The Simpsons' annual Treehouse of Horror episode airs Sunday night, featuring a chapter inspired by the Oscar-winning film Parasite. Another segment in "Treehouse of Horror XXXII" is inspired by the art of Edward Gorey, titled "The Telltale Bart." There are also gruesome references to Bambi, Nightmare on Elm Street, Guardians of the Galaxy, Little Shop of Horrors, The Ring and The Wizard of Oz. The episode airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
The segment inspired by Parasite is titled "Bong Joon Ho's 'This Side of Parasite,'" notes Variety. It features the Simpsons family living in a squalid basement apartment. They see a chance at a better life when Rainier Wolfcastle hires Bart as a tutor. Homer then becomes Wolfcastle's chauffeur, Marge becomes a housemaid, and Lisa is hired as an art teacher. Maggie is even hired as a groundskeeper. Just like in Parasite, the Simpsons later discover there are others secretly living in Wolfcastle's home.
The episode also features a parody of The Ring, where Springfield Elementary school students learn that anyone who watches a TikTok video will die in a week. It is up to Lisa to save everyone from the social network. "The Telltale Bart" features a story narrated with a Vincent Price-style voice and features animation inspired by Gorey's works. The episode was written by John Frink and directed by Matthew Faughnan. Every season of The Simpsons has featured a "Treehouse of Horror" episode since Season 2.
The Simpsons' decision to reference Parasite proves that the two-year-old film still has a place in the cultural landscape. The film was directed by Bong Joon-ho and written by Bong and Han Jin-won. The film tells the story of the Kim family, who slowly take jobs at the home of the much wealthier Park family's home. While the Parks are away, the Kims learn that another man is living in the basement. Parasite opened in South Korea in May 2019 and went on an unprecedented awards season run that ended with it becoming the first foreign-language film to win the Best Picture Oscar. the film also won Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Film.
HBO is also developing a limited series inspired by Parasite with The Big Short director Adam McKay. In a recent interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, McKay said the project is not just an English-language remake of the beloved movie. "It's an original series. It's in the same universe as the feature, but it's an original story that lives in that same world," McKay said in April, adding that he has worked with Bong, who is overseeing the project.