‘Trick ‘r Treat’ is (finally) knocking at the door this Tuesday

Oct. 05, 2009 | 6:02 p.m.

Trick r Treat poster

This looks like an October to die for if you’re a horror fan.

There’s the spirited success of “Paranormal Activity,” the $15,000 film that is spooking up major word of mouth and will expand next Friday into new markets. Then there’s the blood-and-brains charm of horror-comedy “Zombieland,” which is getting cheered by critics and hit No. 1 at the box office this weekend. Meanwhile, “Saw VI” is revving up for its massive Oct. 23 release and director Ti West’s 1980s-horror homage “The House of the Devil” arrives on Oct. 30 with some retro splatter.

There’s another film taking a stab at the marketplace but not in theaters — it’s “Trick ‘r Treat,” which hits DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday and will also be available on-demand and for digital download. I’ve seen fans saying they’re eager to get their copy at midnight tonight, which may sound surprising if you don’t know the back story of this film (more on that in a moment).

I dropped by the inaugural edition of the Long Beach Comic Con this weekend (and congrats to the organizers of that seaside start-up, I predict big things for them in the future) and one of the clear crowd favorites was the Saturday screening of “Trick ‘r Treat,” which was written and directed by Michael Dougherty.

The film presents four interlocking tales and there are some good actors in it, to say the least, with some of familiar faces to you Hero Complex readers, such as Anna Paquin (“True Blood,” “X-Men“), Brian Cox (“The Bourne Identity,” “X2“)  and Tahmoh Penikett (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Dollhouse“). Here’s the trailer…

“Trick ‘r Treat” had become something of a Flying Dutchman in horror circles. The film was scheduled for release waaaay back in 2007 but it got caught up in the unpredictable currents of Hollywood studio scheduling. The film has become a minor legend with its strong reviews and relatively rare screenings over all these months. 

I met Dougherty a few years ago when I traveled to the Sydney set of “Superman Returns” (which he co-wrote) and I remember most his pure enthusiasm for crowd-pleasing films; after a long day filming he and others from the set headed out to a midnight show of Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” because they simply had to be at the very first screening. I tagged along, it was a great evening — we were pretty much the only people in the theater — but we were all completely exhausted when filming resumed early the next morning. Dougherty was all smiles, though, and was eager to discuss and debate the merits of the latest sci-fi film from his one of his directing heroes.

I’m sure Dougherty will be pleased to know that, in the wee hours tonight, a lot of hard-core horror fans will (finally) be digging into “Trick ‘r Treat” with that same sort of glee.

— Geoff Boucher

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Director: “Zombieland” “far exceeded my dreams”

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A decade later: What is the legacy of ‘Blair Witch’?

How “Paranormal Activity” spooked Spielberg

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Looking back in horror: 13 films by Wes Craven reconsidered


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