Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat is the definitive Halloween movie.

If you’ve seen it, and you probably have by now, then you know why. No other movie encompasses the spirit of Halloween more than Trick ‘r Treat does.

Trick ‘r Treat is an anthology that has five interwoven stories that occur on Halloween. There’s a woman who loathes the holiday and has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband and perhaps something else; There’s a high school principal with a secret life; a college virgin may have just met the guy to lose it to; a group of young teens who pull a mean prank; and a mean old man meets his match with a  supernatural trick-or-treater, Trick ‘r Treat mascot Sam.

Sam is short for Samhain, the festival of the Dead meaning “Summer’s End” and pronounced “saag-win” or “aaaa-ween.” It’s a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year. For many, Samhain also is the beginning of the spiritual new year.

Sam is the spiritual essence of Halloween. He’s cute, playful, a prankster, supernatural, and scary.

Trick ‘r Treat was set to release in 2007, but for some reason Warner Bros. (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) decided to pull it from release with no rhyme or reason. It was two years later before it was released straight to video without much of a marketing push. Despite the overwhelming onslaught of straight to video releases in the horror genre, Trick ‘r Treat still managed to gain a cult following. Why? Because it’s just that good. This list is about our favorite things to watch during Halloween, and ultimately what feels most like the holiday. Sure, there’s more than a few on the list that aren’t directly Halloween related, but still are films that are a must watch this time of the year (The Exorcist, The Shining).

But Trick ‘r Treat is something special in that it completely loves Halloween. From every corner of the frame it is soaked in the lore and the visual appreciation for All Hallows’ Eve.

This is evident in the the trailer embedded below.


In the years since its release, Trick ‘r Treat continues to gain a following as being the Halloween movie to watch. AtmosFEARfx just released a Trick ‘r Treat video for their interactive Halloween decorations collection. FEARnet even ran a 24 hour marathon just like the seminal Christmas classic, A Christmas Story has. Here’s an ad for that (I love that Sam has a Dead Man’s Bones lunchbox tin).


Creator, Michael Dougherty created Sam years ago in his 1996 animated short Season’s Greetings. Just like the movie, this is also a Halloween gem that deserves a viewing.

We can’t really say much more than that. Trick ‘r Treat is the best Halloween movie. Period.

Michael Dougherty knows his craft and thankfully is working more and more. Krampus had a major studio release and is one of the best Christmas horror movies ever too. Krampus was the best decorated house at this years Halloween Horror Nights if you were wondering.  And just last week it was announced that he would take on the directing duties of Godzilla 2 that has me genuinely excited (despite the first having scale and looking great it was kind of a bore). Shit… this is probably going to delay Trick ‘r Treat 2 though. Choices!

We hope you’ve had an amazing and frightful Halloween season. Thank you for sharing it in some part with us here at Inside Pop Culture. Check out our other must-see picks on our 31 Days of Halloween list here.


Featured Artist | Sooki Martinsen

Sooki is so cool. Once again, the work in our featured image is IPC’s own, Sooki Martinsen. If you missed her work on yesterdays entry, Halloween then go check that out. To see more of her work go to www.sookimartinsen.com. Here is Sooki’s take on Sam from Trick ‘r Treat.


Heath Scott

Heath Scott

His love of most things in entertainment can be summed up by having an English Bulldog named Spielberg and consistently asking if it's Halloween yet.

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