Top Ten: The Simpsons, Treehouse of Horror Episodes

Since season two, The Simpsons have had a Halloween episode. Some are hilarious and fantastic, some are meh, and some are immediately forgotten. In each episode, the family remakes three or four popular (usually horror or sci-fi) movies. As an added touch, even the names in the credits are altered for Halloween. These are my favorite Treehouse of Horror episodes based on my personal tastes. It took me a lot of rewatching and narrowing down, but I’ve finally decided on my top ten (twelve).

Rank: 10
Episode: XX 21×04
Intro: Classic Monsters Halloween Party
Segments: “Dial ‘M’ for Murder or Press ‘#’ to Return to Main Menu”, “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind”, “There’s No Business Like Moe Business”
Summary: In black and white, Bart proposes a “criss-cross” with Lisa to kill each other’s enemy. Krusty Burger’s new creation turns Springfield into zombies. A musical of mostly Moe making beer with Homer’s blood.

 

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Rank: 9
Episode: XXI 22×04
Intro: Bart vs Homer presented by Professor Frink, The Monster Office
Segments: “War and Pieces”, “Master and Cadaver”, “Tweenlight”
Summary: Bart and Milhouse are sucked into a board game world. Marge and Homer rescue a man on their boat vacation but end up having a change of heart. Lisa meets the vampire boy of her dreams and introduces him to the family.

 

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Rank: 8
Episode: XXV 26×04
Intro: Kudos and Kang Celebrity-style
Segments: “School is Hell”, “A Clockwork Yellow”, “The Others”
Summary: Bart excels in hell-school. Homer, Moe, and friends form a gang and terrorize the town in white outfits. The Simpsons’ house is haunted by ghosts of their former selves.

 

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Rank: 7
Episode: XXVIII 29×04
Intro: 3D Simpsons Candy Bars
Segments: “The Exor-Sis”, “Coralisa”, “Mmm… Homer”
Summary: Maggie becomes possessed after she is given a demon statue. Lisa finds a magical tunnel which leads to a secret family with button eyes. Homer develops a taste…for himself.

 

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Rank: 6
Episode: IX 10×04
Intro: Main Intro Murder Bits
Segments: “Hell Toupée”, “The Terror of Tiny Toon”, “Starship Poopers”
Summary: Homer gets a hair transplant and becomes possessed by the hair’s former owner, Snake. Bart and Lisa are transformed characters on TV while watching Itchy and Scratchy. Maggie’s true, tentacled identify and father are revealed.

 

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Rank: 5
Episode: II 03×07
Intro: Marge Presents, Gravestones, Too Much Candy
Segments: “Lisa’s Nightmare”, “Bart’s Nightmare”, “Homer’s Nightmare”
Summary: An old monkey’s paw grants three wishes with terrible consequences. Bart is a gifted child who can read minds and has the power to turn people into strange creatures. Mr. Burns and Smithers make a robot with Homer’s brain.

 

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Rank: 4
Episode: I 02×03
Intro: Marge Presents, Gravestones, The Simpsons Kids Tell Treehouse Stories
Segments: “Bad Dream House”, “Hungry are the Damned”, “The Raven”
Summary: The Simpsons’ new mansion wants them out. After the Simpsons are abducted by aliens, they fear they are outer space food. The classic Edgar Allen Poe story is told by Homer.

 

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Rank: 3
Episode: VIII 09×04
Intro: Fox Censor, Death Penalty Simpsons
Segments: “The HΩmega Man”, “Fly vs. Fly”, “Easy-Bake Coven”
Summary: Homer is the last man on Earth… besides the lepers. Bart switches bodies with a fly when Homer buys a matter transporter at a garage sale. Marge and her sisters are tried as witches in Salem.

 

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Rank: 2
Episode: XII 13×01
Intro: Burns’ Bat
Segments: “Hex and the City”, “House of Whacks”, “Wiz Kids”
Summary: A gypsy curses Homer, and bearded Marge attends a leprechaun’s wedding. The family is sold a futuristic robot-house which is determined to rid of Homer. Bart and Lisa attend Wizard school and fight the dragon, Mr. Burns.

 

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Rank: 1
Episode: V 06×06
Intro: Marge Presents, Graveyard Deaths, FrankenSimpsons
Segments: “The Shinning”, “Time and Punishment”, “Nightmare Cafeteria”
Summary: The Simpsons are caretakers at a lodge where Homer goes insane and Groundskeeper Willy tries to save the family. Homer tries to fix a toaster and accidentally creates a time travel machine. The school cafeteria decides to spice up the menu with new kinds of meat to solve the detention capacity issue.

 

 

Honorable Mention

I wanted to include these episodes as, although they contain my least favorite segments, they’re still some of the best and they deserve to be included.

 

Episode: VI 07×06
Intro: Sleepy Hollow Krusty, Hung Simpsons
Segments: “Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores”, “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace”, “Homer³”
Summary: Giant mascots come to life and terrorize the town. Groundskeeper Willy kills in various forms in The Simpson kids’ dreams. Homer finds a portal behind a bookcase which transports him to a dimension where he is 3D.

Episode: IV 12×01
Intro: The Munsters
Segments: “G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad”, “Scary Tales Can Come True”, “Night of the Dolphin”
Summary: Homer’s horoscope predicts death by broccoli, and his ghost is forced to do a good dead in order to get to heaven. The Simpsons version of Hansel and Gretel. The dolphins plot revenge and take over Springfield.

 

 

 

 

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The House that Jack Built (2018)

Score: 7/10

Length: 155

Rating: NR (but definitely R)

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, gore porn, shaky cam, devil

If you’re not familiar with Von Trier, his films are quite imaginative and intense. This one is even artsier than his usual, and a thousand percent more nauseating. The movie can kind of be split into three parts. Serial killer hilarity and gore, frantic arty scenes, and weird fantasy hell. There are apparently two parts that are “shock factor” causing some to walk out. The duck scene I closed my eyes for, so I can’t really comment on that. But the shooting children wasn’t very shocking. Are these people blind to Aleppo??

Serial Killer Hilarity
Yes it might be a little intense for some, but I really loved the realness of the awkwardness. Both Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman were fantastic. I loved the obsessive cleaning thoughts and how easy it was for our murderer to get away with being sloppy. The irony of something so vile bringing a laugh through the haphazard approach is disturbing in and of itself.

Frantic Art Scenes
There I was, in a sold-out theatre, with my eyes closed trying to breathe deep and slow while clutching my turquoise Powerade. The whipping the camera back and forth and spinning around in circles in addition to the colourful grass that’s being trampled was almost as rough an experience for me as watching the Blair Witch Project. I appreciate the camera movement from characters and from character to scene, but lordy, I really could have done without the motion sickness.

Weird Fantasy Hell
We’ve been watching this movie now for two hours and suddenly… Wait. Are we still watching the same movie? Serial Killer Matt is now on a firy bridge in hell? This part of the film did not fit at all, but it was an entertaining ending and a bit of a relief. There was no bad CGI or over-the-topness, so I was okay with the random fantasy.

I’m not really sure what to say. Points for uniqueness and creativity, but isn’t that what’s expected in a Von Trier? The unexpected? I’m not too happy about the mysterious duck scene, but I didn’t mind the gore and the acting was very well-done. Perhaps not the director’s finest works, but a must-see for weirdos.

Film Face-off: The Open House vs. The Mansion

It’s time for a house-off! These aren’t exactly your typical haunted house, decrepit spook-show types of films. Open House is a Netflix release with an unexpected ending, and Le Manoir is a french film with a cast of campy characters.

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Open House (2018)

Score: 4.5/10

94 mins; PG-13

After a tragic accident kills his father, a teenager and his mother temporarily stay in a family member’s mountain home. There’s only one rule- they have to be gone during the open house. Strange things start happening in the home, and even though they check every hiding spot, the two suspect someone stayed after one of the open houses. I can’t say much without revealing the “ending”, but I felt like there were are two obvious endings to choose from- the vague serial killer or the driver with some secret revenge. There are other options with the neighbour, the plumber, etc. but each possible suspect is as equally unsatisfying as the next. Although an engaging film, it’s not hard to see why people are upset or left feeling like the ending was just lazy and uninspired. I don’t know any friends who have seen this film yet, but I’m curious to see what they thought of the end and which option they lean towards for their closure

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The Mansion (Le Manoir) (2017)

Score: 2/10

100 mins; PG-13

A interesting group of friends stay at an enormous, empty home to celebrate New Year’s by method of partying.  As usual, the druggie is the most interesting of the bunch, but there’s a fair attempt at a few other charismatic blokes outside of the usual couple and clean-cut crew. I would prefer if the final four were the only characters, as most of them turn annoying very quickly. I really could have done without the poop and barf and snot on this one. Not sure if that’s a funny thing in France, but I had to keep pausing on my cheesy cauli rice because it was vile. The film started off decent- I was anticipating mostly scare with a few dumb jokes and such. But this Scary Movie-esque humour-free mess left me at the halfway point deciding if I even wanted to finish it. It went from gross and stupid to just… beyond boring. Who would have thought a brother sister taxidermy reveal could be so dull. If this had been just about scary drugs in a house in the middle of nowhere, this movie could have actually been cool. Unfortunately, it’s barely watchable and definitely skippable.

 

Although neither of these films are strong entries in the Haunted House genre, Open House was my clear winner. Although it’s a sort of a “choose your own adventure” ending, it’s at least captivating and entertaining most of the way through. Le Mansion gets tired fast, and even sexy French accents can’t mask the stench of bad potty humour.

I Know What You Did Last Summer Triple Face-off

Well, summer is coming to an end, and I have no idea what you did. I don’t know what you did last summer either. Hell, I don’t even know what I did last week. It may be just a coincidence that these films are pretty forgettable. I mean, I watched the original in the ’90s with everyone else in high school, either at the theatre or a month later on video from the local video store. But I was more absorbed in the Scream franchise which had both an original slasher plot and Neve Campbell. Both films have an all-star, young and beautiful celebrity cast. I guess it kind of felt like a group of popular kids from rival schools making their own slasher flicks for film class. Unfortunately for the following films, surprise slashers beat random fisherman at the box office.

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The Original (1997)

Rated R; 101 mins

“Let’s just pretend he’s an escaped lunatic with a hook for a hand…”

A slashly fisherman, dumb “teens”, and a twist you don’t really care about.

There was no way this wouldn’t at least be second to Scream, with the top “teen” actors of the ’90s. Just another brunette with dramatic facial expressions that thinks the world revolves around her. But this series has a murderer who is also a fisherman. Because what’s left is the typical boring killer twist, popular group of friends, slashy deaths, and an intense relationship between the main characters that just doesn’t seem to work out. It’s a decent go at a cliché young adult slasher-horror, but the only part that’s really memorable is the scene where JLove spins around yelling, “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?” Weirdly enough, I remember her doing it the rain, but apparently she does another spin that actually happens in the rain in the second. I will say,  JLove did a terrific job at making me feel better about my awkward, stringy teenage bangs.

Score: 5.5/10

 

I Still Know (1998)

Rated R; 100 mins

“All I know is that this is the worst vacation of my life. I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m fucking horny, and I ain’t seen one goddamn psycho killer.”

A mildly more diverse cast runs from the return of their fishy, slasher past.

In number two, JLove and her new friends go on a prize holiday in the Bahamas while Freddy P Jr. slaves away in murder town. The slasherman is back, and he’s having a slashathon at the resort while JLove and her posse try to get some rays. Luckily, they do get some rays when FP Jr magically appears to save the day. One thing I know about this movie is that there is a lot of slashing of people who have no reason to die. I suppose ole’ Fish Guts has gotten hot and irritated in his fisherman’s coat and decided to start sticking his hook in whomever came across his path. There are a few stupid flip-flop names revealed with a bland twist.  A slip of the hook ends the film in a way you’ll soon forget.

Score: 4.5/10

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I’ll Always Know (2006)

Rated R; 92 mins

“The guy would probably die of boredom before he got any of us.”

None of the celebrities you watched the original for appear in this most likely straight-to-video, needless addition to the summer franchise.

This is a horribly low-budget film that uses the franchise for no reason. JLove isn’t in it. No FP Jr. There is not even one scream towards the sky or a spin in a circle. It’s a totally new group of teens who play a prank where they dress up as the fisherman and accidentally kill their friend. Well, he impales himself after a lame skateboard jump away from the faux killer. So, I mean, no real need for revenge or anything, because someone just moved the mattresses he was supposed to land on. They don’t really have a reason to go to the police either, because it was just an accident not directly caused by them. Everyone is so dramatic about it. Maybe if the dude in the fisherman costume accidentally pushed him off the roof or something then sure, it might be believable that you’d want to get revenge. But it just doesn’t exactly make sense. It’s a mostly just a nice look back at 2000’s fashion and flip phones, but it wasn’t too painful to watch.

Score: 3/10

 

Read more about your scream queens SMG and JLH here!

Bait (2012)

Score: 5.5/10

Length: 93

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, animal, murderer, small space, gore, almost horror, underground

Hello, and happy Shark Week! Hope you learned some interesting shark facts.
This sharky action-horror gem is a bit of a special flavour in the genre. It actually tries to be good, and although the CGI isn’t up to par, the Australian film puts in a rare effort that’s definitely appreciated. A group of people in a grocery store are in the middle of dealing with a robbery when a tsunami crashes upon them. People are trapped in their  cars in the parkade and on top of shelves in the supermarket to stay clear of the sharks that came with the waves of water. For some reason, these sharks are starving for human flesh, and ten seconds in the water assumes a flesh-ripping death. Also, for some reason, the silly humans keep trying ways to escape which inevitably leads to their demise, but with unbridled enthusiasm, they keep trying anyway. They are creative, but it gets old fast. The action laced with the horror is a rarity that typically works well. I was entertained, and although there were many characters (none of which I really connected to), I was still curious to see whether they swam or sank. If the acting was stronger and the story made a bit more sense, this movie would get a big boost. But it’s a great movie to watch during shark week in a sea of action and horror-comedy fintastic films. Perhaps if I had gotten to see it in 3D it would have been amazing, since most things are amazing in 3D.

 

 

Attack of the Killer Donuts (2016)

Score: 2.5/10

Length: 98

Rating: NR

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, food, murderer, horror comedy, almost horror, good bad

So I had braved the ice-wind to get some donuts from Tim’s. It’s not like they’re the best donuts or anything, but they’re right around the corner and Modern Jelly was closed for delivery. Although this review was started way back in winter, I still remember my numb hands frozen into a claw trying to carry this wide, flat box around the corner to my apartment. The donuts in the movie aren’t overly horror-influenced, even though they’re supposed to have tiny little flesh-ripping teeth. Besides the parts where the pastries are CGI, spinning and floating in the air, the donuts mostly spend their time looking like they’re being flung by humans, at humans. (Which us the obvious truth.) This is another cheap and corny horror flick that has a mildly fun idea that’s wasted on a lazy, humorless hour and a half of film. The cuteness is pretty watered down, and I’d be satisfied from just watching the trailer and nothing more. On the plus side, I got to pig out on donuts, and there ain’t nothing bad about that.

 

Mania (1986)

Score: 5.5/10

Length: 87

Rating: PG-13

Language: English

Categories:

Also known as: Mania: The Intruder, Mania: Episodes in Terror

This is a Canadian anthology horror film that appears to be little-known. I decided to give it an overall rating, as there’s not going to be much fluctuation in the individual short’s scores. They were all pretty original and entertaining, though it felt like I was reading a murder mystery short story novel written in the late eighties. I mean, this movie is from the eighties, yes, but it didn’t really feel like a horror and there was a slight cheese to it. Someone in the comment section of the film mentioned the peculiar Canadian accents. So I listened really hard for them but I just couldn’t hear it. Maybe you can? There is a very Canadian forced apology, but that’s aboot it. Get your maple beers and your Coffee Crisps ready to enjoy with some thoughtful, yet mediocre short films! (Yes, it’s on YouTube.)

See No Evil

After a hooker leaves his house, a man sees her stabbed on the street. The murderer stalks him and frames him, wrapping him up in a sticky situation.

The Intruder

A neighbourhood is victim to a string of robberies, so a couple looks to get a watchdog. Guy is clearly afraid of dogs, but nonetheless, they get the biggest one there and it drives him nuts. In the end, the lesson is… you need dogs.

Have a Nice Day

A mysterious man kidnaps a woman’s daughter and manipulates the mother over the phone. And then suddenly, he shows up on her couch. She’s been fooled!

The Good Samaritan

After leaving a pub, a Scottish man picks a fight with some young punks on the street and is pulled away by his friend. When they get off the train, the friend saves a woman in the subway who’s being attacked. The woman and the friend run for a really long time and end up at his house. The tables turn, and the ending is pretty guessable.

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Score: 4/10

Length: 97

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, murderer, supernatural, gore, slasher

I may have watched this on actual Friday the 13th, but the Freddy in me had me sleep on the review (heh). We start the film with Freddy flashbacks, and he explains that people have forgotten about him so he needs Jason to come back (from the dead) and help him kill. (Queue massive eye roll.) So Freddy returns as Jason’s mother to rise her son’s body from the grave. Some random girl with giant, exposed (for no reason) boobs is killed, and then the story begins.

You can tell it’s going to be bad right from the start because the script is so obviously horrible, but then its awfulness is secured by the presence of Kelly Rowland. There are lots of typical (but still fun) Freddy and Jason kills that take up most of the middle of the movie. By the time you get this far in a franchise, the decent thing to do is to include some wild originality and laughs. I mean, there’s definitely some bad CGI weirdness like a mossy worm with a hookah, but as you may be able to guess, it makes zero sense.

Freddy does fight Jason near the end, when he tries to go after the victims that Freddy wants. Yeah, it’s pretty stupid. Jason cuts off Freddy’s arms which he grows back. Lots of AAHHs and HAAHHs and other obnoxiously bad fighting grunts. Then, Jason is flung around by Freddy’s dream powers, but of course, doesn’t die. One fight is in Freddy’s world, the other is in Jason’s. And then there’s a final showdown, with the other characters trying to kill them both as well. I can’t say it’s not entertaining. It’s a great background movie for when you want to eat popcorn and talk, or make-out and not really pay attention.

The Initiation (1984)

Score: 6/10

Length: 97

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, murderer, psychological, recommended

I’d never heard of this movie, but YouTube recommended it for me, and I was pleasantly surprised. I figured it’d be a typical sorority slasher, which it was, though definitely not typical. It was fairly well thought-out, and had a big twist that I wasn’t expecting. When you look back on the clues, it’s easy to guess, and although it may not it be overly original, I just wasn’t planning on a twist of any sorts, so it was exciting! I watched this movie over a few days, as it isn’t exactly thrilling, and I mean, it’s hot out. It’s summer. It’s hard to watch non-beachy horrors right now. But this one is set in a mall! And that’s always fun.

It’s about a sorority initiation gone wrong, where the girls are set to steal the guard’s clothing, and instead, everyone dies. Our main gal has been having nightmares and trying to get therapy. Her dreams might be reality, and she’s in store for a few revealing surprises. There are loads of characters you don’t care about, but their acting is decent and never distracting. There are, of course, needless boob scenes, as this is horror in the eighties, but overall, there isn’t much to turn my nose up at. It was fairly enjoyable, but I could have done with with a fleshier character story build.

A Quiet Place (2018)

Score: 7/10

Length: 90

Rating: PG-13

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, monsters, aliens, murderer, recommended

This film was smart, original, and had some nice tension. It starts in the middle of the action, and finishes before the craziness dies down. It’s about a family living in a world where there are strange creatures that have taken over, and I’m assuming they can’t see or smell very well, as they attack mostly when provoked with sound. So, the big thing about this movie is that it’s mostly silent. And it’s by that guy from The Office. The silence creates tension and drama, but at the theatre, I was annoyed every time someone cleared their throat or coughed. Would have been cool if the theatre put on a performance version where people dressed up as monsters and grabbed you every time you made a noise. I’d pay a fair amount for that. Anyway, the movie had good actors, a good story, and was well-paced.  It’s a mix of a horror, drama, and action, and that works well, but it all felt a little neat to me. There isn’t much to criticize, but I wasn’t moved enough by it- whether that be scared, stunned, or angry- to have an overwhelming opinion. I almost might have enjoyed it more as a television series. It’s a very watchable movie, and a wide audience will enjoy it.