From The Archive is a series that takes articles written by Jennifer McMurray in the past and presents them here on MIC News for a new audience.
The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror review was previously published on Jupiter Beagle on October 15, 2008.
The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror is available on DVD and streaming services.
Treehouse of Horror is the annual Halloween-themed episode of The Simpsons. It has become a place for the Simpsons’ creators to do wonderfully bizarre things to their characters without having to worry about series continuity. But, here, in the second season’s Treehouse of Horror, things started off much more innocently.
This episode takes place in Bart’s treehouse (hence the name). The Simpsons kids (Bart, Lisa, and Maggie) are up in the treehouse telling scary stories while Homer eavesdrops on them. The episode is really a series of three short cartoons, interspersed with scenes showing that the kids are the ones telling the stories.
The first story, “Bad Dream House”, has the Simpsons family moving out of their familiar home on Evergreen Terrace in Springfield. Their new house turns out to be alive and decides to get the Simpsons family out by possessing the family members, turning them into psychopaths who want to try to kill each other.
The second story, “Hungry are the Damned”, parodies the episode of the Twilight Zone TV show called “To Serve Man”. The Simpsons are abducted by two aliens known as Kang and Kodos. They give the Simpsons huge amounts of food and take pleasure in watching the family stuff themselves. This makes Lisa suspicious, so she searches the ship to find out the aliens’ true intentions.
The last story is a retelling of the short story “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. This is easily the most memorable segment of the whole episode. Here Bart is the raven that drives the main character, Homer, crazy while he thinks of his lost love Lenore (who is shown in a portrait as Marge). The story is spoken from the text directly from Edgar Allen Poe’s story and is narrated by James Earl Jones.
The first episode of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror is excellent. But, the best episodes in the series are still to come. Even so, The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror has become a Halloween tradition in many American households (mine included), and this is the one that started it all. Everyone should see this at least once.
Final Verdict: Four and one half out of Five