I think it goes without saying that I’m kind of the horror geek around these parts. And as resident spookster, I have to take this moment to tell all of you not in the know about Trick ‘r Treat, an indie anthology horror movie that, even ten years later, is constantly on the tip of many a scary movie-inclined tongue. In the past decade, while clamor for a follow-up has grown, all involved have remained mostly mum on the topic. However, every year, someone asks about it.
This year, it was ComicBookMovie.com, as they caught Michael Dougherty, who recently directed Godzilla: King of the Monsters slightly off-guard, with the filmmaker replying as so:
“Oh man, it’s that time of year! I feel like that’s become the new Halloween tradition: ask Mike about Trick ‘r Treat 2! [Laughs] Listen, I’m intrigued by the idea and it’s completely up to Legendary. It’s been a few years since we initially talked about it and there’s been a regime change since then. They still have the property and they love it and there’s still a long line of merchandise and a continuing line of comic books based on the film but the ball is in their court.
The moment they say they’re interested and ready to go, we’ll see if the stars align. At the same time, I think there’s something to be said about not sequelising it. In a business that is obsessed with franchising and spinoffs and prequels and sequels, maybe there’s something to be said about just leaving it alone.”
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Honestly? That’s one of the most all-enveloping, definitive responses to a sequel question that I’ve ever witnessed. He hits literally every avenue, from rights holders to availability to even the philosophical question posited by Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park: the could verses the should.
Dougherty, since directing Trick r’ Treat, also brought us the well-liked Krampus and the aforementioned tepidly-received Godzilla flick. His comments on sequelization are most telling though, I think. I’m sure he knows the dollar potential, as cynical as that is, of a decades-late follow up to a cult hit. While recent long-wait sequel efforts like Blade Runner 2049 failed financially, critics were highly receptive. Maybe he’s not feeling a sequel after working on King of the Monsters?
Or, with the resurgence of mainstream horror, is Dougherty worried that an anthology film like Trick r’ Treat wouldn’t fit in with the current landscape? Perhaps, but more likely, he just doesn’t want to make a mediocre follow-up, like 2018’s Halloween. That’s me editorializing, but his statement leaves a lot of lines to read between. The dude definitely has cinematic talent and seems like he wants to explore his own fresh avenues instead of trotting down a well-worn path. And that’s more than fair.