Here’s it is, folks! The final entry in 2018’s Halloween Horrors series. I don’t know about you, but I feel that since we started this year’s series out with a submission from a debuting contributor, why not close out the series with another newbie? Luckily, we had one particular post that not only was contributed by someone new to the series, but also a film that just bleeds “Halloween”.
Please welcome Melody Vena to this year’s line-up. I first became acquainted with Melody when she won a “Monster Movie Marathon” contest that I helped sponsor for our friend the Monster Movie Maniac back in March. And from the look of things, she will also be winning the October version of that event as well. With as many horror films as she’s watched this year alone, it’s probably a safe bet to say that Melody knows her horror.
For her debut, Melody will be taking look at what is not only her favorite horror films to watch during the Halloween season, but one that seemingly appears to be her overall favorite: 2007’s Trick R Treat. As there is no denying that the films is just smothered in Halloween imagery and symbolism, it also seemed like a “no-brainer” as the film to close this year’s series out with.
Happy Halloween to all our friends and readers! We’ll see you in 2019!
Two-thousand and seven brought a lot to the world of horror movies, adding such classics as 28 Weeks Later, The Mist, 30 Days of Night, and my personal favorite – Trick R Treat. Directed and written by Michael Dougherty, and starring an ensemble of talented actors like Anna Paquin (True Blood), Brian Cox (Super Troopers), and Dylan Baker (Homeland), Trick R Treat easily became a quintessential Halloween movie. The movie contains five stories involving various characters whose lives seem to intertwine on Halloween night. A couple finds out why you need to uphold Halloween traditions. A high-school principal has a very secret life and a very odd hobby. A young virgin looks for her future guy, to make her night special. A couple of kids learn a lesson on the consequences of pulling a trick. A mean old man who hates the holiday meets his match. Through all the stories there is one constant… a supernatural Trick or Treater named Sam.
The character “Sam” has been given his name from the ancient Celtic festival of the dead, Samhain. Halloween itself is a modern-day take on the ancient festival. Sam is thought to be the spirit of the holiday, when in fact, Samhain is not a spirit, or deity, or any other type of supernatural personage of Celtic polytheism; It is only a name, but that doesn’t make him any less impressive, sinister, or dare I say… adorably awesome.
Sam was initially introduced in Michael Dougherty’s animated film , “Season’s Greetings”, which had a run time of four minutes and released in 1996. This animated film put a twist on Halloween and also had intertwining stories. In the movie Trick R Treat, “Sam” is played by a young actor, Quinn Lord. He appears in every story as a very innocent trick or treater, but is later revealed to be the enforcer of the Halloween traditions.
The characters in Trick R Treat are often seen in the background of stories they aren’t involved with; this helps with the chronology of events in the movie. The thing I find best about the movie Trick R Treat is not only the fact that all of the individual stories are fantastic by themselves, but you have this child-like character wandering his way through each one. Observing, watching, and waiting for someone to disrespect the holiday traditions; and when he comes across someone who he feels is not celebrating appropriately, he dishes out vengeance in a way that makes it a treat for all of the viewers.
Trick R Treat is the type of movie that you can find yourself watching over and over again. In my opinion, and I stress that… I feel that Trick R Treat genuinely embodies the spirit of Halloween; Costume parties, candy, carving pumpkins, add in a few local legends and a monster or two and boom – a horror classic that is HALLOWEEN. I think that has made it obvious who my favorite character is. I am obsessed with Sam. I have almost every figure, print, I have an autograph copy of the script by Quinn Lord in a case on my wall, my birthday cake was Sam, and I’m working on a tattoo of his famous lollipop. I would happily put Trick R Treat in the same league as Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play, and Halloween. Trick R Treat won the 2009 Fright Meter Award for Best Horror Movie, and trust me, there are reasons why it did.
Some fascinating trivia I found out while writing this: All of the jack-o-lanterns were either made of foam, or they were ceramic. The children that are seen walking around trick or treating are all little people, as filming was done late at night and actual children weren’t allowed to be on-set that late. The movie was originally going to be titled “Season’s Greetings” like the short, but changed because it sounded too much like a Christmas film. They went through several names such as “Halloween Terrors”, “Jack O’lantern Tales”,
October the 31st”, and “Trick or Treat”. They finally landed on Trick R Treat, dropping the “OR” because of a movie that had already released with the same name.
Halloween is an excellent time of year; whether you enjoy the fall, dress up, watch a few scary movies… the point of it is to have fun! TRICK R TREAT is here to remind us that every holiday has a reason or story behind it, and Halloween’s message is: don’t get caught insulting or ignoring traditions. You never know who or what is really in that costume.