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The Warner Bros. Horror Classic You Didn't Know Never Hit Theaters

It may seem a bit obvious to say, but it's really hard to get a movie made in Hollywood. And even if you do get your movie made, it can sometimes be difficult to get that movie into a multiplex for audiences to see. There are literally hundreds of reasons a film might get shelved, put on hold, delayed, or given the dreaded straight-to-video treatment, and believe it or not, most of them do not involve streaming platforms of prolonged viral pandemics that forever alter the landscape of the theatrical experience.

When a film's release does get delayed, or said film skips a theatrical release altogether, it might be because the studio behind it either: 1) isn't happy with the finished project, or 2) simply has no idea how to market it. Whatever the case, such decisions are usually a death blow to the film's financial prospects, because the multiplex is where the action is at. 

There are, however, a handful of cinematic anomalies out there that've found success, despite missing out on a theatrical release. One such anomaly is a 2007 horror anthology that's now revered by many as a genre classic.

Trick 'r Treat was a straight-to-DVD delight for horror fans

As it happens, the straight-to-DVD flick we're referencing is one of the truest triumphs of the horror anthology realm: Mike Dougherty's nightmarish, often hilarious Halloween-set freak-fest "Trick 'r Treat," which is held in high regard by horror enthusiasts to this day. 

It's sort of shocking it never saw a proper theatrical release. That straight-to-DVD release was certainly not due to lack of recognizable talent in front of or behind the camera on "Trick 'r Treat." The film's cast actually boasts the formidable talents of Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, Brian Cox, Tamoh Penikett, and Leslie Bibb. And though "Trick 'r Treat" marked Dougherty's feature directorial debut, he'd already made a name for himself as one of the screenwriters behind "X2: X-Men United," and "Superman Returns." 

"Trick 'r Treat" was also produced by Bryan Singer (long before his fall from grace), who told IGN in a 2013 interview that poor test-screenings ultimately led to Warner Bros. shelving the film and essentially dumping it to DVD, "I think the timing was a little weird. I think everyone was showing it to an audience that was expecting 'Saw' and they got a little confused in the market research or whatever." 

Thankfully, horror lovers have continued to find "Trick 'r Treat" in the years since its release, transforming it from straight-to-video failure, to bona-fide cult hit, to legit holiday staple. And if you haven't yet seen it yourself, there's no better time than now to devour this menacing seasonal treat.