It’s Halloween, so go ahead and just start watching Trick ‘r Treat.

I love horror movies. I love being scared, I love gore, and I love the silly characters and tropes that inherently come with the genre. Unfortunately it means I’m a fan of films that are, more often than not, terrible. In recent years we’ve have some excellent horror films, like The Cabin in the Woods and The Conjouring, but prior to that we had a fairly dry streak, another unfortunate factor of enjoying genre flicks. 2007 saw one of these bleak times end with the release of Trick ‘r Treat.

Written and directed by Mike Dougherty, Trick ‘r Treat is one of my favorite horror films. It’s an anthology, so instead of a single 90 minute feature film, we get 4 short films that progressively become more interwoven with each other, and all center around a small kid in a burlap sack, coined as “Sam”. The shorts each have their own flair, from a twisted principal burying bodies in his yard, to the creepy “School Bus Massacre”. What makes this film special is that every story is excellent, and they all find the perfect balance of scares, gore, humor, and an overall respect for everything Halloween.

While none of the cast is necessarily A-list, there is still a much higher caliber than you’d find in most horror films. Seasoned veterans like Brian Cox and Dylan Baker fill key roles, and fan favorite actors – namely Anna Paquin and Tahmoh Penikett – provide some fun characters to see kill, be killed, and generate scares along the way.

One of the main reasons Trick ‘r Treat is successful is the overall premise, and execution on the ideas promised. The music, pacing, and editing of the film work beautifully to weave together a unified piece of horror brilliance. The final product is smart, witty, and filled with tense, yet often hilarious moments. The layering of interconnected details is wonderful, and creates a fun experience for first time viewers.

Yearly viewings of Trick ‘r Treat have become a Halloween tradition. I’d been dying for a new horror classic, and it’s release filled that void at the time. It’s up there with Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt, and definitely worth checking out this Halloween Season.