Next Sunday, The Simpsons will presents its 26th annual installment of “Treehouse of Horror.” But this Sunday, Homer & co. will offer up an episode titled… “Halloween of Horror.” How can the name of two Simpsons episodes about Halloween both end in “of Horror”? Yeah, it’s a little weird. (And there’s even a call-out about this in the episode.) But don’t be scared — or actually be scared; it’s Halloween after all — we can explain. This is the first year that the animated comedy has decided to present a regular episode with a Halloween theme, as opposed to just the usual trilogy-of-terror-in-which-anything-goes-including-death-and-mutation spectacle that is “Treehouse of Horror.”
In “Halloween of Horror” — you know which one we’re talking about — Lisa gets scared at the Krustyland Halloween Horror Night, prompting Homer, who’s obsessed with Halloween decroations, to reluctantly takes down his Everscream Terrors decorations. Unfortunately, seasonal employees at a pop-up Halloween store — two of them voiced by Nick Kroll and Blake Anderson — are accidentally fired, thanks to a Homer screw-up, and they seek revenge on Homer at his house.
“This episode tries to get psychologically deeper than ghosts, ghouls and goblins,” Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman tells EW. “It’s one of the scariest scenarios, especially for a kid, when people break into your home, which is where you feel the most safe. For a daughter to see her dad as scared as she is, that’s a huge deal. Do you let it defeat you or do you rise above it?”
While you ponder that, check out this scene from the episode, in which Homer doesn’t quite grasp the gravity of a looming threat.