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Community: Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps


Imagine, for your entertainment, the concept of a door. You try to unlock it with a key of imagination but someone has changed the locks since the divorce so you kick it open instead, hurting your foot in the process. You limp through and beyond is another dimension: a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind, a dimension where the lights flicker all week because the Dean can't afford to get someone in to fix them. You're moving into a land of both time-travelling policemen and illiterate vampires, of horror movie references and surreal humour; you've just crossed over into... The Twilight Zone The Community Halloween Special!!!!

A college campus. It is the setting of an episode. An episode not as good as the previous one (what could be?) or even last season's zombie invasion episode. Yet it is an episode superior to other episodes from this season. But not by much. It is an episode much like The Simpsons' annual 'Treehouse of Terror', notably the classic ones where the characters actually sat around telling each other scary stories while Marge advised everyone not to watch (she was ignored).

The stories here are told by seven friends. Friends who have gathered from a pre-party party. Unbeknownst to them, one of these seven people has homicidal tendencies. It could be Annie. It might be Pierce. It's more than likely someone just Britta'd the test result and is overreacting. Only by telling ghost stories, ghost stories that reveal much about the person telling then, will they be able to determine who is crazy and who... is not! But it may turn out to be the answer to a question they will have wished they had not asked in the first place.

Britta Perry's Urban Legend

Once upon a time there was a couple in a car in the woods making out or something. Suddenly the radio announces that an escaped convict from the asylum has escaped and he is mental and on the loose and stuff. An escaped convict who has a thingy for a hand, a hook thing where his hand should be (you know what I mean). The man steps out of the car and is stabbed by the escaped convict with his hook hand thingy. It's a classic scary story, badly told by someone who screws up so much lately her name has now become a verb. Why do the writers insist on making Britta a joke? Please, stop it.

Abed Nadir Presents Cabin in the Woods

A simple log cabin made of earth and wood, where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode, who never ever learned to read or write so well, but he could play a guitar just like ringing a bell. But Johnny has since moved out since making it big on American Idol, and now rents out the cabin to young couples who want to be intimate with each other in safety because this isn't the '50s. Using his extensive knowledge of slasher film clich├ęs, Abed details what people who make rationally and logical decisions (like him) would do in a situation where an escaped convict from the asylum is mental and on the loose and stuff. In this horror story, no one dies... until it has been eeeeaaarrrned!!!!

Annie Edison's Tutorial with the Vampire

It is well know that all vampire stories are about sex. Even the ones that aren't about sex are about sex. Count von Count, for example, is just one great big metaphor for man's carnal desires and need for numerical excellence. Annie's story is all about sex, primarily her passionate desire to have sex with Jeff (or possibly eat him). But it was also about her desire to change Jeff and make him a better person, the type of person she wouldn't feel gross about having sex with (or possibly serving for lunch).

Tory Barns' Love Story (A Jerry Bruckheimer Production)

Maverick and Goose (AKA, Tory and Abed, entirely up to you which is which) crash their plane in the woods. They seek shelter at the cabin of a old, crazy, racist mad scientist. For reasons know only to mad scientist, he stitches them together, creating one all powerful super being; Trobed. A super-being who likes sandwiches and playing Mr Potato Head with mad scientist. This story served as a good example of why Britta and Troy must never couple up. No woman should ever come between Troy and Abed. They were meant to be together. Together they are more awesome than they could ever be apart.

Pierce Hawthorne's Boyz in the Cabin

A horror story only in the sense it plants in one's mind the image of Pierce having sex with Britta, Shirley and Annie. Excuse me while I go and bleach my brain.

The Gospel According to Shirley

Shirley gets her preacher on and delivers a sermon about the eternal battle between good and evil. And about how drugs are bad, m'kay. The end of days has come at last. The earth is plagued by swarms of locusts and tornadoes of frogs. It's almost exactly like living in New York. All the good Christians (like Shirley) have been raptured up to heaven, leaving all the cool people behind to be tortured by Dean Devil and Pilates. Dang, but at least they have all those drugs to ease the pain.

Jeff Winger's Nightmare During Christmas

The group gets together for Christmas at Johnny B. Goode's cabin. Suddenly, the hook man attacks. But before he can stab anyone with his hook hand thingy, Jeff uses his healing powers to find out why he wants to kill people. Turns out, he's really Chang, and he's really scared and he just wants a hug. So they all have a big group hug. For once I think Pierce is right. That was the gayest crap I have ever seen in my life. Major fail, Winger.

Notes and Quotes

-- I think this episode once again demonstrates that Community works best with as little Chang as possible.

-- So according to the non-Britta'd tests, Abed is the sanest member of the group while Pierce is the most crazy. Makes sense, really.

-- I just knew Tory and Abed would dress up as Inspector Spacetime and his nameless assistant.

Britta: “Jeff, can I have a quick conversation with you?”
Jeff: “Doubtful, but I support the dream.”

Jeff: “No, no, no, I'm no sociopath, I know exactly what I am doing. I'm just a guy that doesn't like taking tests, doing work or get yelled at. So if you think about it, I'm the sanest person here.”
-- Boooooooo!!!

Gangster Abed: “This a home invasion, you jive mutha.”

Devil Dean: (brandishing a chainsaw) "Gay marriage! Gay marriage!"

Britta: “Should we check it out?”
Abed: “No. We should call 911 on my fully-charged cellphone. Lock all the doors, and then stand back to back in the middle of the room holding knives.”

Annie: “This is crazy. We’re getting freaked out because it’s Halloween. We just need to settle down.”
(Lights go out, everyone freaks out and grabs a weapon to defend themselves)
Annie: “Stay back, psychos! Or I’ll slit your throats and bathe in your blood!”

Britta: “That makes sense, I'm turned on by how logical you are.”
Abed: “I'm comforted by your shiny hair and facial symmetry.”

Troy: “I want to go to the dance. I heard the Dean’s got free taco meat from the Army.”
-- Err, I would skip that one if I were you.

Jeff: “Stifle your slackened maw, you drained and tainted bitch dog.”

Shirley: “AND HE CHAINSAWED THEM TO BITS! And then he put them back together, AND THEN HE CHAINSAWED THEM AGAIN!”

Coming right after one of the very best Community episodes, 'Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps' was always going to suffer. And it probably wasn't a smart idea for them to do another anthology-type episode so quickly. This could've been a fantastic episode but it just never came alive for me. I think it would've worked a lot better if they'd ditched the 'which member of the group is a homicidal maniac' plotline and focused more on making the individual stories more special. Of the seven stories, Abed's was by far the best, and a great showcase for Danny Pudi's talents (where the feck is his Emmy?). Maybe next season (hey, I live in hope) they could do an entire episode of just Abed telling different horror stories. That would be awesome.

Three out of four escaped convicts from the asylum who have escaped and are mental and on the loose and stuff.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.


  1. awesome review Mark !

    Loved the 1st paragraph

  2. Yes Abed is the sanest one them all. That's great news because sometimes I see the world as a big movie complete with tropes and now I know I'm not crazy. :D It's everyone else that doesn't that is.

  3. Yes, Abed is the sanest one of them all. But Jeff could also be sane, since he just randomly filled out the bubbles on the sheets.


  4. Loved your review. I made me laugh as much (or more) than the episode! I really enjoyed Trobed.

  5. This episode was so over the top that it actually creeped me out a bit. Troy and Abed sewn together? Ick! Loved your review, Mark.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Happy to see everyone enjoyed my flimsy Rod Serling impression.

    Juliette, you do know that now I'm probably going to spend all of the next episode studying Gillian Jacobs' upper lip for any sign movement?

  8. I'm feeling really guilty now, she seems lovely and that was mean! Plus I see things that aren't there sometimes... think I'll delete the comment!

  9. It is said that you know you’ve made it when your name becomes a verb. A shame that Britta’d has such negative connotations, but I agree that the writers have made Britta a joke this year. I have stopped laughing and I agree with Mark; it’s time to call a halt.

  10. LOL on the re watching and yes, LOL on the re reading !

    HEY ! In five days it is February the 7th 2013, the start of the 4th season.

    We have waited MORE than enough. More than enough.

  11. This was the first episode I saw of Community that I liked (I caught a few here and there before I ever sat down and watched them in order).

    Abed's story was by far the best. I especially loved his relating the mental patient escapee to the economy. Should we read into the fact that he was at the cabin with Britta and not Annie? That really seems strange.

    I love Annie's too, because it's so transparently about her issues with Jeff and even reveals a little of how she thinks about Britta.


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