Here at Pop Culture Spin we refuse to accept that Halloween is only one day. We’re going to be celebrating Halloween all month, by highlighting one of our favorite Halloween episodes every day. Today’s we’re looking at the Community episode “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps.”
Directed by: Tristram Shapeero
Written by: Dan Harmon
Episode Number: Season 3, Episode 5
Where to Watch It: Hulu
Why It’s Great
Britta had the whole study group take personality tests as an assignment for her psych class. In this episode, she tells Jeff that one of the tests showed that someone in the group has violent tendencies. She gets the idea to tell scary stories so she can see who in the group is de-sensitized to violence.
Although no one besides Jeff knows why Britta is doing this, they all join in with their own scary stories. The brilliance of the episode comes in how hilariously silly the stories are while still telling us an immense amount about the characters and their true feelings for each other. It also gave us the absolutely iconic moment of the Dean wielding a chainsaw and yelling, “Gay marriage!”
The tension in the group builds beautifully and by the end of the episode, the friends all have makeshift weapons pointed at each other. It’s a masterpiece of storytelling.
Why It’s Full of Halloween Spirit
The scary stories are wonderful. They borrow tropes from a range of spooky sources, from old urban legends to Twilight-ish young adult stories.
Jeff is “one of the Fast & Furious guys”
Troy & Abed are Inspector Spacetime and Constable Reggie (although, to be fair, that’s not a costume it’s just what they were wearing when Britta called them)
The Dean is a witch (also, it’s not really a costume, but in Shirley’s story he’s a very sexy devil)