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Trick? or Treat?

average rating is 3 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Jun 11, 2024

Film Reviews
Trick?  or Treat?
Directed by:
Mikey McManus
Written by:
Linda Hullinger
Alastair Rennie, Dani Vilu

The director Mikey McManus and writer Linda Hullinger build up an intriguing screenplay around the concept of Halloween to provide a sense of nostalgia bringing back a lot of memories so the makers want to increase the degree of audience engagement forming an instant connection with the content. Alastair Rennie (Jack) and Dani Vilu (Anna) give life to the vision of Mickey McManus making the short film stay with the viewers even though the running time of Trick or Treat? is less than fifteen minutes.


The plot of Trick? or Treat? revolves around a Halloween package with no return address bringing a desperate woman an unexpected gift of freedom.


The short film begins with a close-up shot of Anna’s face followed by a mid-shot and a long shot of her house where we see her all dressed up and thinking about life. The set design, white, and black colour pallet with a tint of orange to signify the theme, dim lighting, camera angles, sound, dialogues, costume, hair, makeup, and props elevate the subject matter and adds depth, realism, and relatability to the film. The creative team utilises elements like loud banging on the door, shouting, and eerie sounds in the background to indicate sadness as well as fear that the female protagonist Anna is trying to battle with every day.


In terms of performance, Alastair Rennie plays Jack husband of Anna who is a strict control freak partner concentrating only on fulfilling his physical and emotional needs and not bothering about Anna at all. Rennie with the style of dialogue delivery, voice modulation, body language, facial expressions, and eyes portrays his aggressive, dominant, and rude behaviour making the actor’s effort more efficient as well as effective in the horror genre.

Dani Vilu plays the role of Anna who is the leading lady trapped in an abusive marriage but she doesn’t dare to break free from it to seek freedom for life. Vilu demonstrates a range of emotions Anna goes through with every twist and turn in the storyline. The tone of voice and timid responses of Anna to Jack are performed beautifully by the young actress to give the audience a chance to build an emotional connection with Anna so that the character stays with the viewers even after the movie finishes.


Trick? or Treat? talks about removing all the masks, recognizing oneself facing all the fears concentrating on happiness, mental health and not giving anyone else the power to destroy/ ruin the same in any way or form. The short film reiterates there can be good spirits that can ward off bad omens and provide protection from them and the only thing one can do is have faith in the good spirit and also themselves. The cinematic piece highlights the importance of self-love as well as doing what one loves in life because it helps people survive through hard times by being motivated to take up any challenge in the future that life throws at them. The creative piece tells its audience that life always gives choices and it is all about choosing the right one as per situation as well as time.

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film
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