For years, whether I’ve had it in the background at a Halloween party, or dressed up in my costume for the big night, John Carpenter’s Halloween has always been the number one movie to watch on my October 31st ritual. But things changed in 2007 Trick or treats came around. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Michael Myers, but other than a few scenes of candy and pumpkins, the LA spring (with palm trees and lots of greenery) masquerading as the Midwest in the fall doesn’t scream exactly the Halloween season.
Which makes Trick or treats the perfect Halloween movie is that it gives off an eerie atmosphere. It totally captures the essence of All Hallow’s Eve – the misty nights, the orange foliage, the autumnal landscape – you can practically smell the aroma of sweet corn and baked pumpkin seeds as you watch it. Not only that, but it ticks off pretty much everything a movie needs during spooky season: rides or caterers, costumed festivities galore, ghoulish zombie children, werewolf foxes, creepy serial killers, the list goes on… But most importantly, it brought us the mischievous Sam – the coolest (and devilishly adorable) pint-sized horror mascot to grace the screen since Chucky. Sam is a childish, pumpkin-faced pixie who wears orange pajamas and a burlap mask. Think of it as a sort of Halloween enforcer. He wields a candy bar-shaped lollipop knife and razor blade, signature weapons he’ll happily swipe and dice you with if you break any of Halloween’s hallowed rules. Thanks Sam, Trick or treats is one of my own sacred Halloween traditions. [Gil Macias]