This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.
The Simpsons: Season 27 Episode 4.
The Simpsons return to form with “Halloween of Horror.” Maybe I’ve become jaded after years of watching South Park, where I learned a valuable lesson: Halloween isn’t about helping people or ocular hygiene. It’s about the candy. I even downed some Junior Mints before I started typing.
But the Simpsons know that Halloween is about more than the sweets, it’s about the scares and to prove it they traumatize Lisa. Eight years old is a scary age. Think back. Puberty, for most, is around the corner and the imagination is still in full swing. Things you left on the floor before you went to bed take on terrifying qualities when the nighttime lights hit. Poor Lisa was so looking forward to finally being old enough to enjoy thrills she’d been promised only to find herself truly unprepared. That stuff haunts you later and everything does turn dark in the cold light of banged chalkboard erasers, no matter how much Principal Skinner tries to dull the edges. Pretend pirate my ass.
Home invasion is probably the scariest thing that can happen to an adult. Sure, it’s all fun and games in A Clockwork Orange, but Alex and his droogs weren’t seasonal workers. They drank milk laced with synthemesc for fun, they didn’t snort silly string just to deal with the horrors of life after Black Friday. In an insolvent economy it’s always the seasonal workers who are most likely to go postal and they might beat you senseless with their Christmas Clubs.
Watching Homer put on a brave face for his little girl, for as little as that lasted, is a warm moment. But when Homer opts for cowardly honesty, he truly bolsters Lisa with trust and confidence. Homer may not be the smartest dad, or the bravest, or the smartest, but he’s smart enough to know his baby daughter has all the answers. He turns her into his own Stan Laurel from March of the Wooden Soldiers, inspiring her to come up with the idea that saves the day. That’s daddy’s little ghoul.
It is nice to see the whole Simpson family get together behind Halloween. It really is the best holiday for them. It mixes thrills and chills and spills that need cleanup in aisle 9, the candy aisle. Marge is as heartbroken as the rest of the family at the loss of the Everscream Terrors. Halloweening is a dying art as more and more people turn off their porch lights and pretend they’re not home. Marge takes Bart and Maggie to the most Samhain-friendly neighborhood in the Tri-Springfield Area, Spine Chills. The gated court community dwellers pull out all the stops, even have an ET that says your name, even if its Scrotum, but they bar the riff raff.
The “NC-17 Halloween” sequence was a throwback to classic Simpsons. I might have to bleach my eyeballs after seeing S&M Chief Wiggum, but with the “Time Warp” guitars and the “Streetcar Named Marge Simpson” visuals, it was worth it. Yes, children, the scariest thing about Halloween is that all the grownups think they can pull off the sexy crayon look. Seeing Rainier Wolfcastle as Jessica Rabbit was so scary I forgot to laugh. I think I saw Millhouse’s mother’s areola.
Once again The Simpsons get self-referential. There are two Halloween episodes this year and only one of them is a holiday tradition. They spill that next week is going to be spent in a treehouse, regaling us with tales about Skinner and his mom going Psycho and futuristic furniture taking over the world or something. Every year, Simpsons fans look forward to that week more than any other episode and Homer, at least, knows it and is totally jaded.
The Simpsons really go all out for Halloween. Like Krusty, they can’t skimp on the gore, today’s consumer is too sophisticated.
“Halloween of Horror” was written by Carolyn Omine and directed by Mike B. Anderson. The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson, Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson. Hank Azaria plays A-Boo. Harry Shearer is Mr. Burns. Blake Anderson as Dickie and Nick Kroll as Lem.
But It All Went By So Fast: Krustyland Halloween Horror Might Ages 8 and Up: Powered by Purple Ranger Energy Drink. They’re back! Homer whistles the Halloween theme. Leaping gravestone. Big and Tall Giant Costume. Soiled Ghost. Bulk Skulls. Talking Pile of Guts. Lawn Skull. Kosher Fangs. Krustyland Pretzeland: Spooky Toppings – Salty, Extra Salty, Lotta Salty, Plain, Salt Frosting, Peanut-ish Butter. John and Yoko from the Wedding Album.