos, and the film’s trailer.