By popular demand, Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat (2007) is this year’s close-to-Halloween offering from the Thursday Horror Picture Show (where it might be said to be Halloween every Thursday). Neither I, nor I imagine anyone else, seems likely to call this a great film. Bit it is very much a fun horror picture—albeit also a very R-rated one—and a perfect Halloween film that was given a bad break in 2007 when Warner Bros. opted not to give it a theatrical release. The “why” of that is debatable. At least 90-percent of the time, it becomes blindingly obvious why studios eschew theatrical releases, but this isn’t one of them. It’s hard to keep from thinking that the mortality rate involving children had some bearing on the decision, especially the school bus episode. (What would they have thought of Hobo with a Shotgun?) Regardless, what we have here is a portmanteau film that manages to actually tie its multiple stories together in a way that’s both dramatically satisfying and cinematically pretty-darned clever. Some of the stories are better than others—aren’t they always?—with the shaggy werewolf story being the weakest and most cartoonish of the lot. But the overall quality is surprisingly high—as is the film’s creepiness factor—while the Sam character (who might be the spirit of Halloween, and whose last name is probably Haim) is a great addition to the seasonal mythology. This is actually one of the few films that isn’t merely set at Halloween, but qualifies as being about Halloween.