We return to that family tales of horror from the early years of the Simpsons. For the night may take many forms.
The second of the annual Halloween episodes of the long running animated sitcom The Simpsons has some noteworthy changes that put it separate from the original but also it’s one of the few that broadcast on Halloween in its original airing.
The episode does continue the use of Marge warning people about the episode followed by a bunch of Halloween/horror themed visual gags to give people some laughs if keen eyed. New to the episode is that the tradition of using spookified versions of the names of the production staff began this edition. Sadly, James Earl Jones does not have voice work in this episode (only found out he voice guest characters in the first one before being the narrator in the Raven till recently)
The Treehouse is no longer a part of the episode with the title now just being a title rather than what is in it. This time the 3 stories are presented as nightmares Lisa, Bart and finally Homer have after eating too much Halloween candy.
First up is Lisa’s nightmare which is a Simpsons take on the concept of the monkey’s paw. The Simpsons getting an actual monkey’s paw that grants wishes but with considerable side effects…. except for Maggie’s, she’s too innocent and pure for it. First up Bart (well Maggie wishes first) who wishes to be rich and famous but slowly the people start to find their ever presence irritating and resent them. Then Lisa wishes for world peace only for now a weaponless Earth to be conquered by Kang and Kodos (who still make proper story appearances before their relegation to cameos for a few years) using only clubs and slingshots.
Bart’s nightmare is an adaption of a Twilight Zone story, something it makes no attempt to hide with its opening narration. The story plays out almost like a Bart wish fulfillment story with a chuckle worth twist as to what causes him to wake up screaming.
The final of the 3 is Homer’s story which is closest to Frankenstein and has him having to take a job as a grave digger after Mr Burns fires him, only to get caught up in Burns’ secret plan to replace workers with robots implanted with human brains. The story has an addition seen playing in the credits which when I originally saw it they seemed to have cut out but is now back in subsequent broadcasts or DVDs.
Personally, I prefer the original Treehouse as it feels more horror adapted however the stories are better told in this one and you can see how the series is growing from season to season. Much more of the auxiliary cast is used as opposed to only really the Simpsons themselves in the first entry.