How would you react if you found out that a pedophile lives on your street? In 1996 President Bill Clinton instituted a new law that forced all States to inform citizens where previously convicted pedophiles live. The National Sex Offender Registry was instituted to give security to parents, but has instead led to an increased fear of pedophiles.
Since the registry was introduced over 800 000 sex offenders have been publicly published. In the U.S there is currently no residential area without a previously convicted sex offender.
"They are everywhere. This is why we don’t go out and celebrate Halloween, or trick or treat anymore", mother of two, Kathryn Barriou says.
Night of the Predators is a Swedish documentary film about the collective fear that destroyed the traditional celebration of Halloween. Documentary film makers Magnus Arvidson, Prix Italia winner 2005, and Mikaela Krestesen examine the consequences of a public sex offender registry and they follow a different kind of Halloween, in the small town of Anderson, South Carolina. Here the authorities have a radical solution to try to save the trick or treat-tradition – the sex offenders are to be locked away during Halloween.
But despite the curfew imposed on the sex offenders many parts of the city streets of Anderson will still be empty during the holiday. The city priest, Paul Fry, urges parents to come to the church parking lot instead. Here parents park their cars with the tailgates against each other in a circle. Trick or treat is replaced with trunk or treat.
In the film we meet parents, the special Halloween police force, children and the convicted sex offender Kelly Pierce, who – trapped by all the restrictions – is about to leave the country in an old sailing boat.