This 2007 horror anthology features Brian Cox, Dylan Baker and the most pumpkins to ever appear in a film until Hallmark made Pumpkin Pie Wars.
Set on Halloween in small-town Ohio, Trick ‘r Treat serves up a helping of loosely connected comic tales more indebted to Creepshow and EC Comics than the superhero genre that writer/director Michael Dougherty and producer Bryan Singer had worked in previously. These stories are linked by an instantly endearing pumpkin-headed sack-boy who shows up whenever a Halloween tradition is broken, wielding a sharpened lollipop and giggling.
Sadly he’s the only one. Comedically the film is as hollow as a jack o’lantern, paling in comparison to Creepshow‘s weapons-grade campery. The storylines target a nice spread of Halloween hobbyists (slutty revellers, curmudgeonly grownups and young trick or treaters) but fail to generate a decent twist between them, lacking the irony, morality or surprise required to trick the viewer or hold our interest for 80 minutes.
What the movie does have is charm, with a festive glow and slightly quaint appeal that Dougherty would perfect in the fantastic Krampus. In a horror cycle dominated by Saw sequels, fans latched on to this more innocent quality and the director hopes to do Trick ‘r Treat 2 once freed from making Godzilla movies. The Strangers has proven that a character with a sack on his head can sustain a franchise regardless of entertainment value, so if that’s your bag you’re in for a treat.