Horror Movie A Day doesn't get quoted too often, so to have one of my rambling thoughts on a trailer (around the 1:38 mark) for one of my favorite horror films of the past decade really meant a lot to me. I first saw Trick 'r Treat at Screamfest in 2008 (and got to moderate the post-movie Q&A!), and take every opportunity to watch it when it screens around this time of year - in fact I've been fortunate to see it I think three times in theaters, which is pretty good for a "direct to video" movie.
Most horror fans know the story by now; Mike Dougherty's film was originally slated for release in 2007, but got pulled for some reason. 2008 came and went (save for that Screamfest screening, and a few others), and then Warner Bros. finally dumped it to disc in time for its namesake holiday in 2009, giving many fans their first chance to see it after hearing about how great it was for the past two years. And unlike most films that are dumped in this manner, it has lived on; cable marathons are common, and Dougherty has made a few short films starring Sam, the film's iconic villain, both of which keep interest afloat so that maybe someday a true followup can be commissioned.
What works about the film is Dougherty's obvious love for the horror genre and Halloween itself; each of its stories focuses on a different aspect and tradition, so there's something anyone can identify with: there's a group of kids whose story centers around an urban legend; a quarter of college girls who use the holiday as an excuse to dress sexy and find one night stands; a parent who wants to pass on the traditions to his child, and the old man who doesn't want kids pounding on his door asking for candy. Hell, there's even a grown man who takes the day a bit too seriously, just like, oh... pretty much all of my male friends around here (and myself, of course).
And as a little bonus to this John Carpenter-loving freak, Brian Cox's old man character is designed to look like The Master himself, which makes his awesome shoutout to The Thing (edited in this trailer; where's the red band?) even more wonderful. Hell, it's so good I don't even mind when people say it's better than Halloween - I obviously disagree, but I can't deny that this movie is actually more deserving of the iconic title; every frame of the film is drenched with holiday colors, decorations and lore - Carpenter kept it to a few pumpkins and the marathon on TV, and otherwise just used it as an excuse for no one to think much about a guy in a mask walking around. Trick 'r Treat, on the other hand... this movie just BLEEDS October 31st. And we're the better for it.