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Sam Says Follow the Rules for a Happy Halloween

  • Oct 22, 2009
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Sadly, this film got stuck in distribution hell as no one would pick it up for a theatrical release. Now, a year later and after having played very well at festivals, the film is out on DVD.

Trick 'r Treat is a horror anthology but unlike a lot of other anthologies, it's structured differently. Instead of returning to a central place between each new segment, the stories are interwoven as characters move about the town on Halloween; stars of one story appear briefly in others to create an organic whole.

The film begins with a murder and then backtracks a few hours to earlier that night. Since the stories are contemporaneous, they overlap to a certain extent. The first story is about a school principal with a dark secret. The second follows a group of kids who play a cruel prank on one of their peers. The third story tells the tale of a young woman as she searches for a sexual partner, and the final installment is about a man who's haunted by his past.

Though the film is broken down into four distinct stories, all of which take place on the same night, the movie gives the impression as being part of a much larger series of events; it succeeds in creating a believable world in which dark spirits manifest in different and varied ways. The world of Trick 'r Treat is mostly benign but people must follow the rules that govern Halloween in order to survive the night.

Far from being a cautionary tale, Trick 'r Treat's rules ensure that life is properly respected. Karma, or perhaps more appropriately just desserts, guides the events that take place in the film. And the character of Sam, who might be considered the spirit of Halloween, sort of acts as a guide for for this karmic will. Sam appears to each main character, and though they don't know it, he's marked them for destruction or salvation, or both.

Trick 'r Treat is really a great little film. Not terribly scary, the movie is actually pretty light. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Though Halloween is when most film lovers dedicate themselves almost exclusively to horror, there are few good Halloween-themed horror movies out there. Trick 'r Treat's timely, if a year late, release nicely fills that void in our lives.

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October 23, 2009
Wow. opinions on this one really vary. I've seen reviews by people I trust range from2 to 5. What are you gonna do? I guess I'll just have to see it for myself.
October 23, 2009
Check it out, Karen. It is a horror fable that channels the festivities of Halloween.
October 23, 2009
Definitely worth seeing. I'd be interested to know if the people who didn't like knew it was an anthology beforehand. I have a theory...
October 23, 2009
I'm pretty certain that they did know it was an anthology. The person who didn't care for it Woop, was Maxmias!
October 23, 2009
There goes that theory :)
October 23, 2009
All a matter of personal taste I guess.
October 24, 2009
I think some people were expecting a totally different scary movie and what they got was sort of a horror-fable that channels the festivities (which this film does extremely well). The movie is really fable-like, and as Maxmias good as a reviewer he is; Maxmias also liked HATCHET which just boggles my mind. (Dave also liked Hatchet) It is a matter of taste and how your mindset is when you see a movie.
October 24, 2009
I liked parts of HATCHET ( and not just those that contained Parry Shen) and didn't think it was as bad as others said.
More Trick 'r Treat reviews
review by . October 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     Halloween movies are Halloween movies because they care about the popular holiday and choose to often exploit the horrors that we celebrate annually at the end of each October, and without noticing it. You've got your classic holiday flicks such as "Halloween"; then you've got your "classics-in-the-making", and oh, there are plenty of them. "Trick 'r Treat" is but one such film; a hilarious, bold, charmingly grotesque little horror flick that unfortunately …
review by . October 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
     The Festivities of All Hallows Eve have originated from ancient times and these days, it just so happens that it is now a yearly tradition when people can dress up in costumes, kids can have lots of candy and watch a marathon of horror movies on TV. Halloween can be so cool, and Michael Dougherty adapts his own short story "Season's Greetings" in “TRICK R TREAT”; it is the best movie to pay homage to Halloween. The film is the medicine for all …
review by . July 18, 2010
       Trick ‘R Treat is the ultimate Halloween film. This film has all those elements that make it that perfect film to catch on hallows eve. Directed by Michael Dougherty, the film is based on his short film Seasons Greetings. When I first watched his short film, it left me wanting more…   About the film, the film is an anthology of four Halloween stories. What makes the film so dark and sweet is the way they are intertwined.  There is a certain …
review by . May 19, 2009
Will Trick 'R Treat Ever See The Light Of Day?
Poison, Drowning, Claw, Or Knife. So Many Ways To Take A Life.      Five interwoven stories that occur on the same block, on the same night. A couple finds what happens when they blow a jack o' lantern out before midnight, a high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer, a college virgin might have met the right guy for her, a group of mean teens play a prank that they take too far, and a hermit is visited by a special trick or treater.      It …
Quick Tip by . October 17, 2009
Perhaps one of the best (if not the greatest) horror flick ever made about Halloween. This would make John Carpenter & others proud.
About the reviewer

Ranked #241
I love horror movies. I love to talk about them, read about them, and even watch them from time to time. I write a blog and host a weekly podacast with Count Vardulon in which we argue about, laugh over, … more
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About this movie


Trick 'r Treat is a 2008 horror film. It was written and directed by Michael Dougherty and based on his short film Season's Greetings. Originally slated for an October 5, 2007 release, it was announced in September 2007 that the film had been pushed back. Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures released the film direct to DVD on October 6, 2009 in the US & Canada, October 26 in the UK and October 28 in Australia. However, it first appeared on 7th October 2008 in Spain, during the SITGES International Film Festival of Catalonia (Sitges Film Festival).
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Genre: Horror, Action, Adventure
Release Date: October 5, 2007
MPAA Rating: R

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