Friday, October 1, 2010

Top 5 Treehouse of Horror Episodes: 5

Treehouse of Horror I
With 20 episodes to choose from, it should seem easy right? Not quite, Treehouse of Horror episodes are almost always good with a good combination of horror and comedy to make any episode great. However, these 5 are the best of the best. So to begin this list, we begin with the first one.

After Marge gives the obligatory warning at the beginning (I was so glad when they took that away) we see Homer overhear Bart and Lisa in the treehouse exchanging scary stories. After Bart gets bored with Lisa's story he decides to take over and tell a "really scary story" (I want a refund, that's false advertising). I always found those "Really scary story" lines in the original format to be sorta funny because the story could only be as scary as the ratings allowed them to be so most of the time, you'd be more terrified walking down the street at night. Wait I live next to a cemetery, that thing has always creeped me out so ignore that last comment.
Bad Dream House
This segment begins with a scene of the family moving into a mansion where we find out (Via moving man whispering) that the house is haunted. After finding out they got the house dirt cheap, we start to see object flying around while nobody is able to see them and the house then tells them to leave (Okay, now I'm getting creeped out, this is MY HOUSE). Marge then goes into the kitchen (With bloody walls) and sees a vortex that leads to another dimension just to add to the creepy factor. We then see Bart getting strangled by a lamp chord as we see more objects floating around (Great where's a priest where you need one?*) After the house tries to get rid of them, Homer convinces the family to sleep over it and they decide to stay for the night (I guess he really wants to make the front page for murdering his family in his sleep). Later that night, the house convinces Bart, Lisa, Homer and Maggie to kill their family with the closest deadly weapon they can find. We then see Bart (Cleaver), Lisa (Butcher knife), Homer (Axe), and Maggie (Small knife) walk in a circle about to kill each other when Marge comes out to the kitchen and snaps them out of it. After Marge decides to leave the house, Lisa opens the basement to reveal an ancient Native American burial ground (Can you name a more plausible excuse?) After Homer still wants to keep the house, the house decides to pull a page from The Exorcist as he tells them what he'll do to them as the house seems to adjust in the background. Marge decides that she's had it and tells the house to knock it off (Wow, she has guts to talk to the killer house like that, I like it). After Bart taunts the house, Lisa suggests that the house is afraid they may love it (Which the house denies). Marge tells the house it'll have to learn to live with them, the house then contemplates life with the Simpsons and decides to pull a Poltergeist and implode. We end with Lisa saying that she feels a little rejected that the house decided to self destruct rather than live with them.
So what? The Manson family was far more dysfunctional
Hungry are the Damned
This segment begins with the family having a BBQ in the backyard when suddenly a UFO appears and takes the family away (Struggling to pick up Homer though). We are then introduced to the aliens, Kang and Kodos who are by far the most memorable minor characters in the series. After a deus ex machina about how they can understand each other (okay it's not as lazy as most deus ex machinas but it is one  nonetheless) we find out that the aliens plan on taking the Simpsons to Rigel 4 to allow them to live a life of eternal happiness. After Lisa begs them to return them home, another alien brings the family a huge buffet for them to eat (and for the chef alien to make an innuendo about eating Marge). After some jokes about their inferior entertainment, we see the aliens come out with another meal for the family. This prompts Lisa to question why the aliens haven't eaten but they are so intent on making the family eat, the aliens respond with some more allusions about them eating the family. After a scene where the aliens weigh the family, Lisa goes snooping around and discovers the chef's cook book which reads "How to Cook Humans" *Dramatic stare*. After Lisa shows the book to her family, it turns out there's a lot of space dust and the full title reads "How to Cook For Forty Humans". The aliens are insulted by their lack of trust and send them back to Springfield. Lisa feels bad that she prevented the family from experiencing true happiness and Marge tells her she's too smart for her own good (Okay show of hands: If an alien race came out of nowhere and offered you complete happiness for nothing and all they did was feed you and weigh you on the trip to their planet, wouldn't you get suspicious?)
Wow, have you ever seen the sun go green before?
The Raven
This segment begins with Lisa reading Bart The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe as Homer takes the role of the main character while Marge is Lenore in the story. Basically this whole segment is just the reading of the poem, but I'll try to point out key moments. After we see Homer sleeping, he hears a tapping at his door and just figures it to be a visitor and goes back to sleep. After some symbolism from the poem, we see Homer weep for the loss of Lenore, Homer gets scared of the wind and tells himself the tapping is nothing but a visitor. As Homer goes to his door, he finds out that nobody's there and that causes him to be even more frightened (I disagree with Bart on this, this is quite possibly the scariest thing that could have been there, the psychological terror of knowing that something's there but you can't see it would scare the shit out of me. It feels a lot like a Hitchcock film, the scariest moments are the suspense moments and not the jump scares). After Homer hears the knocking intensify, he opens a window to allow a Bart Raven in. The Bart raven then jumps up onto the door and sits on a bust of Pallas (Symbolism!) We then get a funny exchange as Homer keeps demanding that the Bart raven get down and the Bart raven keeps saying "Nevermore". After the Bart raven wins, Homer realizes that the raven on top the bust of Pallas means that his soul will be trapped under the shadow of the raven and be lifted "Nevermore".
Bad bird! That's MY door!
After Bart says that story was lame, Lisa kinda agrees thinking that people were easier to scare in the 1800's and they both head off to bed. Homer though is scared from the story as the episode ends with Homer trying to sleep until he sees a raven outside his window.

This is a great start to the series as all the stories are good. The writing for them is great, the jokes are great and are placed perfectly and the parodies of the stories are all great, cryptic and true to the source material.

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