Trick 'r Treat
Dir. Michael Dougherty (2007)
Five tales come together to form the Voltron of Halloween anthologies.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Anthology movies are so hit or miss and can be incredibly frustrating to watch. For every amazing anthology movie there are dozens that suck, and most of the good ones have at least one story that is either not-as-good or downright terrible. When I heard that Trick 'r Treat was one of the best around, I watched it with a bit of an eye roll, awaiting a movie that wasn't as good as advertised. Holy cow, it's absolutely amazing, and I've watched it at least once a year for the last decade or so. Filled with twists, turns, and the cutest damned Halloween mascot ever, it's a movie that perfectly encapsulates everything we love about both Halloween and horror in general.
Most anthology movies have their tales separated into little bite-sized chunks, with a larger wraparound story that tries to tie up loose ends and relate the stories in some way. Trick 'r Treat does the opposite, creating a singular story in which all of these various stories occur. It jumps back and forth in time, which can be a bit confusing at times if you're not paying attention, but it is filled with delightful scares and some fantastic gore and creature effects. It's become a wildly successful cult classic, spawning toys, comic books, and even a long-awaited sequel (that still hasn't come out, goddamnit.) There's not a single story in this film that is weaker than any other, and it has some amazing performances from actors like Anna Paquin (True Blood), Brian Cox (Succession), and Dylan Baker (Happiness).
This movie just feels like Halloween to me. I mean, obviously, it happens on Halloween, so that makes it a bit easier than just a "movie that occurs in the fall," but it deals with so many of the Samhain traditions and lore that it just puts you in the mood to go trick-or-treating and makes you want to sit by the fire and watch scary movies. I don't have a working fireplace, so if I'm sitting by the fire and watching movies something has gone terribly wrong, but you get my point. It's an every-year watch for sure, but this one is a perfect film to put on in the middle of the Spring when you just can't wait for the spooky season any longer. From werewolves to serial killers, this one deals with all of the horror movie favorites, and it's a charming and funny romp through the absolute best of the season that we all love the most.
Who this movie is for: Anthology fans; Cult classic lovers; People who want to see Leslie Bibb get fucked up
Bottom line: I don't know that there's been a better straight-up Halloween movie ever made. This one is perfect for the season and a damn good movie besides, arguably one of the better (if not best) anthology movies ever made. Fantastic from start to finish and not a bad story to be found, if you haven't seen this one and you are in any way a horror fan, you owe it to yourself to make this the year that it becomes an annual tradition.