Trick ’r Treat (2007)

trick r treat poster 2007 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Like the concept, good cast

The movie misses some opportunities and could be better

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Trick ’r Treat

Studio:  Legendary Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/Seasonal

Release Date(s):  December 9, 2007

MPAA Rating:  R

trick r treat severed head principal steve wilkins dylan baker

Halloween is family time!

It is that time of year again.  As Laurie (Anna Paquin) and her friends prepare to go to a countryside party where they hope Laurie will lose her virginity, an insane principal named Steven Wilkins (Dylan Baker) finally gets to enact his revenge on a pumpkin smashing student (Brett Kelly).  A prank by a group of kids reveals the horror of the town’s past and the death of a group of disabled children, while a cranky old man (Brian Cox) deals with a sack-head trick-or-treater named Sam (Quinn Lord) who isn’t going to leave without his candy.

Directed by Michael Dougherty,  Trick ’r Treat is an anthology horror film with a central theme.  The film was based off an animated short by Dougherty called “Season’s Greetings” released in 1996 and featuring the Sam character.  The movie was previewed at film festivals but had its release delayed as well as having multiple title changes including Season’s Greetings, Halloween Terrors, Jack O’Lantern Tales, October the 31st, and Trick or Treat.  The movie received critical acclaim and has gained a quick cult following.

trick r treat anna paquin werewolf

I just wanted a little bite

The first time I watched Trick ’r Treat, I thought it was ok.  It wasn’t as scary as it could have been and some of the stories fell flat.  The second time I watched Trick ’r Treat, I could see the plot as a whole and the film was much better by seeing the intricate weaving of the stories.

The individual stories are so-so.  I like the story of Sam and think he is a good little monster creation.  It is the story I have the most invested in and it gets the best payoff.  The principal story is the “funny one” and is clever (plus, I love that the kid from Bad Santa is the victim of his killing).  Many of the visuals from the werewolf story are smart and as are ties to Red Riding Hood (though The Company of Wolves explored it better).  The least interesting unfortunately is the bus and quarry story which had promise with a classic ghost set up…it just turns into a rather lame zombie tale.

While the individual stories of Trick ’r Treat could be better developed and more horrific, the whole package is quite smart.  The story weaves in and out and overlaps time and events.  The nice wrap around story brings characters together and finishes where the film starts out.  It is fun and makes the movie worth rewatching…which is a great trait for a horror film.

trick r treat sam baghead quinn lord

Sam says “Follow the rules of Halloween”

The movie is aided by a great cast.  I have always loved Dylan Baker, and he has mastered playing the repressed everyman.  From Happiness to even The Amazing Spider-Man, he always seems like a businessman on the edge.  Anna Paquin follows her True Blood role by playing a werewolf this time (and you can’t argue that she does play a good dirty Red Riding Hood).  Brian Cox has finally gotten his credit but even at the time of release of Trick ’r Treat was one of those underrated actors.

With a strong cast and some clever writing, Trick ’r Treat is a winner that gets better with secondary viewings.  With a bigger budget, the movie could have looked a little better and with some better decisions involving the stories.  The movie’s popularity has led to plans for a sequel but as of yet, nothing has come to fruition.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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