A murderer whose calling card is a scratched-down horror story; a couple goes trick or treating and it quickly gets out of hand; a family brings home a witch to burn at the stake; a group of gutter punks find an easier way to come by food; a pair of police officers have a shady side business.
These are the stories told in 3 Dead Trick or Treaters, a silent horror anthology of short films all written and directed by Torin Langen. Four of the shorts exist within the framework of the first – a man discovers three recently dug graves, and pinned to each poorly-crafted cross are hand-written horror stories. As the man reads, the film transitions into the shorts. This works well in weaving the stories together and within a larger narrative, not letting the audience’s attention wane in the moments between shorts.
But in a film with no dialogue, it really hinges on two things: visuals and sound. Langen’s ever-moving and always-in-the-right-place camera adds to the almost claustrophobic tension within the shorts, which turns out to be an appropriate lead-up to the climax of the film. Both the score and sound design mesh so well with Langen’s camerawork and the stories.
Despite 3 Dead Trick or Treaters being split into five parts, you’ll walk away feeling like you’ve just experienced a complete package.
3 Dead Trick or Treaters screens at the Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival on:
Saturday, November 26 at 4:30 p.m. @ Toronto’s Cineplex Yonge and Dundas
For more information on the festival, visit the official BITS webpage here.
Buy tickets here.
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