“The Simpsons” made it fashionable to do an anthology episode for Halloween with its “Treehouse of Horror” series. Sometimes, one tale of terror just isn’t enough, and you have to cram in as much as possible. That’s the path “Community” decided to take for its Season 3 Halloween episode, “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps.”
The set-up is relatively straightforward. Britta (Gillian Jacobs) conducted a psychological personality test on her friends and discovered one is homicidal. To determine which one it is, she decided to tell a scary story to see how everyone reacts. Misinterpreting the situation, everyone goes around the table to tell their own spooky story, resulting in plenty of laughs and a suitable twist at the end.
“Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps” helps cement the show’s status as something different than anything else on cable during its time. It wasn’t afraid to get bonkers with a premise, and you have to appreciate the attention to detail this episode exhibits. For example, it opens with Annie saying the word “Beetlejuice,” the third time it’s ever said in the series. Right on cue, a guy dressed in a Beetlejuice costume walks by the window behind her. You just have to appreciate that level of commitment to a bit.