“A Tricky Treat” (2015): Halloween-Themed Horror Comedy Offers Grins with Its Grisliness


Director Patricia Chica’s latest short A Tricky Treat is a horror comedy that manages to pack in a great deal of gooey gore along with some dark humor in its brief running time.

As a mother (Andrea Fletcher) works busily in the kitchen, her husband (Steve Brewster) tells her he needs to “go finish that job in the garage.” The job involves a man (Leonard Waldner) chained to a chair who is unwittingly about to become the main focus of the family’s Halloween festivities. Giving away anymore would mean spoiling this 3-minute short; suffice it to say that viewers are treated to a grisly series of striking practical effects (some well-done CGI work is also on display) with some discomforting sound effects in a twisted tale that recalls EC horror comics and classic Halloween-themed horror anthology films and television shows.

Tricky Treat Chica
Director Patricia Chica (left) points out some details to her cast and crew during the filming of A Tricky Treat.

The prolific Patricia Chica shows her reliably deft hand at the helm once again while also displaying another facet of her directorial talents. Whereas her 2014 short Serpent’s Lullaby, which I reviewed for Gruesome Magazine recently,  took a serious and elegant approach to its tragic and horrific subject matter, A Tricky Treat gets down and dirty quickly and serves up some uneasy laughs as it does so. Kamal John Iskander’s script wastes no time in setting up its premise and then delivering the ghastly goods. Special effects designer and supervisor Danny McCarthy and his crew have created some grim, realistic-looking work that also has a dash of macabre humor. Director of photography Imad Rhayem captures the events in superb detail. The jazzy score lightens the mood as it seems in sharp contrast to the shocking events on display.

Tricky Treat victim
A man chained up in the family’s garage (Leonard Waldner) is about to be a part of some most unusual Halloween festivities.

The cast members who make up the family, rounded out by Keira McCarthy as the daughter and Marco Reilly as the son, give fun, perky performances. Leonard Waldner’s character has nothing to be happy about;  the actor does a nice job in his brief screen time.

A Tricky Treat (www.PatriciaChica.com)  is currently on the film festival circuit, where it has been deservedly picking up multiple awards. Keep an eye out for it!

A Tricky Treat: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.