So you want to get into the Halloween spirit but you have your dissertation looming over your head. Procrastination is one thing, but you just can’t bring yourself to watch The Human Centipede: Full Sequence, and Caspar the Friendly Ghost just doesn’t cut it anymore. Halloween television is a mixed bag and hard to come by, but here are a few suggestions to get you in the spirit of things.
The Simpsons – Treehouse of Horror (1990-Present)
This really goes without saying, but the Simpsons have consistently provided viewers with a Halloween special every season, and usually they’re among the best episodes. Who can forget the classic Kubrick spoof ‘The Shinning’, or Pierce Brosnan as a HAL-3000esque murderous house obsessed with Marge in ‘House of Whacks’. The Simpsons is the master when it comes to Halloween specials, and at twenty minutes each, it’s hard to just watch one…
If you’ve never seen Twin Peaks, chances are you’ve missed out on a lot of pop culture references in current film and television. Coming from acclaimed director David Lynch, Twin Peaks is a cult classic featuring Kyle MacLachlan as an FBI agent sent to investigate the mysterious murder of a teenager in the remote town of Twin Peaks. It’s difficult to describe the events of Twin Peaks without giving the game away, but suffice to say that things get weird. Very weird.
American Horror Story (2011-Present)
The acting on American Horror Story, with the exception of the wonderful Jessica Lange, tends to be the most frightening thing about the show, now in its third season. The brainchild of Glee creator Ryan Murphy, each season takes place in a different era with a new storyline, though many actors reappear throughout the seasons. It’s over the top and downright uncomfortable at times, but there’s gore a plenty and if you can look past how ridiculous the whole thing is, it’s entertaining viewing.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (S02E06, Halloween, S04E10, Hush)
The show that kicks all other vampire series into the dirt produced three Halloween specials, but by far the best is the original, in which Buffy and her friends rent Halloween costumes from a strange shop and find themselves turning into whatever it is they’re dressed as. Hilarity ensues. Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for more scary fare, ‘Hush’ is one of the most terrifying episodes of television ever created. Monsters that render the world unable to make a sound then rip your heart from your chest? Yikes.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
A little more light-hearted than some of the typical seasonal fair, this classic Peanuts feature tells the tale of Charlie Brown and his friends’ Halloween adventures. Whilst Linus waits all night in the pumpkin patch for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’s costume proves a disaster whilst trick-or-treating. If this doesn’t get you in the mood for pumpkin pie and Jack-o-Lanterns, then nothing will.
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