In this horror anthology, five different, intertwined stories revolving around Halloween, told out of order, unfold with grisly results.
Trick ‘r Treat, first feature by director Michael Dougherty, has a sad history: filmed in 2006 to be released the following year, it was instead shelved for two years, for reasons unknown, and then dumped straight to video in 2009. I’ve no idea why Warner Bros. did this, because this movie could have been perfect theater fare. This is the sort movie that IS going to scare you, but more than that, it is also the kind of movie that manages to make you laugh and squirm at the same time (perfect example: the infamous “chocolate vomit” scene). It has a truly wicked sense of humor, which seems appropriate considering this is a movie centered around Halloween. Which leads me to say this: this is probably the only movie I have ever seen that is truly revolving around the High Holiday. Let’s be honest, classic though it is, John Carpenter’s Halloween could have been set on just about any night of the year. Trick ‘r Treat is clearly made by someone who has a passion for the holiday, like us haunters. Halloween is soaked into frame of this movie, and literally personified by the now-iconic character of Sam (Quinn Lord), a sort-of avenging Spirit of Halloween. This little guy has built up quite the cult following, and not unusual to see figures of him in yard haunts.
Trick ‘r Treat is very well made, especially considering this is Dougherty’s first time directing. Although it is obviously influenced by Pulp Fiction in its narrative format and (SPOILER!) Ginger Snaps in one of its stories, Trick ‘r Treat never once becomes derivative, always remaining its own unique film (though it does see fit to pay homage to Halloween in the opening scene). All in all, this is without a doubt my all-time favorite Halloween film. Anyone who calls themselves a Halloween fan must see this movie.
3 out of 4 Skulls
By the way, I found this awesome little video homage someone made to the movie. Enjoy!