8 Trick-or-Treating Scenes We Love

Three more days ’til Halloween (silver shamrock), but the dressing up and trick-or-treating has already begun for those who prefer to get the major celebrating done on the weekend. If your Wednesday evening will now lack door-to-door activity or involve fewer kids coming to your house for goodies, perhaps you would like to watch others partake in costumed candy hunting via this crop of trick-or-treating scenes from films. Or, maybe you just want another excuse to watch the scene from E.T. I will admit, this is my primary reason for compiling this week’s installment of Scenes We Love. But I promise the other videos are worth a look, too.

E.T. Disguised as Gertie Dressed Up as a Ghost from E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

Let’s get this one out of the way, though this could be a bad idea since you might just want to replay it over and over rather than moving on to the next scene. Here, everyone’s favorite little alien is using the holiday’s tradition as a way to get out of the house and into the forest clearing so that he can phone home. Joining Elliot as a zombie or ghoul and Michael as a hobo with a knife through his head (owwwch), E.T. wears a simple sheet with eyes cut out — which make for some terrific POV shots as the trio walk through the neighborhood. Some of the other costumes encountered in the street are indistinct to baffling, but everyone remembers the moment when E.T. sees a kid dressed as Yoda and believes him to be a real fellow alien. The scene was given new (albeit jokingly referential) meaning when E.T.’s race was represented in the Galactic Senate in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.


Cigarettes are Still Better Than Dead Rats from Spaced Invaders

Like E.T., the aliens in this far-less popular movie have the benefit of it being Halloween. But instead of the advantage being that they can wear crappy disguises, people already just assume their odd looks and uniforms are the costumes (why didn’t E.T. think of that?). The clip below doesn’t actually feature any of the aliens. Instead, we get a short example of the movie’s humor, via a moment sure to be identifiable to most of us, which exaggerates the idea of that one house on your route that gave out something awful. We learn that last year’s “treat” was a dead rat, so this year’s pack of cigarettes is sort of an improvement. And in turn they also make a bag of pennies or sheet of stickers or burnt brownie seem like a great gift.


“I Got a Rock” from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Did anyone else have the experience of not just getting uncool items from some houses but getting different items than others from the same house? In this bit from the classic “Peanuts” short, Charlie Brown keeps getting rocks from people. Good grief! Is it because he has a messed up ghost costume? I’m not sure if it’s weirder to me that kids would get good or bad items depending on their costume or that all the kids would get completely different stuff — a chocolate bar or a popcorn ball or a pack of gum — from the same person. In my day most houses didn’t even have a mix of different candy. You’d have one house with nothing but peanut butter cups, another house with only butterfingers, etc. Thankfully nobody really gave out rocks. At least, not in my neighborhood.


“The Most Horrible” from Meet Me in St. Louis

Speaking of Halloween experiences I’m not personally familiar with, the early 20th century traditions seen in Vincente Minnelli’s adaptation of Sally Benson’s autobiographical stories are quite dangerous, not to mention mean. First of all, there’s the apparent acceptance of little children throwing furniture into a giant bonfire in the street. Then there’s the practice of going to houses and throwing flour in people’s faces instead of requesting candy — which is not the “trick” part of trick-or-treating; they call it “killing” the person. And if that weren’t enough, the kids also play such pranks as putting fake bodies in the path of trolley cars in order to sabotage them. That last part is not in the only clip available (which isn’t even embeddable — watch it here), nor is the part where Tootie is injured while fighting a man attempting to help them get away with their dirty deed. Aren’t you glad all we had to worry about was the threat, if not reality, of razorblades in our candy?

Rather than a reject, Christopher Campbell is a film school dropout. But he has since gotten a master’s degree in cinema studies and has been blogging about movies since 2005. Earlier, he reviewed films for a zine (a what?) that you could buy at Tower Records (a what?). He is married with two children.

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