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Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat is a tremendously entertaining holiday-themed anthology film, but what has truly cemented it in pop culture is Sam, the pumpkin-headed, burlap sack-wearing spirit of Halloween. In the movie we saw him get up to various shenanigans as we learned more about his powers and what he represents, though if you’re expecting to learn more about his origins in the upcoming Trick ‘r Treat 2 you will be sadly disappointed.
This week I had the pleasure of talking with Michael Dougherty on the film about the new graphic novel Trick ‘r Treat: Days of The Dead (a series of stories that feature Sam in a variety of eras), and it was while talking about the sequel to his directorial debut that he explained the one thing that he will most definitely be steering away from: giving too much away about his horror icon. While the movie will add new dimensions to the character, fans shouldn’t expect to exactly learn about what makes him tick. Said Dougherty, speaking specifically about the book,
I’m just really against filling in too much information about your horror icons. I always find that they get less scary the more you know about them. So the first rule was to definitely try to make sure that Sam remained a presence, and trying to make sure we did show how ancient he is without pulling in some sort of convoluted backstory about where he came from.
The filmmaker further expressed his thoughts on the issue when our conversation turned to the development of Trick ‘r Treat 2, with Dougherty adding,
We do want to peek behind the curtain more into asking why [Halloween magic works the way it does], but without ever really diving too deep into Sam’s origins. That will always remain shrouded in mystery.
Before being featured in Trick ‘r Treat, Sam was actually created as part of an animated short that Michael Dougherty created back in 1996 called Season’s Greetings. You can watch the film below with the knowledge that it’s as close to an "origin" for Sam that we will ever get:
Trick ‘r Treat 2 doesn’t currently have a release date, but Trick ‘r Treat: Days of The Dead is now available for purchase.