Bite-Size Scares

Halloween is a time for horror movies.  Lots and lots of horror movies.

However, as much as we’d love to sit around all day watching all of our favourites and catching up on as many new ones as we can, we all know that that is not in the cards.  Things happen.  Laundry needs to be done.  Dinners need to be cooked.  And that pesky little thing called employment keeps getting in the way.

At these times, I find that often a quick episode of something is the way to go.

Interestingly enough, horror television shows do not seem to often have a Halloween themed episode.  Why would they need one?  On these shows, every day is Halloween, after all.  Halloween episodes tend to fall more into sitcom or children’s show territory.  The Disney Channel is saturated with spooky themed episodes in October.  Who doesn’t love a great half hour comedy with your favourite characters dressed in funny costumes?  It makes a lot of sense, and is a great opportunity for some comedy.

If you’re like me, you prefer to have some genuine horror in your Halloween.  So, if you’re finding yourself a little short on time this year, check out these episodes set on Halloween for your viewing pleasure!

American Horror Story: Murder House 

1 x 04, 1 x 05 Halloween (Parts 1 and 2)

American Horror Story  has gone full out with their episodes, doing a Halloween themed episode just about every season.  The first season’s two-parter, simply titled Halloween, is by far my favourite.  For the first few episodes, the audience has been introduced to a few of the ghosts that haunt the aptly named Murder House.  Everyone who dies in the house is trapped there for eternity – except for on Halloween.  Every Halloween they can are free to do as they please, and they take that time to do very different things.  One goes to visit her dying mother.  Another gets arrested for harassing the home owners.  Still others embrace their love of home décor, helping to decorate the house for its upcoming sale.  All of these things lead to a wild night in the Murder House, and it is a surprisingly sad look at the plight of these poor creatures.  One of the things that I love most about this season is the different eras of ghosts all communicating with each other, and this two part episode did not disappoint.

Supernatural

4 x 07:  It’s The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester

Supernatural clearly leaned into being a fantasy series many years ago, with its big bads becoming more and more apocalyptic in nature every year.  However, heading into its 14th season this fall, people sometimes forget that this long-running series following the Winchester brothers as they hunt supernatural baddies started as horror.  It had more of a monster-of-the-week formula, but was solid horror to be sure.  Despite this, the Winchesters only had one adventure in their 14 year run actually set on Halloween.  In this one, a rogue witch is attempting to unleash Samhein, who will cause all kinds of mayhem.  To stop it, a couple of angels want to swing the hammer and blow the town up to get rid of said witch.  Sam and Dean race against the clock to stop her before they do, as it would kill the thousands living there.  If you don’t follow the show, there is a substantial amount of backstory here, but the “Road So Far” segment that is at the start of each episode will catch you up.

Scream Queens 

1 x 04: Haunted House

Scream Queens is definitely horror-comedy, but it takes full advantage of that fact to poke as much fun as possible at horror tropes.  In this episode, one of the sorority sisters who is running for President decides to do a Halloween haunted house for charity to prove that she is not a frivolous, empty-brained stereotype.  She sets up the haunted house.  Unbeknownst to her, a short time later the killer who has been terrorizing the campus decks it out with a few extra dead bodies, incuding a guy in a weird ice cream cone outfit.  The best part?  Everyone who comes to the haunted house raves about how realistic the corpses are, it becomes more and more popular as the night wears on, and the cops won’t come because calling about bodies in a popular haunted house on Halloween apparently doesn’t get taken seriously.  Even better, the Halloween fun bleeds into the next episode, when a hedge maze pumpkin patch gets turned into the final scene from The Shining.  Gold!

Channel Zero: No-End House

2 x 01: This Isn’t Real

While it is not explicitly stated that this episode takes place on Halloween, it is set in a haunted house, so I feel like it has the true Halloween spirit.  This is one seriously creepy show.  In it, a group of friends goes into a popular haunted house, one that appears without explanation and is said to disappear just as quickly.  It boasts a series of more and more frightening rooms, daring them to continue.  The lobby alone would be enough to make me turn around (as a few very, very smart people did).  Continuing the series is worth it if you enjoy the pilot; it is a truly mindbending and disturbing watch.  Much like the first season, Channel Zero, it contains some truly awesome visuals.

Slasher 

1 x 01: Pilot

While the entire episode isn’t set on Halloween, the killing that kicks it off is and it is definitely worth the price of admission.  On Halloween night, 1988, a very pregnant woman and her husband are murdered by someone in a mask right in their front foyer.  The rest of the series takes place in the present, as their daughter returns home and in her wake a whole new series of murders begins.  The rub?  Her parent’s killer has been imprisoned this whole time.  Or has he?  This show is surprisingly gory (there are some serious splatterfests throughout this short season) and definitely lives up to its name.  Another example of how us Canadians are super friendly…but have a dark side.

Happy Halloween!  For more lists, reviews, and all the Halloween you can handle, visit me at http://www.viewfromthemorg.com!

 

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