Trick ‘r Treat is an anthology horror film released in 2007, directed by Michael Dougherty and stars Dylan Baker, Brian Cox and Anna Paquin. The film weaves four short stories together in a non-linear form. Each short story is connected and each short story has an appearance from Sam, the titular character who resembles a child trick-or-treater who doesn’t like it when people don’t respect Halloween and its traditions. This movie wasn’t released in theaters, and has only grown by word of mouth. Despite that, the film has a supremely loyal cult following and is slowly gaining recognition, with Sam even making major appearances in Halloween stores this year.
Sam is one of the best modern day horror/Halloween mascots. The 80’s saw rise to Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruegar and Michael Myers, and while Sam isn’t as physically intimidating as those horror icons, Sam is no pushover, as seen in the last few moments of the film. The best thing about this film is that it feels like a good time. It honestly feels like the director and the film crew had a lot of fun making it, and wants the audience to have fun watching it. I would say this is more of a Halloween movie instead of a horror movie. There are some creepy scenes and some horror movie tropes, but it focuses more on the atmosphere of Halloween rather than just horror. The colors are bright and vibrant as well with beautiful fall oranges and yellows. There isn’t a dull moment in the movie either, everything is evenly paced and flows naturally. The special effects are great as well. Without spoiling anything, there is great prosthetic work in one of the scenes that I don’t think gets enough credit.
Personally, I don’t have any flaws with the movie, I love it. It may be a bit short and I’d love it if Sam were to return in a sequel, but there isn’t anything I would change about this movie. The only thing I think may turn people away is the non-linear storytelling. I think that it is fun, and warrants multiple watches to catch everything you may have missed on the first run, I understand if someone may not enjoy that narrative device.
Trick ‘r Treat is a great film made by a director who clearly loves Halloween and the atmosphere it brings, and wants to show his respect to it. I love watching movies that feel like they were passion projects, and this film just radiates love and care from the filmmakers. With a run time of 82 minutes, it is a quick and easy watch to throw on for Halloween.