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Friday
February 28th, 2020

carrie 1976 spotlight pageCarrie White becomes of the victim of a cruel prank at her prom in this scene from the 1976 horror hit “Carrie.” Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

Since it’s October and officially the season for all things spooky, I’ve been spending a good chunk of this month acquainting myself with some old favorites as well as some new stuff that will become staples for my Halloween seasons in the future. 

In order to be successful during that quest to find spooky fare to watch, I turned to Netflix and found the 1976 horror classic “Carrie,” directed by Brian De Palma and based on the Stephen King novel of the same name about a frequently bullied outcast high school girl named Carrie White, who discovers she has telekinetic abilities. 

I will freely admit, I was hesitant to click on the movie because (A) In my experience, adaptations of Stephen King novels haven’t turned out the greatest and (B) The past two horror “classics” (i.e. the ones almost every horror movie list says should be watched by literally EVERYONE) I’ve watched – “The Shining” and “The Exorcist” – left me severely disappointed. But, given how it’s the Halloween season and I was looking for some spooky fare to watch, I clicked on the movie and settled in to watch how everything unfolded. 

And ultimately, I actually ended up being surprised with the result.

the simpsons spotlight pageCourtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

When I was young, one of the things I looked forward to most about the Halloween season was seeing the “Treehouse of Horror” episodes of “The Simpsons” on TV. Not only were there some legitimate scares for my young self, but there were also a lot of laughs. So for this week I decided to indulge in a little nostalgia and talk about some of my favorite “Treehouse of Horror” episodes.  Enjoy!

 

The Thing and I (Treehouse Of Horror 7)

This segment, all the way from Treehouse of Horror 7, focuses on the revelation that Bart has an evil twin, Hugo, who lives in the Simpsons’ attic and has done so since birth. I love this one because when I was young, not only did the idea of having an evil twin absolutely terrify me, but the voicework throughout the episode is great and there are also several laughs. My favorite part is at the end when it’s revealed Bart is the evil twin and the deadpan way in which he says “Oh, don’t be so shocked” had me rolling in hysterics and continues to do so. 

 

Wiz Kids (Treehouse Of Horror 12)

This segment is a favorite of mine and I’ve loved it since the premiere. I love it because of how it parodies the “Harry Potter” series, which I’ve loved since elementary school. The Simpsons and the various side characters are perfectly cast in their respective roles in the Potterverse and I love the show’s take on the famous series. There are plenty of laughs throughout this segment for everyone and I would say my favorite part of the episode is near the end when Bart’s spell actually turns on him. 

edgar allan poe collage spotlight pageCourtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

October is here, which means many people will soon be gearing up for Halloween night at the end of the month here and are looking for spooky activities and other things to occupy the time until then. One of the ways I like to get into a bit of the spirit is picking up some spooky books by some of my favorite authors, and I’ve definitely read some good ones. 

One author in particular I enjoy reading, and have since my high school days, is Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve been fascinated by his life story and his fiction stories since that particular unit in Mrs. Martin’s English class my junior year and his stories are the perfect way to get into that spooky spirit. So I thought for this week, I’d talk about some of my favorites in Poe’s bibliography. 

 

The Raven

This poem centers on a lonely widower whose life gets upended one night when a large raven suddenly enters his chambers and perches there for the night and rather tortures the narrator. This was one of the first Poe works we read in English and I absolutely loved it because not only do you see inside the narrator’s mind as he descends into madness but the symbolism and other supernatural elements make this the perfect poem to read in the dark with maybe only a candle or two lit. There are several great dramatic readings of the poem on YouTube, as well as the adaptation done by “The Simpsons” in one of the show’s early “Treehouse of Horror” specials. 

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