The nights are drawing in, it's getting chilly outside and leaves are falling from trees like crispy, pretty coloured snow! Yep, winter is fast approaching and suddenly we're all a bit more inclined to stay in at night with a hot chocolate or a hot toddy, depending how the mood takes you!
So how better to spend these cold, dark nights than watching the ever-awesome Twilight Zone
? The show has got something for everybody and, with Halloween in just a week's time I thought I'd share three of my favourite horror-themed episodes with you! If you're having a Halloween party this weekend, why not screen a couple?
Last week, Kyle shared some of his favourites and some of the best known horror episodes with you and something Stephen mentioned in one of the threads got me thinking as to how to tie mine all together for you. All three of my favourite horror episodes just happen to have been beautifully and lovingly parodied by The Simpsons
in their Treehouse of Horrors
So, without further ado, here are my three favourite horror-themed Twilight Zone
episodes! Little Girl Lost
OK, so I know what you're thinking, "Little Girl Lost
isn't a horror episode... It's about as sci-fi as it gets!"
But I think this particular Season 3 episode perfectly illustrates the way in which horror and sci-fi perfectly overlap. Yes, it's about a little girl who falls into another dimension. But, the episode features such a wonderful, pervading sense of creeping dread as the parents fear they will never find their child as her disembodied voice echoes across time and space and through the walls of their house. It chills you to the bone as it preys on some of our most basic instincts as humans.
And that grisly finale when we discover what might have happened to the father had he not been a moment quicker? Pure horror at it's creepiest...
Perhaps The Simpsons
doesn't quite capture the sense of sheer terror... but it does feature a 3D Homer! To Serve Man
Again, at first glance, this is could be seen as a sci-fi episode what with the aliens from outer space and everything!
But a grisly denouement and a good dollop of dark humour turn this into a bleak tale of the futility of being human. We are nothing more than cattle, being raised as food - our lives are completely meaningless - and what is more horrific than that?
Again, The Simpsons
played up the comedy aspects of this episode, making the alien's intentions obvious to everyone except the residents of Springfield. But we get a good turn from Kang and Kodos! It's a Good Life
Kids are creepy. There's no two ways about it. Yeah, we all love 'em but they are
creepy. And that's why It's a Good Life
works so well. It plays on that basic knowledge that kids freak us out, and yet we instinctively protect them and can't bring ourselves to harm them.
Anthony Fremont is the scariest thing on Earth... Or, at least, in the Fifth Dimension! He's a monster, a sociopath in the body of a cute six-year-old boy. That everyone is constantly trying to convince themselves that the world is wonderful, rather than protecting themselves from Anthony is the scariest thing of all.
The episode makes you question whether or not you could do what was necessary to protect yourself from a child like Anthony, or would you just keep telling him that everything is "good" for fear of him wishing you away? The Simpsons
, of course, turns this into a happy bonding story between Bart and Homer, not exactly capturing the sheer horror of It's a Good Life
. I'm yet to see the 80s remake/update or the 2002 sequel... but it'd be interesting to see if they capture they same kind of Stepford eeriness of the original...
All of the episodes I've mentioned here are, by chance, from Season Three which can be bought from Amazon (and other good retailers!) on Blu-ray
Other Twilight Zone
seasons currently available are Season One (Blu-ray
), Two (Blu-ray
) and Four (Blu-ray
) so why not look them up and play some Twilight Zone
at your Halloween party, treat yourself to some great winter television (it beats X-Factor
hands down!), or treat someone special to a spooktacular Christmas present?
And, in the meantime, why don't you share your thoughts on my favourite horror-themed episodes and suggest your own?