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I loved the characters in Halloween crime thriller Trick Or Treat, particularly brand-new dad and ex-criminal Greg – that moans so much about the dullness that life v a wife and brand-new baby that doesn’t also let increase while driving round v brutal henchman Clarence in a search to uncover his ne’er-do-well brother Dan, and hence conserve his tiny family native death.

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Greg (Craig Kelly) comes throughout as one of those males who cases they’re babysitting as soon as their wife leaves the residence to popular music to the shops.

To be fair that’s no all he’s struggling with. Having moved back to Blackpool from London, he has actually no job, and also still hasn’t reconciled himself to a lifetime of psychic visions despite his fed-up wife Gemma (Maimie McCoy) telling him “you’re no a visionary, you’re an ex-raver that necked too numerous pills”.

Luckily while i can’t say ns really cared what would occur to Greg, the didn’t influence my enjoyment at all. While there are worries with the film’s start and also ending, I was absolutely gripped by the twists, turns and red herrings, many of which job-related well.

It’s Halloween and the day prior to Greg’s 45th birthday. A couple of trick-or-treaters rotate up, then a weird Scottish Grim Reaper, though Greg gives as an excellent as he gets. He gets pack of semi-mystical codswallop and gives the guy what looks prefer a cacao eyeball. (That’s not a euphemism by the way. It’s Halloween candy, as the american say.)

Then his brothers Dan turns up, that he hasn’t watched in months after a fall-out. Dan thinks he’s accidentally killed someone, and also has put the body in his automobile boot, however things go from poor to worse when two men turn up from Greg’s previous life as a Blackpool gangster: the suave and well-dressed Clarence (Shaun Parkes) and Lesley (Jamie Sives), a silent bearded colleague who later on turns the end to it is in well-versed in the works of Marcus Aurelius (“that fella in ‘Gladiator\"” states Greg, speaking for every one of us really).

Dan’s victim is none various other than Baxter, the grown-up child of local crime boss miss out on Ferguson (a gleeful Frances Barber, clearly having a ball). And also as a fellow middle-aged woman, seeing miss out on Ferguson fear the life daylights out of both Greg and Clarence made mine Halloween.

It turns out Greg is an ex-criminal who got out of this world, however Greg, I should tell you, if you dip so lot as a pinky back into this pond, you might well uncover something get out and also drags you back into that depths. Sorry, I come over all John Wick there for a minute.

This is Blackpool not new York, and the nearest they need to The continental Hotel is a dark red restaurant whereby Dan’s ex-girlfriend Karen (Jessamine-Bliss Bell, an absolute hoot) makes her living as a living platter, lie naked top top a table while stag weekenders eat sushi and fruit off her body.

Well at least it’s healthy. The last time ns went to Blackpool, in about 1996, they’d have been noshing chips and also extra batter off she boobs.

And when Greg would more than likely love to be the north West’s answer to Wick, what’s interesting is the he plainly really loved gift a gangster and misses the life, even as his family’s resides are in ~ stake.

We know early that Dan is a liar, his story about how he came to have a human body in the car changing quickly. Later Greg, supplied to having the upper hand in the connection with his brother, starts come wonder whether the whole thing is an elaborate scam, after he’s told the Dan is having actually an affair v Gemma.

The manuscript pulls us this way and that: is Greg is being set up for this reason Gemma and also Dan deserve to run far together, or space the night’s events an elaborate game v a reveal about to occur? (An idea storage of 1997’s Michael Douglas blockbuster The Game.) meanwhile his psychological state intensifies as drugs and also dreams do him more question his reality.

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The film’s themes that sibling rivalry work-related well (Dan is Greg’s gangster mini-me), and Greg’s battles to it is adapted to fatherhood and marriage will strike a chord with plenty of couples.

There room plenty that fun, renowned cameos. Kris Marshall pops up as a policeman, Jason Flemyng as a taxi driver, and Hugo Speer as a dodgy 70s-style comedian in a terrible wig that talks come Greg with his TV.

Craig Kelly is wonderful as the moany, yet dryly funny Greg, who may be terrified about the fate of his wife and also child yet is far an ext relaxed in that underground human being than in his clever terraced house with his family.

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The standout performance through is from Shaun Parkes (great last year in Jessica Hynes’ The Fight) – Clarence is effectively menacing without gift a stereotypical hardman, not straightforward balance in a low-budget brother crime thriller. Parkes absolutely pond it and also watching him onscreen was always a pleasure (I simply wish we’d had an ext of him, and also in much more outfits).

The pecking order in the corridor is fine done: Clarence menaces Greg, teasing that while Greg, unsure at the start what is going come happen, tries come find typical ground, grasping in ~ Clarence’s fake bonhomie. As soon as they gain to miss out on Ferguson’s lair, Clarence is in the same position as Greg was, ~ above edge and also on the back foot.

The script, while greatly good, could have excellent with an ext finessing in parts; the beginning, where Gemma and also Greg argue end their stays amidst much exposition, doesn’t always work, and also the finishing feels stunner (and derivative). The sometimes nods come horror and also the question over even if it is Greg’s visions space supernatural or drug-related feeling unformed fairly than nuanced.

Despite this gripes, in its entirety there’s a lot to enjoy in Trick or Treat: great performances, funny cameos, and also mostly realistic dialogue (even the quirky personalities feel believable). Ns loved the styling, an especially Miss Ferguson’s lair; Blackpool, through its pastel-pretty light displays and grimy backstreets, renders an reliable backdrop.

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Trick or Treat is pacy and also lean, one intriguing and entertaining british thriller that keeps to its remit and also remains gripping nearly to the end.