Anyone who actually saw “Trick ‘r Treat,” the wonderful horror anthology produced by Bryan Singer and Legendary Pictures and written and directed by Michael Dougherty (who co-wrote “X2: X-Men United” for Singer), instantly fell under its spell. It was a horror film set during Halloween that followed the various inhabitants of a small suburban community as a whole host of supernatural terrors are unleashed (the film’s comic book-y format allowed for the different threads of the anthology to overlap and crisscross) and was equal parts scary and funny. In short: it instantly became an annual classic, for those inclined towards that sort of thing. And many years later, Dougherty has announced that there will, indeed, be a sequel. Get your pumpkins ready for carving, boys and ghouls!
The first “Trick ‘r Treat” had a notoriously tortured road to the big screen. It was produced and originally scheduled for a theatrical release right before Halloween, 2007. But internal struggle raged on and the film finally ended up debuting on home video in 2009. (We saw it sometime in between, at a screening sponsored by Fangoria magazine, in the former Two Boots movie theater in New York that was cramped beyond belief.) Dougherty announced the sequel at a retrospective screening at Beyond Fest 2013 in Los Angeles and then confirmed details with Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s funny because when I first dreamt up the idea of making the first film, I thought, How neat would it be if we made them a series? I’m a firm believer that October should be filled with Halloween movies, or horror movies. That’s something I remember from childhood. Horror movies and Halloween, they go hand-in-hand,” Dougherty explained to EW. “And so the idea was, Well we could probably do a ‘Trick ‘r Treat’ movie every year or every other year, and that it would sort of just be a new batch of stories and characters. And the common link between all of them would be Sam. Initially that was the plan, and then things changed as the first film had a very delayed, strange journey. I put those dreams on hold for a little while, so it feels good to go back to that initial plan.” (Sam, for the uninitiated, is a creepy, sack-clothed creature who weaves through all of the different sections of “Trick ‘r Treat.”)
The plan for the sequel was brought about due to the overwhelming success of the first film on home video, and that the film will most likely have a theatrical release date. While there is no script, the filmmaker hopes to get it out just before Halloween, so probably not 2014 but likely in 2015. And while he wouldn’t reveal the ins and outs of this particular set of stories, he did tantalizingly tease the location and time of the sequel (something that is incredibly important in anthologies, as “American Horror Story” has double-underlined).
“For me, I think every film should explore a different aspect of Halloween,” Dougherty said. “I felt like the first film was the very traditional, suburban Halloween that we all have some memory of. But as I’ve grown up over the years, I’ve lived everywhere from Columbus, Ohio to New York to L.A., and I find that the holiday is very different depending on where you live. Or even time periods. I don’t see why we should be limited to just present day stories. Halloween is an amazing holiday because it evolves depending on where you live and the time period.”
Some intriguing possibilities, indeed. If you haven’t seen the original “Trick ‘r Treat” and are looking for a great, sugary Halloween splurge, you should indulge. It’s really, really great, and probably the only movie where you’ll see Brian Cox playing John Carpenter. Yes, seriously. It’s insane. Watch the wonderfully evocative trailer for the first film below.