Halloween has long been my favorite, not only holiday, but all around season of the year. That's right! I consider Halloween to not only exist for the 24-hour time frame between 12:00 AM on October 31st every year and 11:59:59 PM of that same day, but for the entirety of the month preceding that venerable day on the calendar. I love everything about Halloween, from the visual iconography of ghosts, witches, black cats, skeletons, and vampires to the onset of the crisp feeling in the autumn air and the changing of the leaves to those vibrant shades of orange and red. Beyond an excuse to re-watch all my favorite horror films that time of year simply feels like some elemental shift in the physiology of every living things makeup that has been instilled in all of us since the first organisms were birthed forth onto the planet. With something so ancient a celebrated as Halloween, it inherently comes with a complex series of superstitions and traditions that have been passed down through generation to generation. Jack 'o Lanterns must remain lit, always wear a costume, and always check your candy, these are but a few of the rules that the keeper of the rules, Sam (named for Samhain, the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter), enforces every Halloween night. Sam appears as a childlike figure donning a mud-slicked costume, burlap mask over his head, and dragging a filthy candy sack on the ground behind him, as he wanders through the celebratory events occurring across the town of Warren Valley, Ohio. He is instantly iconic, from costume to demeanor, and just the very notion of a keeper of the rules of Halloween is enough to make me giddy. Watch the movie for spooky little Sam, but stay for one of the most evocative and memorable Halloween time set film ever made!
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