“31 Days of Horror” Day 31 – Part One: “Trick ‘R Treat” (2007)
Never Go Out Alone…
Considering how many horror movies are out there, and how many take place during the spookiest time of year, it’s actually a bit surprising how few of them focus on the holiday itself. Sure, lots of great stories take place throughout Halloween. But how many movies tell the stories of Halloween? I can think of at least one, and it’s one that flew under the radar when it was first released. It has since, however, become a favorite to many, and a holiday tradition in this particular household. That movie is the Halloween-centric anthology, “Trick R Treat”.
“You Must Really Like Halloween.”
“Trick R Treat” is an anthology of five stories that all occur on Halloween night. A woman who isn’t a fan of the holiday deals with a husband who very much is. A seemingly ordinary school principal hides a secret life of murder. A group of teenage girls go out on the town to find a man for their virgin friend. A group of school kids play an incredibly mean and dangerous prank. A cranky old man gets a visit from a vicious trick-or-treater intent on teaching him to respect Halloween.
Each of these tales is told individually, but what makes “Trick R Treat” something truly special is how they are also seamlessly interwoven. At first you may not even realize that the stories are taking part in the same town. But soon enough you see tale sneaking into tale, little details linking the individual stories. Some of them even affect the others in ways you might not notice until near the end. It is, in my personal opinion, expertly done in a fun and well-executed way.
If He Says ‘Trick R Treat’ You Better Have Some Treats…
There is, however, an even more important aspect to “Trick R Treat” that makes it a stand-out for Halloween viewing. That aspect is the movie’s mascot, as it were. ‘Sam’ has quickly joined the ranks of horror movie icons, though at first glance he almost seems cute. He appears, the first time we see him, to simply be a silent trick-or-treater. His costume consists of a pair of dirty, patched orange footie pajamas, fingerless gloves, and a sack with buttons for a head. But what lies beneath that sack is not a child…
“Trick R Treat” is, to put it simply, an absolute joy of a movie. There is a ton of focus on the traditional aspects of Halloween as they apply to the stories being told. For instance, the children pulling the prank discuss the original reason for wearing costumes. The husband impresses upon the wife that blowing out the jack-o-lantern too early invites angry spirits. The cranky old man suffers the consequences of refusing to take part in the tradition of giving candy. The entire movie is a morality tale of sorts. Rather than being concerned with societal morals, however, “Trick R Treat” impresses upon the importance of respecting Halloween’s rules.
Follow the Rules, Survive the Night
I honestly don’t want to say too much, because this is a movie that every Halloween fan should enjoy without too much prior knowledge. Just believe me on these points:
- There are lots of spooks and thrills
- Some of the all-time favorite types of monsters are involved.
- The tales are told in a way that makes you feel like they could actually happen.
- The special effects are all quite excellent.
- Sam will both creep you out and devour your heart. (Whether I mean that figuratively or literally is up to you to find out.)
So, in conclusion, if you somehow haven’t already checked out this amazing addition to Halloween horror movies, do so now. Lest you want the spirits of Halloween to punish you…
What are you watching for the spooky season? Have you seen “Trick R Treat“? Let me know your own thoughts and give your own suggestions for horror movie musts in the comments! And don’t forget to check out my other ‘31 Days of Horror‘ movie reviews!
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