Happy October! Every day this month we are going to do a deep dive of the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror. And yes, I know I’m starting this on October 2. But I think you should keep in mind that these episodes didn’t start airing until Season 2. So technically, I’m just following their lead and absolutely not slacking off in any way, shape or form.
A History Lesson:
Treehouse of Horror is an annual Simpsons special released every year around Halloween. The episodes are fragmented into three parts, each parodying a medium of horror, science fiction and/or fantasy. The Twilight Zone, Stephen King and Paranormal Activity are just a few of the the many frightening references. So put on your Halloween mask, pour yourself a drink – I’m drinking my favorite chai – and join me on this spooky adventure.
Homer Simpson is home after a successful night of trick-or-treating to find his children in the family treehouse. Bart and Lisa are sharing scary stories, both determined to out-scare the other. Bart tells the first two stories: “Bad Dream House” and “Hungry are the Damned.”
In “Bad Dream House,” the Simpsons move into an inexpensive mansion with major Amityville Horror vibes. Marge and Homer can’t fathom why the house was so affordable, all while paying no mind to the bleeding walls, floating books and chilling voice that speaks from nowhere. But they should be terrified, because the house is pissed off that yet another set of intruders has invaded its space and it will do anything to get them the hell out.
“Hungry are the Damned” is a spoof of the Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man,” and in both the main characters are abducted by big-headed aliens who have quite a passion for food. In this tale, Lisa unveils a secret about the alien race Rigellians that could either save her family or kill them all.
Bart is pretty proud of himself after he finishes these stories. But Lisa doesn’t give a shit about anything her brother has to say and instead opts for Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “The Raven.” James Earl Jones passionately narrates this visual retelling.
“Treehouse of Horror Installment I” is an absolute joy to watch and a wonderful beginning to the 30-year-old tradition. The loud red and purple color pallets complete the haunting aura, and all the jokes land perfectly. At the beginning of the episode, Marge steps on a stage and warns the audience they are about to see something terrifying and possibly not suitable for children. Her concerns are valid, as the episode is filled with references from Amityville Horror and the Poltergeist. It was 24 minutes of PG animated terror.
Tomorrow we are going to look at Installment II, which covers classic stories including “The Monkey’s Paw” and Frankenstein. Until then, make sure to check out what else we’re watching here at Haunted MTL.