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YMMV / Trick 'r Treat

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  • Adorkable: Rhonda has No Social Skills and weirds the other children out with her encyclopedic knowledge of Halloween, and it endears her to the audience - especially her Meet Cute with Schraeder.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Did Rhonda think Macy and her friends were still pulling a joke on her, or did she know that the ghosts of the dead school bus kids were real and just left them to die?
      • Alternatively, did she remember Macy saying that the elevator would only hold three people safely, and thus assume that they'd throw her out and leave her to die?
      • Another possibility: the other children had already presented themselves to Rhonda as being dead. It's possible she simply believed them...
      • Yet another possibility (wow she's a fun character): she seems to be the only person in the movie who Sam actually likes (the best anyone else gets is indifference), likely because they both believe obsessively in the rules of Halloween...they broke the rules, she couldn't interfere with the punishment...
      • When she walked out of the elevator, was she in shock, or was it Tranquil Fury?
      • And yet another possibility: her choice of costume, encyclopedic knowledge of Halloween, and oddly calm reaction upon seeing Sam could mean that Rhonda actually is a young witch. Take into account that when she explains Samhain to Chip, she specifically mentions human sacrifice as being an ancient tradition, and what does her leaving the others to die start to look like?
    • Did the School Bus Kids kill the other children to help Rhonda? Alternatively, however, jack o'lanterns seem to have a protective power in this universe, so it's possible that once they were smashed, the kids just unleashed their rage on whoever happened to be there...
      • As another layer, Rhonda is implied to have some sort of mental disorder, which is further implied to be why she's being picked on in the first place. The bus kids were killed for being Special Needs students. If they were saving her, was their motivation to defend her from being bullied for similar reasons to why they themselves were killed, in a way sticking up for her because nobody stuck up for them?
    • It's clear the werewolves must know what Sam is if they tolerate his presence without comment. Does this mean they're friendly to him? Or just terrified of him? Or possibly be subservient to him? Alternatively, since none of the werewolves acknowledge Sam's presence, or even glimpse at him, it is possible that he's invisible to them.
      • It's possible that since they were so busy eating they just didn't see him.
    • Were all the schoolbus kids actually violent in life, or just mentally ill in a school system that didn't respect their needs? They were chained up, but there are certainly plenty of cases in Real Life of harmless mentally ill people being treated no better. They certainly showed no sign of malice in the flashback.
    • While Macy was clearly hostile to Rhonda, the same can't be said for Schrader, Chip, or Sara. Furthermore, we only see those three when they're friendly to Rhonda (early on before the prank is pulled, and after they've seen the results). This leads to some interesting questions about why they did what they did. Obviously, they could just be bullies pulling a joke on an easy victim, because Even Evil Has Standards. They could be Pragmatic Villains who realized that Rhonda's head injury would likely get them all in serious trouble with the authorities. They might have also just been going along with Macy. On the other hand, it's possible they saw the entire exercise as a hazing ritual for Rhonda, and thought she would feel more a part of the group afterwards (...obviously, they were wrong...).
    • Given that the comic paints Sam as a holiday rule-enforcing full-on Eldritch Abomination, he becomes Krampus in Winter (or vice versa).
    • At the end of his segment, did Mr. Kreeg feel any remorse for his miserliness? Or was he just trying to avoid further run-ins with Sam?
  • Awesome Music: "Sweet Dreams" by Marilyn Manson when the werewolves transform and kill Wilkins.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After watching Macey and her friends bully Rhonda, it is deeply satisfying when the School Bus Kids unleash their wrath on them, and Rhonda escapes, leaving her tormentors to die.
    • Similarly, watching the murderous principal get killed and eaten by Laurie, who he tried to victimize before she turned the tables. Ah, karma...
  • Complete Monster: Days of the Dead comic's "Corn Maiden": Alvin Bledsoe is a railroad executive seeking to expand his way west. Traveling with his daughter Sarah and subordinates, Bledsoe is frustrated by a group of Natives who refuse to move their village for his railroad. When negotiations fail, Bledsoe simply poisons the whole village to exterminate the lot of them, using Sarah to do so and remarking that if she eats the poison candy he sends, then "great progress requires great sacrifice."
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Burying a body while trying to avoid detection becomes hilarious when next door's dog starts snooping, and the solution is to break off a piece of the body to distract said dog. A serial killer plays fetch with one of his victim's limbs.
    • With the knowledge that Laurie and her friends are werewolves, their opening conversation becomes darkly hilarious.
  • Crossover Ship: Non-romantic, but a lot of fans like to portray Sam and Michael Myers as close friends.
  • Diagnosed by the Audience: It's not stated exactly what made the school bus kids mentally disturbed, though the implication is that they were all simply neurodivergent children stuck with terrible parents in a time before the general public was more aware of what autism and similar conditions were.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The werewolves massacre their victims in an orgy that is terrifying and yet gratuitously awesome, complete with sexy dancing babes before they peel off their skin and a fun riff of "Sweet Dreams" playing over it.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Sam, in a nonsexual way. He's just so darn cute!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Rhonda tends to get a lot of love, due to people finding her enthusiasm for Halloween endearing, and her problems with bullies leading to people sympathizing with her.
  • Fan Nickname: For the film itself, it's "a more Halloween-y movie than Halloween", and for Sam it's "Pumpkinhead".
  • Fight-Scene Failure: When Sam drops onto Mr. Kreeg, the figure obviously changes into a grown adult.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The werewolf-murder-orgy, while cathartic, becomes this in light of Marilyn Manson, whose music is used in the scene, being met with allegations of numerous sexual crimes.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Sam, the spirit of Halloween itself, is a diminutive being in a burlap sack who enforces the holiday rules ruthlessly. Calling up the supernatural wherever he goes, Sam is all too happy to utilize them to ensure people follow the Halloween traditions. Sam personally plays a visit to spiteful old Mr. Kreeg, terrorizing him into playing into the proper role of Halloween and handing out candy while also leaving him to the mercy of the undead children he murdered years ago, just before Sam murders a woman for blowing out a Jack O' Lantern early and leaves her body as a warning to follow the rules next time.
    • "Surprise Party":
      • Laurie is an innocent-seeming young woman dressed as Red-Riding Hood, pressured by her sister Danielle and their friends to have her "first time" in town. Far from a hapless maiden, Laurie is instead attempting to lure in a victim to the "party" with her fellow werewolves to be devoured. Luring in one such man who turns out to be the serial killing Steve Wilkins, Laurie turns the tables and brings him to be her first ever kill while happily using the time to bond further with her sister.
      • Danielle is the immensely pleasant older sister of Laurie, who serves as the primary organizer of a brutal, annual ritual for Halloween. Honoring long-time tradition, Danielle leads her friends and sister in dressing up as fairy tale characters and seducing dozens of men to meet up for a "party" in the woods, Danielle offering advice to Laurie at every chance, genuinely hopeful her sister succeeds. Revealed to be a werewolf alongside her friends, Danielle leads the pack in tearing apart their "dates", Danielle personally howling in joy as Laurie consummates her status as a vicious wolf.
  • Moe: Rhonda is a shy, adorable girl implied to be on the autism spectrum with an endearing knowledge of Halloween and gets picked on unfairly.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The parents of the school bus kids went past the point of deserving sympathy the moment they hired the school bus driver to kill their children. The bus driver also proved to have gone beyond the pale for agreeing to do it.
  • Older Than They Think: The twist of Little Red Riding Hood becoming a werewolf and fighting off the predator had been done in The Company of Wolves although the circumstances are much different.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Follow the rules of Halloween or Sam will come and find you...
  • Realism-Induced Horror: The circumstances surrounding the School Bus Massacre. A group of mentally disabled kids — being raised in a time before whatever they were afflicted with would be more widely recognized, if not accepted — were treated with scorn by their parents, who eventually paid a man to kill them all. It especially stands out in a film where most of the scares are the result of supernatural sources.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Britt McKillip would have been recognised from Dead Like Me, but in The New '10s would become far more famous for voicing Princess Cadance in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • Special Effects Failure: While people praise the werewolf transformation for being original, the werewolves themselves are pretty cheesy-looking. Luckily the filmmakers knew this and opted to take a "less is more" approach by using extreme closeups and quick cuts.
  • Spoiled by the Format: When watching the movie on Amazon, their "X-Ray" feature has the potential to spoil. If one pauses the movie while the Vampire / Man In Black is on screen, the feature reveals the actor portraying him is the same as the one portraying Principal Wilkins.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • In a flashback in 'The School Bus Massacre Revisited', one of the children notices the driver taking a different road. He seems to know that something is wrong, but due to whatever disorder he has, he can't do anything more than cry while repeating "wrong way" and "I wanna go home". Also, just the fact that a man hired to keep them safe agreed to kill them in exchange for a bribe. From their parents.
    • The kid in the Dracula costume attempting to drive them home, only to end up sending them to their watery graves.
  • Ugly Cute: Sam. Part of it comes from the fact that there's an actual child actor (the awesomely-named Quinn Lord) in that costume, rather than a little person actor.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Emma, because her very gruesome death feels a lot like Disproportionate Retribution. Also, possibly Schrader, Chip, and Sara depending on which side of the Alternate Character Interpretation mentioned above you are.
  • Vindicated by History: This film's Screwed by the Network status is legendary. It was dumped on DVD two years after its intended release, apparently never to be heard from again. The combination of Dougherty's persistence in marketing his pet project, and the film's absolutely rabid fanbase, turned that around. At this point, every critic on the internet with even a passing interest in horror films has reviewed it, and every Halloween, the number of people aware of it continues to balloon. Among many horror fans, it's now seen as the standard by which all other horror-comedies, anthologies, or Halloween-related movies in general are judged.
  • The Woobie:
    • Rhonda. She's known as "Rhonda the Retard" by other kids and is almost a victim in a Deadly Prank.
    • The School Bus Kids. Talk about tragic monsters.
    • Mr. Kreeg, even if in a Jerkass Woobie sort of way.
    • Emma. She's hot and exhausted from her heavy, awkward costume, has been dragged all over town by her man-child husband, and just wants to clean up the Halloween decorations before her mother comes over in the morning (and presumably starts to nag Emma about her housekeeping). Her reward of being murdered and dismembered by Sam and Henry possibly being falsely convicted of her murder seems fairly disproportionate.
    • Even Henry can be considered one due to the fact that he found his wife's corpse and will most likely go to jail for something he didn't even do.


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