Trick 'r Treat

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For other uses, see Trick or treat (disambiguation).
Trick 'r Treat
Trick r treat.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Michael Dougherty
Produced by Bryan Singer
Written by Michael Dougherty
Starring Dylan Baker
Rochelle Aytes
Anna Paquin
Brian Cox
Music by Douglas Pipes
Cinematography Glen MacPherson
Edited by Robert Ivison
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Premiere
Release dates
  • December 9, 2007 (2007-12-09)
Running time 82 minutes
Country United States
Canada
Language English
Budget $12,000,000[1]
Box office $5,107,736[2] (domestic video sales)

Trick 'r Treat is a 2007 American-Canadian anthology horror film written and directed by Michael Dougherty. The film stars Dylan Baker, Brian Cox and Anna Paquin, and centers on four Halloween-related horror stories. One common element that ties the stories together is the presence of Sam, a mysterious pint-sized trick-or-treater wearing shabby orange pajamas with a burlap sack over his head, that makes an appearance in all the stories whenever someone breaks Halloween traditions.

Despite being delayed for two years and having a very limited theatrical release, the film received much critical acclaim and has since garnered a strong cult following.[3] In October 2013, the filmmakers announced that a sequel, Trick 'r Treat 2, is in the works.

Plot[edit]

Opening[edit]

Emma (Leslie Bibb) and her holiday-obsessed husband, Henry (Tahmoh Penikett), have set up numerous ghost-scarecrows for Halloween in their yard. After returning home from a Halloween party, Emma tries to blow out a jack-o'-lantern, but Henry tells her not to because it is against tradition to extinguish a jack-o'-lantern on Halloween; she blows it out anyway. While Henry is inside waiting for Emma to take down the decorations, she is murdered by an unknown assailant with a large blade-shaped pumpkin lollipop. Later, Henry goes outside and finds Emma's severed head, with the giant lollipop in its mouth, hung up on one of the ghost-scarecrows, her limbs chopped off and hung like decorations.

The Principal[edit]

Steven Wilkins (Dylan Baker), the town principal, spots his young neighbor Charlie (Brett Kelly) stealing candy from his yard. Smiling, he places him down at his front door and talks to him about candy and stealing, carving out a jack-o'-lantern, and he gives him a candy. Charlie eats the candy, which turns out to be poisoned with cyanide, and throws up large amounts of chocolate and blood before he dies. Wilkins buries Charlie in his backyard, along with another unknown body, and has a run-in with his neighbor, Mr. Kreeg (Brian Cox), and his dog. After finishing the burial, Wilkins sees Kreeg screaming from his window, begging for help; Wilkins disregards this and Kreeg is knocked down by an unknown assailant. Later, Wilkins arrives in his basement, where he helps his son Billy carve a "jack-o'-lantern" in their basement, which is revealed to be Charlie's severed head. The sequence ends with Billy saying "But don't forget to help me with the eyes."

The School Bus Massacre Revisited[edit]

Five kids, Macy (Britt McKillip), Schrader, Sara, Chip and Rhonda, a savant, journey to the local rock quarry where Macy tells them the local urban legend of "The Halloween School Bus Massacre". Thirty years ago, in 1977, a school bus containing eight children, all mentally ill to the point of being chained to their seats, crashed into the lake at the bottom of the quarry; the bus driver was the only one who survived. Macy reveals that the children's parents paid the bus driver to kill them to end the embarrassment of their "burden". As for the bus, some people say it sank so deep in the lake, it could not be found. Others say the town did not want the bus to be found.

The group plays a prank on Rhonda in which they pretend to be the undead children and chase Rhonda until she trips and knocks herself out. Macy kicks a jack-o'-lantern into the lake, whereafter the school bus children suddenly rise from the water. The undead children chase the group, and manage to grab hold of the chains which Sara is wearing as part of her costume, dragging her away to be killed. Meanwhile, Rhonda has locked herself in the elevator leading out of the quarry. Despite the others begging her to open it, she ignores them and rides it up herself as the School Bus children corner them. As Rhonda steps out of the elevator, the other kids are heard being dismembered and eaten alive.

Surprise Party[edit]

Laurie (Anna Paquin), a self-conscious 22-year-old virgin, is getting ready for a party with her older sister Danielle (Lauren Lee Smith) and their two friends Maria (Rochelle Aytes) and Janet (Moneca Delain). Annoyed by their talk about boys, she stays behind and plans to join them later. The other girls find local men to bring along with them. Later, alone on her way to the party, Laurie is attacked by a vampire dressed in black. Meanwhile, Danielle, Maria, and Janet party at a bonfire with the men they brought, with Danielle worried about Laurie. The vampire's body suddenly drops from a tree onto the party and Laurie appears. The "vampire" is revealed to be Principal Wilkins in disguise wearing fake fangs. The girls at the party, along with Laurie, suddenly transform into werewolves, removing their skin. It is revealed that Laurie's "virginity" actually signifies that she has never killed anyone before. The girls then proceed to devour their dates along with Wilkins.

Sam[edit]

Kreeg, a Halloween-hating man, lives alone with his dog, Spite, as his only companion. Kreeg shows his disgust for Halloween by scaring away trick-or-treaters. While at his house, Kreeg is attacked by Sam (Quinn Lord). During the struggle, Kreeg rips off the sack over Sam's head to reveal his head to be a cross between a jack-o-lantern and a human skull. Kreeg runs to his window calling for Mr. Wilkins to help him, but is tackled by Sam. Kreeg gains the upper hand when he manages to fire his shotgun at Sam, seemingly killing it, in the process shooting off one of Sam's hands. As Kreeg dials 9-1-1, Sam re-attaches his hand and rises. Sam then attacks him again, stabbing at him with a large pumpkin sucker out of which he has taken a bite, rendering it sharp. Sam finds that the sucker has lodged itself into a piece of chocolate from which Kreeg had earlier taken a bite. Sam takes the sucker wedged into the chocolate and, having been given a treat, walks away. Meanwhile, pictures burning slowly in a nearby fireplace show a class photo of the masked children from the "School Bus Massacre" and the bus driver, who is revealed to be Kreeg.

Conclusion[edit]

Bandaged and bruised from his encounter with Sam, Kreeg answers his door to give candy to trick-or-treaters. While on his porch, he spots Sam walk over to Emma and Henry's house just after she blows out the jack-o'-lantern. Rhonda walks across the street in a trance and is almost hit by the laughing, human-form werewolf girls in their vehicle, on their way back from the surprise party. Young Billy Wilkins is sitting on his porch handing out candy and wearing a "Principal Wilkins" costume. Kreeg then walks back inside when there is another knock at the door. He opens the door to find the kids from the School Bus Massacre standing there with their bags outstretched, saying, "Trick 'r Treat". The ending is rendered as comic book pages showing the bus driver's fate at the hands of the undead children.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Season's Greetings[edit]

Season's Greetings is an animated short created by Trick 'r Treat writer and director Michael Dougherty in 1996 and was the precursor to and inspiration for the film.[4] The movie featured Sam as a little boy dressed in orange footy pajamas with his burlap sack head covering, as he is being stalked by a stranger on Halloween night. The short was released as a DVD extra on the original release for Trick 'r Treat and was aired on FEARnet in October 2013 as part of a 24-hour Trick 'r Treat marathon on Halloween.[5]

Trick 'r Treat[edit]

Trick r' Treat was filmed on location in Vancouver, British Columbia. Originally slated for an October 5, 2007 release, it was announced in September 2007 that the film had been pushed back.

Release[edit]

Theatrical screenings[edit]

The first public screening took place at Harry Knowles' Butt-Numb-A-Thon film festival in Austin, Texas, on December 9, 2007. Subsequent screenings included the Sitges Film Festival on October 7, 2008, the 2008 Screamfest Horror Film Festival on October 10, 2008, a free screening in New York sponsored by Fangoria on October 13, 2008, and another free screening in Los Angeles co-sponsored by Ain't It Cool News and Legendary Pictures on October 23, 2008. The film was also screened at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International, the Fantasia Festival on July 29 and 30, 2009,[6] the film festival Terror in the Aisles 2 in Chicago on August 15, 2009, and the After Dark film festival in Toronto on August 20, 2009 at The Bloor.

Home media[edit]

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures released the film direct to DVD and Blu-ray on October 6, 2009 in North America, October 26 in the UK and October 28 in Australia.

Merchandise[edit]

  • Sideshow Collectibles created a 15" vinyl figure based on the film's scarecrow-like character Sam.
  • NECA created a 5½" scale figure of Sam that has been released as part of NECA's "Cult Classics" line of movie figures; the figure includes a stand, pumpkins, "candybar," lollipop, sack, and interchangeable, uncovered head.[7]
  • Palace Press and Insight Editions published a 108-page coffee table book entitled Trick 'r Treat: Tales of Mayhem, Mystery & Mischief. It documents the making of the film, and includes storyboards, concept art, cast and crew biographies, and behind-the-scenes photographs.

Comic book[edit]

DC Comics partner Wildstorm Comics had planned to release a four-issue adaptation of Trick 'r Treat written by Marc Andreyko and illustrated by Fiona Staples, with covers by Michael Dougherty, Breehn Burns and Ragnar.[8] The series was originally going to be released weekly in October 2007, ending on Halloween, but the series was pushed back due to the film's backlisting. The four comics were instead released as a graphic novel adaptation in October 2009.[9]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction[edit]

Despite only a handful of public screenings, the film has received critical acclaim. Based on 20 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall "Fresh" approval rating from critics of 85%, with an average score of 7.4/10 and a critical consensus that the "deftly crafted tribute to Halloween legends, Trick 'r' Treat hits all the genre marks with gusto and old fashioned suspense."[10] Dread Central gave it 5 out of 5 stars, stating, "Trick 'r Treat ranks alongside John Carpenter's Halloween as traditional October viewing and I can't imagine a single horror fan that won't fall head over heels in love with it."[11] The film earned 10 out of 10 from Ryan Rotten of ShockTilYouDrop.com.[12] IGN called it a "very well-crafted Halloween horror tribute is a scary blast," rating it a score of 8 out of 10.[13] Bloody Disgusting ranked the film ninth in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', calling it "so good that its lack of a theatrical release borders on the criminal."[14]

Awards[edit]

Sequel[edit]

Michael Dougherty announced in October 2009 that he is planning a sequel,[17] but later stated that there were "no active development nor an attempt at a pitch."[18] He went on to say that "[the] more fans continue to support and spread the movie, the more likely it is that Sam will rise from the pumpkin patch once more."[19] Dougherty helped create a short promotional Easter trailer for FEARnet's Trick 'r Treat 24-hour marathon for Halloween 2011; the trailer showed a family's Easter celebration turning into one of horror, with Sam watching the chaos outside whilst wearing rabbit ears.[20] In October 2013, Dougherty and Legendary Pictures officially announced a sequel, titled Trick 'r Treat 2. Dougherty said he plans to "shake it up a little bit" with the sequel.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/10/trick-r-treat-movie
  2. ^ http://www.the-numbers.com/movie/Trick-r-Treat#tab=summary
  3. ^ "Cult-Favorite Halloween Flick Trick ‘r Treat Streams on Facebook Tonight". www.wired.com. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  4. ^ "Cool Horror Videos: Michael Dougherty's Season's Greetings - the short that inspired Trick 'R Treat". JoBlo. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Lane, David. "FEARnet Airing a 24-Hour Marathon of TRICK ‘R TREAT’s on Halloween with Giveaways and New Content by Director Michael Dougherty". Collider. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  6. ^ — translation: Rupert Bottenberg. "Fantasia 2009 Schedule". Fantasiafest.com. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "00's Retrospect: Bloody Disgusting's Top 20 Films of the Decade". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  9. ^ "Trick 'r Treat: Tales of Mayhem, Mystery and Mischief by John Griffin, Insight Editions, 110 pages". Dreadcentral.com. 2009-10-18. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  10. ^ Trick r' Treat at Rotten Tomatoes
  11. ^ "Dread Central Review of Trick r' Treat". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  12. ^ Turek, Ryan (2008-10-16). "Review of Trick r' Treat". Shocktilyoudrop.com. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  13. ^ Cindy White. "IGN.com Review of Trick r' Treat". Dvd.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  14. ^ "00's Retrospect: Bloody Disgusting's Top 20 Films of the Decade...Part 3". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  15. ^ 2008 Screamfest Winners[dead link]
  16. ^ "2009 Toronto After Dark Film Festival Winners". Torontoafterdark.com. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  17. ^ "'Trick 'r Treat' Sequel in the Pipeline?". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  18. ^ "Michael Dougherty Talks Potential ‘Trick ‘r Treat’ Sequel!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "TRICK 'R TREAT DIRECTOR DISCUSSES THE POSSIBILITY OF A SEQUEL". JoBlo. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Half Way To Halloween". FEARnet. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  21. ^ Li, Shirley. "'Trick 'r Treat' gets a sequel: Michael Dougherty talks what's next | Inside Movies | EW.com". Insidemovies.ew.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 

External links[edit]