Emma and Henry, mostly happily married, return home from enjoying their Halloween festivities which Henry obviously enjoyed more than his wife. She has had her fill of Halloween and wants to take down all of their decorations that very night. Henry promises to do it first thing the next morning, but Emma knows he won’t and her mother will be royally disgruntled at seeing the severed human limbs hanging from the trees and ghosts staked on the lawn like spirited scarecrows when she comes to visit the next morning.
So, Emma sets about dismantling everything, and even extinguishes the jack-o-lantern. Henry warns her to leave the jack-o-lantern lit, it’s a rule to leave it burning throughout the night. She just won’t hear of it, though. Halloween, to her, is a headache and she’s glad it’s nearly over.
This will be Emma’s last Halloween. While Henry has fallen asleep upstairs watching a video marked “Nature Special”, which is not from National Geographic, Emma is attacked and killed by a diminutive assailant. Henry wakes to find her in pieces staked in the yard under a ghostly sheet and her severed limbs hanging from the trees.
She should have kept the jack-o-lantern lit.
That’s just one of the stories in Trick ‘r Treat which are connected by Sam. Sam is the best horror movie (anti-) hero to be created since Ghostface from the Scream franchise. Sam sports a burlap mask, footie pajamas, and one mean lollipop.
Sam is a sort of a Halloween hall monitor. If you observe the rituals and respect the holiday, you will be safe. Mess up, and, well, let’s say you’d rather get coal for Christmas than what adorable little Sam dishes out.
The other stories involve some shady kids wanting to raise the spirits of a massacred busload of special needs children; a young woman (Anna Paquin) stalked by a sinister figure on her way to a Halloween party; a demented school principal (Dylan Baker) who doesn’t like his students; and a grouchy old misanthrope (Bryan Cox) who scares children with his ill-tempered dog and takes their candy.
If you love horror movies and Halloween, you already know about this movie and, chances are good, you love it. I’ve championed this movie for the last thirteen years and wish it had a hundred sequels. It is a crying shame (a shame against humanity, I say) that a great movie like this does not have one single sequel while other, crappier, poorer films get sequels out the butt (Trick ‘r Treat didn’t even receive a proper theatrical release).
For the uninitiated, this is the most deliriously entertaining, wickedly amusing horror film about Halloween ever. It’s plain fun. Watch it with a group for the best enjoyment. A word of warning, it’s difficult to watch it just once. It’s the treat of all treats.
Another warning: Be sure to check your candy.
And keep the jack-o-lantern lit.