Though each illuminating British TV across the past three decades, brothers Craig and Dean Lennox Kelly hadn’t acted alongside one another before on screen, until now. The Lancashire born siblings, known for their work on the likes of Queer As Folk and Shameless, respectively, both excel in this gritty and suspenseful British thriller, that examines just what lengths we’d go to in the name of family.
Craig Kelly plays Greg, a new father, he’s worn-out, fed-up and in need of excitement in his life. Though he couldn’t quite have anticipated it coming in the form of a visit from his brother Dan (Dean Lennox Kelly) in the middle of the night with nothing but a frantic expression on his face, and a body in the boot of his car. The pair set off into the night, as Greg ponders whether a lifetime changing nappies may just be preferable after-all.
Blackpool makes for a trippy, almost sinister backdrop for this film, as the glow of the neon-lights, the abundance of colour in contrast to the black sky makes for a wonderful accompaniment to the seedy underbelly of the coastal city. The fairground aesthetic is somewhat disturbing, just as we saw recently in the likes of Harley Quinn, and a wonderfully devised scene in indie thriller The Guest.
While adhering to the tropes of the genre, Trick or Treat feels unique, and it carries with it a very strong central performance from Craig Kelly, which should be noted for its empathetic nature, allowing the viewer to remain on board and rooting for his survival despite his evident flaws and misdemeanours. But when scratching beneath the surface this is a film about male depression in many ways, a mid-life crisis at the core of the narrative, and this grounds the tale which is otherwise revelling in its surrealist edge. The leading brothers represent the viewer, they’re relatively normal people amidst a sea of bizarre characters they encounter on this fever-dream like adventure. The supporting roles are so far-fetched they’re like circus performers, and it brings out a host of wickedly overstated turns from a strong cast, including the likes of Frances Barber, Jason Flemyng and Kris Marshall.
This injects Trick or Treat with a darkly comedic edge which works well, and writer Geraint Anderson and director Edward Boase must be commended accordingly. Not to mention just how much the audience is left to keep guessing, as a tale that features a host of twists and turns as you gleefully anticipate the film’s grand finale. So we do encourage you to seek this film out, and if you do, be sure to watch it again – as there are so many small little moments that require repeat viewings to fully comprehend. And let’s face it, many of us have got the time these days.