For those of us that love Halloween Horror Nights, it is always amazing to see properties that actually celebrate the holiday. While HHN often revolves around horror films, it’s rare that the properties used directly celebrate the holiday. Over the years, there have been awesome houses and scare zones to celebrate the spooky season. However, few have been as visually or viscerally appealing as Trick ‘r Treat. Last year’s scare zone was not only exciting but appealed to many who did not even attend the event. The pumpkins and lighting became photo ops, and quickly the area became a smash hit.
The concept behind the Trick ‘r Treat movie was pretty simple. Tell a series of interconnected/anthology stories over the night of Halloween. This concept was the original idea that John Carpenter wanted to execute with the Halloween franchise, as seen in Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. Trick ‘r Treat became a cult classic over the years, resulting in the Krampus in 2016 and the Trick ‘r Treat scare zone in 2017. Now, we get a full-blown Trick ‘r Treat house, making it an exciting time for fans of the film and of quality HHN houses.
EXPECTED WAIT TIME
30 – 50 Minutes
While Trick ‘r Treat will appeal to the die-hard fans of the house, much of the public will gravitate towards Stranger Things, Blumhouse 2, Halloween and Poltergeist houses. This should help keep the wait down here, which is undeniably great news.
CHARACTERS/EFFECTS WE HOPE TO SEE
One of the core things that you have to keep in mind for Trick ‘r Treat is the importance of Halloween tradition.
- Always hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.
- Always wear a costume.
- NEVER blow out a Jack O’Lantern before midnight.
- Always respect the Dead.
- Always check your candy
Sam – Our main man same is going to be present throughout the house. He’s the through-line that connects each of the stories and will be our Virgil through the town of Warren Valley, Ohio. What makes Sam an excellent character to base the maze around is that he’s actually scary at points in the film. If he didn’t do any killing, he’d still be awesome. But the extra added push of having him actively enforce the rules of Halloween Night makes him awesome. Emma, the first character murdered in the movie, will likely just be part of the set piece. She was in the scarezone last year.
Principle Wilkins – Played by Dylan Baker in the movie, Principle Wilkins is bad news for all who come into contact with him. Not only does he hunt one of our fair werewolf maidens through the night, but he’s a serial killer that murders women and children at an alarming rate. Expect multiple versions of him, cloaked and uncloaked throughout the house. My personal favorite is vampire Wilkins, but there’s definitely wiggle room. Charlie will likely tie in here, especially because he did in the scare zone last year.
Mr. Kreeg – a murderous scumbag who never suffered the fate he deserved. Played be Brian Cox we could see him pop up in multiple versions as well. If we jump to the past he matters, and if we go present day alone, he’s still a scary dude. Considering the climax of the film takes place in his house, he’ll definitely be present.
Laurie – Played by X-Man and Academy Award winner Anna Paquin, Laurie has her own secrets. Her Little Red Riding costume was present last year in the scare zone, and she’s got some tricks up her sleeve. How they bring her scenes to life is one of the most exciting things about the house.
Macy, Sara, Chip, Schrader, and Rhonda – A group of kids that stumble into something far darker than they imagined. They could be used in a variety of ways, including some very awesome scenes. It’ll be interesting to see if we get their prank against Rhonda before they’re murdered, which would make it’s own awesome scene to watch in a house.
Victims of the School Bus Massacre – One of the iconic scenes in the movie also brings several creepy trick or treaters into the house. These ghouls are scary and were present last year in the scarezone.
Danielle/Maria/Janet – A few of Laurie’s friends set out to have a howling good time. They’re definitely going to be a part of the house, and should make appearances beyond their scene in the film.
LOCATIONS WE HOPE TO GO
One of the great things about Trick ‘r Treat is the linear story it looks to tell. Just kidding, it’s an anthology, which allows us to visit small little stories throughout. One of the great things about the house is that they can choose to mix and match stories and try to tell us the story in the order of the film, or we could get it through story-by-story breakdowns. I’m hoping for the latter.
There are 4 to 5 stories (depending on your count), and while the house will have more than that, there are pretty easy places to recreate. Perhaps most exciting will be the potential use of transition scenes. The opening credits take on a comic book vibe, and it could make for some really cool visuals as we transition. We’ll see if that comes out, but the scarezone last year was immaculately designed, so there’s little doubt the house will be too.
Emma and Henry’s House – This is the logical place for our story to begin, especially because we can bring Sam in quite early. He not only gets the first kill of the movie, but we’ve already seen Emma as part of the set dressing. With the sheet scarecrows spread across the front yard, and eventually Emma’s corpse, we can get Sam’s coming from every direction.
Principle Wilkins’ House – We can get this scene in a couple of ways, and this could be our first interior of the house. Not only is there an opportunity to watch Wilkins kill Charlie, but then he wants to turn Charlie’s head into a Jack-O-Lantern. It’s creepy and weird and could give us a straight-laced serial killer series of jump scares.
Streets of Warren Valley, Ohio – There is a lot that goes on in the town, and I love the idea of a scarezone inside of a house. Even if it’s recreated circa Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield, there should be plenty of scares. This also gives our vampire/sexual predator a chance to grab you. The girls are also walking around in their costumes, which could signal there’s more than meets the eye.
School Bus Massacre Quarry- Plenty of reason to revisit this location. There are sure to be creative ways to visit the cliff, as well as go down it. We get our young kids, full of mischief. We get the actual victims, who will be terrifying as hell. It’s a good mix and allows for some of the comic art to come out as we transition scenes.
The Party in the Woods – We love us some woods scenes at HHN, and there’s plenty of gore to come out here. Expect tons of bodies, some more potential vampire man scares, and even some werewolves. It’ll be well worth our time to wander through, and with the woods setting, will allow for multiple boo holes and fun set design.
Kreeg’s House – The end of the film mostly revolves around this location, which will be useful to bring Sam back in at the end of the house. No one disrespects the holiday of Halloween like Kreeg, and he better be ready for some real scares. It’s a dangerous game for Kreeg, and the house should be spooky. If the house ends the way I believe it will, we’ll get a nice salvo of house all-stars to scare us out the door.
WHAT TO WATCH
Trick ‘r Treat (2007) – You should obviously be watching this movie for about a dozen reasons. What’s miraculous is how much of a success story it’s become. After premiering at some festivals, this one released straight to DVD. Word of mouth made it a cult movie and now’s it should become an HHN regular. Sam is amazing, the characters are great, and hopefully, we’ll get a 2nd film after Michael Dougherty finishes the new “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” set to release next summer.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) – One of the most underrated horror movie of all time, simply because it didn’t feature our main man Michael Myers. It’s okay, I’ll eventually get over the undeserved hate. It’s really quite weird and extraordinary and serves up the most Halloween centered fun of any of the films in the franchise. Plus, you’ll never get that commercial out of your head.
Krampus (2015) – Dougherty decided to make another holiday themed horror film, and Krampus was a dumb comedic romp through the holidays. It really was a lot of fun, even though the house didn’t quite translate it right. It was a fun house, but certainly not towards the top of the heap. Even so, watch the movie and enjoy people who hate each other dying together.
V/H/S (2012) – If you’re in the mood for more anthology horror, here’s your fix. It’s not necessarily a stellar film from start to end, and the pieces don’t bind together as well as Trick ‘r Treat. However, you do get some very cool directors stopping in to make mini horror films. It’s a fun ride and should be checked out by anyone who likes Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, or even mumblecore God, Joe Swanberg.
Fright Night (1985) – Think one part Rear Window, one part Stranger Things. Both versions of Fright Night are solid horror films, and this one feels more in line with the nature of Trick ‘r Treat. It’s another version of a cult classic (though this one had considerable success) and looks to have been extremely influential on the world of horror. Also, I’ll be tying back to it with Vamp ’85 so you might as well get rolling now.