Halloween will be coming a little early this year to the millions of passionate horror geeks out there, because Trick ‘r Treat is finally making its theatrical debut. Yes, director Michael Dougherty’s beloved, cult classic horror anthology, filmed in 2007 and never released on home video until 2009, is finally headed for movie theaters. Thanks to a program with participating Regal Cinemas locations, the film will screen on five dates in early October, starting on Thursday, Oct. 6.
Trick ‘r Treat is a film we’ve written extensively about at Paste over the years, naming it the best horror movie of 2007, and additionally proclaiming it as the ultimate Halloween night movie. Indeed, there’s just something about the vibe of Trick ‘r Treat—where many horror films are set in the Halloween season, none of them—including Halloween itself, in fact—has so much obvious ardor for the spirit of the holiday. Dougherty’s movie is the most loving tribute to the holiday that has ever been committed to film, which makes it all the more shocking that audiences were almost denied a chance to see it at all. After the film was initially meant for a theatrical release in 2007, the studio seemingly got cold feet, perhaps unsure of how to promote an unusual anthology without much star power behind it. Trick ‘r Treat subsequently lingered in development hell until it received a physical media release with little fanfare in 2009.
However, the film and its now-iconic avatar known as Sam, were not to be denied. Trick ‘r Treat slowly began to build a cult of admirers, and it wasn’t long before horror geeks started regarding it as a seasonal classic. TV airings quickly followed, exposing the film to a wider audience, and minting Trick ‘r Treat as a cult classic in the process. In the years that have followed, the film has now generated copious merchandise, and even a Halloween Horror Nights tribute at Universal Studios. The one thing it’s never had, though, is a proper theatrical release, until now.
In the years since Trick ‘r Treat was released, director Dougherty has ascended the Hollywood ladder, helming the similar holiday horror Krampus before jumping into the big leagues with Godzilla: King of the Monsters. And yet, it seems as if the director retains a special place in his heart for the fandom of Trick ‘r Treat in particular, so we can only imagine he’s likely thrilled that something he poured his heart into so many years ago will finally get the theatrical exhibition it always deserved. You can check out advance showtimes for Trick ‘r Treat in Regal Cinemas right here.