The Simpsons recently kicked off its 33rd season as the longest-running scripted series shows no signs of slowing down. As is tradition the early season will feature a Treehouse of Horror special to coincide with Halloween. The time of year when The Simpsons writing staff take a break from the traditional storytelling and turn their attention to spooky parodies.
With Treehouse of Horror XXXII, the next episode scheduled for release, the studio has released some still images of the upcoming episode to offer fans a clue at what this year’s references might be. Most of the images keep the references vague with the exception of a few that clearly seem to show Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite.
The 2019 Korean language thriller took the world by storm when it claimed the Academy Award for Best Picture, becoming the first foreign-language film to do so. Parasite follows the story of the struggling Kim family who one-by-one imposes themselves onto the much more successful Park family by picking up various jobs around their household. Blending a mix of darkly comic moments and subtle unease that unfolds in unexpected ways across a twisting narrative.
The images appear to show The Simpsons family in place of the Kim’s, with one image showing them in their flooded basement apartment surrounded by folded pizza boxes and the other from later in the movie when the Kim’s are pretending to live in the Park family home whilst they are away. Parasite could prove one of the trickiest parodies the series has attempted to pull off but the show has had success with challenging segments in recent years such as the critically acclaimed Kubrick parody A Clockwork Yellow from 2014’s episode.
Images of Bart, Lisa, Maggie and Milhouse seem to confirm that Treehouse of Horror XXXII will attempt to evoke the series’ origins as was already alluded to at The Simpsons San Diego Comic-Con Panel earlier this year. Returning to the original framing device of scary stories being told in the eponymous treehouse. Other clever nods to the original are also present such as Maurice Lamarche’s Vincent Price cameo that was also shown off at Comic-Con.
Lamarche was seen reading Maggie a bedtime story entitled ‘The Tell-tale Bart’ in an obvious reference to Edgar Allen Poe whose story, The Raven, famously featured in the very first Treehouse of Horror. That panel also revealed that this season’s episode will break from the traditional three-story format and will instead feature five spooky vignettes. With two of those seemingly confirmed, there are references to the other three present in the images although the references are left a little vaguer.
The scenes involve former pro basketball player Tree Rollins joining an army of trees in a siege against the town of Springfield. Lisa seemingly befriending a zombie girl at school and a ghostly apparition of Milhouse appearing before Lisa. Horror buffs may be able to spot the suggestions whilst other fans will simply have to wait. Treehouse of Horror XXXII is set to air on 10th October 2021.