The Simpsons: Halloween

“Treehouse of Horror XV” Season 16, Episode 1

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As with all of these Treehouse of Horror Episodes, it is made of up 3 short Halloween vignettes. In the first short, Home hits Ned Flanders in the head with a bowling ball and gives him the power to see how people are going to die when he touches them. When Ned sees that Homer is going to destroy Springfield he rushes to try to stop him. In the second short, we are taken back to the time of Jack the Ripper, er I mean the Muttonchop Murderer. Lisa and Bart are a famous detective duo who is on the case to find out who is killing all these prostitutes. In the final short, Dr Frink creates a shrink ray that leads to Maggie being swallowed by Mr. Burns. The Simpson family must shrink down and enter Burns’ body before they return to original size. I honestly think this is one of the best Halloween episodes they had done, especially compared to past seasons. It’s still not specifically Halloween themed like in the early seasons, but the ideas are creative and entertaining and sufficiently dark to at least make it seem right for the season. And they cover a nice variety of subgenres that we like around Halloween (sci-fi, supernatural, and murderers). I definitely recommend checking this one out.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 8 pumpkins

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Bones: Halloween

“The Resurrection in the Remains” Season 11, Episode 5

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Look how nicely decorated their house is for halloween! One of my favorite things about October is bringing out all my Halloween decorations and making the house feel festive. This episode of Bones is set on Halloween and is full of festive decorations…. and murder. I mean every episode of Bones is about murder, but murder seems especially appropriate during the scariest time of the year. They also are at odds with a team who is trying to solve Sleepy Hollows cases involving one of the Jeffersonian’s headless corpses. This is a crossover with the now-cancelled Sleepy Hollow series on Fox. This episode is delightfully whimsical and at the same time dark which I think makes it perfect for Halloween.

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? Yes

Xfinity available? No

Holiday rating: 9 pumpkins

Twitches (2005): Halloween

Twitches

Since yesterday I reviewed one of the worst Disney Channel Halloween movies (Return to Halloweentown), today let’s look at one of the best. In this movie, Tia and Tamara play twins who were separated at birth. On their 21st birthday they reunite and discover that they’re not ordinary sisters, they’re witches from another dimension. They were brought to the human world and separated to protect them from an evil darkness that was attempting to take over their kingdom. Now that they’re back together they must work to defeat the evil. If you’ve never seen the movie before it sounds stupid, but it’s really heartwarming and fun. The effects hold up pretty decently and it has some more serious themes, like adoption and the meaning of family. The twins are born on Halloween so there is a costume party. That’s kind of the extent of the mention of Halloween and the Halloween decor, but because there’s lots of mystical magic business it definitely feels perfect for the holiday. I think most people who have seen this movie before will enjoy watching it again to get in the holiday spirit, but I think people who haven’t seen it before will enjoy it too. I definitely recommend checking this one out for some family friendly spooky fun.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 8 pumpkins

The Simpsons: Halloween

“Treehouse of Horror XIV” Season 15, Episode 1

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This Halloween episode is made up of three vignettes that are all themed for Halloween. As the years have progressed, the shorts have been less horror themed, and more sci-fi or parody based. Which is fine, I’m sure it’s hard to come up with horror ideas every year, but for me it does becomes less in the spirit of the holiday. The first short reminds me of the episode of Family Guy where Peter has to become Death after he breaks his ankle. In this short Death has come for Bart and Homer kills him. This creates a world where no one can die, so Homer has to take on the role of the Grim Reaper. In the second short, Dr Frink reanimates the corpse of his father. However, his father is not pleased with his form and goes on a rampage stealing body parts to improve himself. Dr. Frink must then figure out a way to stop his father from killing everyone. In the final short, Bart and Milhouse get a stopwatch that enables them to freeze time. They use it to play pranks on the people of Springfield. However, when the stopwatch breaks and the world around them is permanently frozen they need to find a way to fix it. This episode is alright, I don’t really think any of the shorts stand out as fantastic. And none of them really feel all that Halloween themed either. I’d say this is definitely one that you can skip if you aren’t trying to marathon through the whole Halloween series.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 6 pumpkins

The Office(U.S.): Halloween

“Employee Transfer” Season 5, Episode 6

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This episode has a lot going on so I’m going to hit the highlights. Holly and Michael break up after Holly is transferred back to her old branch. Pam is at corporate in New York for Halloween, where no one dresses up, leaving her to be a fully committed Charlie Chaplain which is amazing. Pam meets Jim’s brothers. Dwight and Andy have a war imitating each other. Like I said, a lot going on. This episode is full of costumes, and makes fun of the everyone’s obsession with Heath Ledger’s Joker that year, as Dwight, Creed, and Kevin are all dressed up like him. It’s hilarious. This episode is a great one to get you in the spirit for Halloween, although the theme doesn’t stop it from getting plot-heavy. If you’re a fan of the show, I’d say this is a can’t miss episode.

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? No

Holiday rating: 8 pumpkins

Return to Halloweentown (2006): Halloween

Return to Halloweentown

Yeah, we’re doing this. I think everyone has the same gripe with this movie: the recasting of Marnie. For no logical reason. At all. The biggest problem is the fact that the character of Marnie is a completely different person. Not just in appearance but in mannerisms, reactions, intelligence… Aside from that the whole plot is just iffy, the evil characters are cartoonish, it’s just not good. And I think a lot of the blame gets dumped on Sarah Paxton but it’s not all her fault. I mean her performance is terrible, don’t get me wrong, but the movie sucking isn’t all her fault. I feel like the idea could have worked, if they had used the original cast, more practical effects, and had the late 90’s/early 00’s writing team back together. The one thing that can be appreciated in this is the fact that the world is still full of magic, halloween decor, and mystical creatures. If you’re committed to watching the entire Halloweentown series, as I always am, you can put this one on and make fun of it at the very least. If not, I would say don’t waste your time, there’s much better Disney Halloween movies out there.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 7 pumpkins

The Simpsons: Halloween

“Treehouse of Horror XIII” Season 14, Episode 1

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This episode consists of three different halloween shorts. In the first, Homer buys a hammock that creates a clone of anyone who lays in it. Homer makes a bunch of clones to help him do his chores, but it turns out their low intelligence is causing them to make disastrous mistakes. Homer takes the clones to a cornfield to abandon them, but they continue to multiply and seek revenge. In the second short, Lisa and Bart read on a gravestone that the deceased dreamed of a world without guns. Lisa then leads a crusade against guns. However, now that Springfield is defenseless, problems (gun-happy zombies) begin to arise. In the final bit, the family visits the island of lost souls where a mad scientist resides. The family and people of Springfield soon begin to mutate into half human half animals. Homer ends up in a rush to save the citizens from their transformations. This episode is pretty entertaining but it doesn’t scream Halloween the way some past episodes have. It’s a lot more science-fiction oriented, not as spooky or creepy which for me is what feels like Halloween.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 6 pumpkins