To celebrate the XXIV installment of The Simpsons annual Treehouse of Horrors Halloween spectacular—which airs Sunday, Oct. 6 at 8 (ET)—the show turned to director Guillermo Del Toro to create an epic opening.
Del Toro, whose last movie, Pacific Rim, was in theaters this past summer, is known for crafting surreal, fanstastical and often horrifying worlds in films like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. The director is also a huge Simpsons fan, referencing the animated series in his own films—and even has a room in his house filled with memorabilia from the Fox animated show.
“The Simpsons titles are so iconic and yet they’ve never been riffed in this vein,” Del Toro told EW. “I really wanted to land the connections between the [show’s] set pieces and the titles and some of the most iconic horror movies, and intersperse them with some of my stuff in there for pure joy.” The director manages to reference horror masters including H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King, as well as his own movies.
The result is a phantasmagoric and slightly gory 2-minute-45-second couch-gag extravaganza — packed with references obvious and obscure — and featuring everything from radioactive zombies, several Phantoms of the Opera, Smithers getting eaten and other ghoulish sights. Del Toro certainly did a good job of turning Springfield into a garden of horrific delights.
We just feel bad for whoever has to try and top this for Treehouse of Horrors XXV.