When genre fans think of classic horror films, we often go straight to John Carpenter’s Halloween or James Whale’s The Bride of Frankenstein. However, there have been a lot of modern-day classics that rarely ever get their time in the genre spotlight. One of those films is Michael Dougherty’s 2007 anthology Trick ‘r Treat. It’s a film that has reached cult classic status since then, but it never received a theatrical release. Thankfully that’s about to change as Trick ‘r Treat is coming to theaters for the first time ever thanks to Regal Cinemas.
Trick ‘r Treat will be coming to theaters alongside other classic horror films like Scream 2, The Lost Boys, and Halloween. Warner Brothers confirmed the news as well, tweeting “The cat’s out of the bag! Trick ‘r Treat is coming to theaters this fall for the first time EVER!” This is great news for any fan of this now iconic anthology film. The film most famously introduced Sam to the horror community who’s a demon that strictly enforces the traditions of Halloween. His orange pajamas and sack-covered pumpkin head are as synonymous with Halloween as slasher villains Michael Myers or Freddy Kruger are.
Even though the film is 15 years old, Sam is the start of what makes this particular anthology unique in its subgenre. Like other films in the subgenre, Trick ‘r Treat follows a handful of different stories. However, unlike other films, each narrative is interconnected by one town, Warren Valley, and Sam’s mission. Because of this, the film feels lived in, it gives each story time to breathe, and the mystery at the heart of it all has a very compelling payoff. This is an extremely fun bundle of horror stories that feature genre staples like ghosts, serial killers, and werewolves.
If it wasn’t clear enough, Trick ‘r Treat is a must-watch horror masterpiece. It perfectly captures the Halloween season and the sinister darkness found deep within humanity while having a killer comic book aesthetic to boot. That’s why it was odd that the film never got a theatrical release. It was shown at San Diego Comic-Con as well as film festivals like Fantasia Fest and Screamfest Horror Film Festival, yet it went direct-to-video. The move was also questionable given the film’s amazing ensemble cast that featured stars Anna Paquin (X-Men), Brian Cox (X2: X-Men United), Dylan Baker (Spider-Man 2), Rochelle Aytes (The Purge), and Leslie Bibb (The Babysitter).
This direct-to-video decision is something that Warner Bros. most likely regrets as this could and should have been their big horror franchise. They have had horror hits like It since, but nothing they could have made a long-time series out of — Sam was a missed opportunity. You can’t even go into a Spirit Halloween without seeing this popular genre icon with their half-eaten pumpkin Lollipop around every corner.
However, that’s in the past now as Sam and Trick ‘r Treat are finally getting the respect they deserve. Fans have wanted a sequel for years. Hopefully, this film coming to the big screen for the first time is a horrific sign of great things to come for this could-have-been franchise.
Trick ‘R Treat is playing at Regal Cinemas starting October 6, just in time for Halloween. Until then, you can find more information on this excitingly spooky release on their website.