'Community' Recap: Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps
This year’s Halloween episode of “Community” was slightly schizophrenic but not completely without entertainment value. This episode was especially fun for Alison Brie as Annie was able to get a little dark and disturbed while still teasing/flaunting her sexuality. Troy and Abed continue to grow closer and at one point (albeit in a fantasy) they reach a point a true happiness.
The episode opens with everyone gathered in the library “pre-partying” before that night’s actual campus Halloween party. Jeff comes dressed as a generic “The Fast and the Furious” character because he thinks girls will like it. Troy and Abed are already dressed up as the lead characters from Abed’s new favorite show, “Inspector Spacetime” (a brilliant inside joke for loyal fans).
As the “party” gets started, Britta pulls Jeff aside and tells him that she processed the results of the anonymous psyche survey she gave the group and that one of them shows extreme sociopathic/homicidal tendencies. (We also find out the group has begun using Britta’s name as a verb meaning, ahem, “a small mistake.”) Even though Jeff isn’t worried, Britta is determined to find out which member of the group is psychotic.
Her plan (a terrible one) is to have each member tell a scary story and to deduce who is crazy. She begins by telling a story about two people (Britta and Jeff) making out in a car in the middle of the woods with a psycho killer on the loose. It is the most bland and poorly constructed story ever. The writing here is brilliant because it perfectly captures Britta’s lack of imagination and creativity.
Abed says he didn’t care about the characters, which catches Britta’s attention, so he tells his own version which is hyper-realistic and ultimately goes nowhere. A couple (Britta and Abed) arrive at a cabin that was inexpensive to rent because it’s so close to the local insane asylum. They turn on the radio and listen to music for a while because the announcement of a psycho killer being on the loose wouldn’t come on immediately; that would be too coincidental. Essentially Abed’s dedication to truth proves too much for the scary story genre.
Annie goes next and promises a really scary story. In hers, a helpless maiden (Annie) is rescued by a valiant hero (Jeff) from danger in the woods. Soon, we realize the handsome man is actually a vampire who must keep himself from attacking the beautiful young woman. After teaching the vampire to read (what?) and getting him to love her, the young maiden reveals that she is a werewolf who feeds on vampires. Annie then continues to describe a graphically violent end to her story which freaks out the rest of the group and makes Britta think they found the crazy person.
Not to be outdone, Troy tells a story about two top gun fighter pilots (Troy and Abed) who are sewn together by a crazy old scientist (Pierce). They discover that they now have ESP and can move things with their mind. The two pilots then turn the tables on the scientist, much to the dismay of Pierce who then casts Troy and Abed as two would-be gangsters in his story where he is some type of white Shaft-like 007. It’s quite off-putting.
Shirley says that not all stories have to be so gruesome and tells a story about the fight between good and evil. A group of youths of indeterminate age (the rest of the group) are partying in a cabin doing the drugs and listening to the death metal when the devil shows up to punish them for their sins. Her story is a terrific revelation of just how out of touch Shirley is with the younger generations.
Of course by the end of the episode, Britta reveals that one of the group members may be insane and everyone turns on everyone else. (What would “Community” be if the friends didn’t begin yelling at each other at least once in an episode?) Naturally, we find out Britta “Britta-ed” the results and, in fact, everyone showed homicidal tendencies except one. True to form, the group is much more satisfied with this outcome than the previous one.
“Horror Fiction” is a solid episode where the writers are able to really explore each character’s psyche. It also gives the actors a chance to have even more fun than they do on a regular basis.