For their 24th outing of their annual Halloween, The Simpsons recruited a genuine heavy hitter in the horror genre: Guillermo del Toro. With the "Treehouse of Horror XXIV" airing this Sunday, brace yourself for the incredibly epic "Cough Gag" opening directed by none other than del Toro himself! 

The annual "Treehouse of Horror" special to celebrate Halloween has been a signature highlight in The Simpsons' much-celebrated twenty-five years run as the longest-running American sitcom. Wildly popular among fans and critics of the series, the annual "Treehouse of Horror" has also received numerous accolades and often involved a number of celebrity guest stars. This year, The Simpsons truly brought out their big guns by featuring a well-regarded name in the horror genre: Guillermo del Toro.

Instead of guest-starring in the special, del Toro decided to give us his take on the classic "Couch Gag" opening of the series and the result is an incredible vision celebrating both the horror genre and The Simpsons. Paying tribute to the horror genre, everything from del Toro's own films (Blade, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy to even Pacific Rim) to the classic monsters (the Hammer versions of Dracula, The Mummy, Werewolf, and even Cthulu), to notable creators (such as Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and even Alfred Hitchcock) are assembled in Springfield.

With Treehouse of Horror XXIV set to air this Sunday, the awe-inspiring opening running at an epic two minutes forty-five seconds has been released online. Hit the jump and brace yourself for a truly extraordinary sequence that we are pretty certain that you will rewatching soon to grasp the epicness.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, del Toro has this to say about his epic vision:

“The Simpsons titles are so iconic and yet they’ve never been riffed in this vein. 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.  For example the idea that Ms. Krabappel could be outside the school with Alfred Hitchcock which is a reference to the sequence in The Birds that happens outside of the school in Bodega Bay. To use Chief Wiggum as the Cyclops from Harryhausen, dipping the [Lard Lad] donut in a water tank, to have the nuclear spill from Mr. Burns’ plant create zombies — all of this stuff seems to make sense to interconnect. If Homer really gets a radioactive isotope, he could turn into a reaper from Blade. Or the famous shot that is always in the titles — Maggie driving and then you pull back and there’s Marge driving, right? But in this case Maggie is driving, and she’s driving the car from the horror movie from the 70s called The Car, which is one of my favorite guilty pleasure B-movies. And what if Lisa is in the music class, but she’s in the music class with every Phantom of the Opera ever made? It was a unique opportunity.”

As for his favorite moment in the clip, here goes:

“Guy [Davis] said, ‘Why don’t we have Smithers clean the eyes and he gets eaten? It defined the relationship between Burns and Smithers perfectly. That was the thing that I enjoyed the most — to take what we feel when we’re watching the title sequence or the characters and make it organic.”

The Treehouse of Horror XXIV is currently scheduled to air on Fox this Sunday, October 6th at 8/7c.


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