Trick or treat movie scenes come in a variety of styles. Obviously, horror movies have long capitalized on Halloween and its potential for scariness. Other genres have made use of the tradition, too. Comedies have played trick-or-treating for laughs, dramas have used it to advance characterization, and science-fiction films have utilized it to contrast life on Earth with aliens and their technology.
The best Halloween scenes in movies are not gratuitous. They add something of value to the story or help us see their heroes -- and sometimes their villains -- in an important way. A number of these moments have become classics. Who doesn't remember the titular alien gazing at trick-or-treaters in wonder in E.T.? Or Boo Radley saving Jem and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird? There's real power in these sequences. Others are gems from smaller, lesser-seen films. American Splendor, for example, uses trick-or-treating as a way to help show how the main character proudly marches to the beat of his own drummer.
This is your chance to weigh in on the cinematic trick or treat scenes that you think are the best. We've assembled a list of the most memorable examples from various genres. Vote up all of your favorites.
Michael Myers roams the streets of Haddonfield as children trick-or-treat. He wanders into a house, uses a knife to dispatch of the woman inside, bypasses a baby, then goes back outside among the candy-seeking children in this eerie sequence from the 2018 Halloween.
141Is this a great scene?
- Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence, Sandy Johnson, Charles Cyphers
- Released: 1978
- Directed by: John Carpenter
A darkly funny scene in Trick 'r Treat finds school principal Steven Wilkins trying to dispose of the body of a child he poisoned. This is interrupted when candy-seeking kids ring his doorbell. Wilkins' shirt is covered with blood, but the Halloweeners think he's just wearing a costume.
142Is this a great scene?
- Actors: Anna Paquin, Leslie Bibb, Brian Cox, Tahmoh Penikett, Lauren Lee Smith
- Released: 2007
- Directed by: Michael Dougherty
In the "Friday the 31st" segment of the horror anthology Tales of Halloween, a costumed serial killer encounters a tiny alien holding a pumpkin bucket and saying "trick or treat." Lacking candy, the psycho steps on the claymation alien.
81Is this a great scene?
- Actors: Grace Phipps, Booboo Stewart, Adrienne Barbeau, Lin Shaye, Barry Bostwick
- Released: 2015
- Directed by: Neil Marshall, Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Lucky McKee, Andrew Kasch
A criminal on the run teaches the boy he's kidnapped how to trick-or-treat. They approach a home owned by a kindly old lady. But Halloween was yesterday and she's all out of treats. The criminal flashes his gun to get her looking for more. The sequence establishes that he's capable of both compassion and danger.
40Is this a great scene?
- Actors: Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, Laura Dern, Bruce McGill, Bradley Whitford
- Released: 1993
- Directed by: Clint Eastwood