This article is about the Trick 'r Treat character. For the Sam & Max character, see Sam.
Sam, or "Samhain", a fictional character created by Michael Dougherty, appearing in Dougherty's 1996 short film, Season's Greetings, and then in the horror film Trick 'r Treat. He was played by child actor Quinn Lord in the film. Appearing as a seemingly innocent masked trick-or-treater, Sam is revealed to be a demonic pumpkin-like creature who acts as the enforcer for the rules and traditions of Halloween.
Sam's name originates from Samhain, the origins of Halloween itself. He is depicted as a child dressed in a Halloween costume, which consists of an orange set of pajamas, and a mask made of a burlap sack with buttons for eyes. Sam drags a dirty sack around with him throughout the film, but its contents are unknown, presumably candy. Despite his childlike appearance, it is established that Sam is more demonic than he appears, hiding a pumpkin-shaped head resembling a skull. Dougherty described Sam's head as a cross "between an embryo and a pumpkin". Quinn Lord, who plays Sam in the film, described his character as being a demon who was born in a pumpkin patch.
Sam acts very much like a child, being mischievous and appearing to love chocolate. Sam visits one town a year on Halloween and appears in Trick 'r Treat to enforce the rules of the holiday and punish those who ignore and defy them. The rules include handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, wearing a costume, and never blowing out a jack o'lantern before midnight. As enforcer of the rules and rituals of Halloween, Sam takes it upon himself to punish those who break tradition in the most brutal and mischievous way possible.
Michael Dougherty created Sam when he was at New York University taking wikipedia:Animation animation classes, originally creating him as an wikipedia:Alter ego alter ego for himself. Another reason behind Sam's creation was to give Halloween an iconic figure, other seasonal holidays having such iconic figures (e.g. Christmas has Santa Claus). He later used Sam as the main character or influential presence in Trick 'r Treat. Sam's pumpkin-like head was originally sketched by Dougherty in 2002, and he showed it to the film's concept artist to adapt into the film. Quinn Lord was picked to play Sam. Dougherty explained he wanted an actual child to play the character to make the performance look realistic. A stunt woman was used during the fight sequence with Brian Cox's character.