Review: Trilogy of Terror

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Gulliver63
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Review: Trilogy of Terror

Postby Gulliver63 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:18 pm

A couple of months ago I set out to write a "Treehouse of Horror" story based on some of the many psionics movies that we've seen. Suddenly, after another idea bit me in the brain, I wrote a second idea based on Maggie speaking. As these things are always made in three parts, I thought I'd go ahead and just do a three-part THOH story. The third part is based on the doodles I've been sending Kaspired about the "Thing" movie. Robert Stewart at work gave me some needed input as I was wrapping the project up, and I wrote in a dedication to Marcia Wallace at the top of the first page - I kind of feel bad that I was so rough with Edna in my story. Again, it's probably not terribly original as it's based on parodies, but hopefully you can have a few chuckles around this Halloween season. Enjoy.
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"We are today's creatures, locked in tomorrow's double feature..."
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Re: Review: Trilogy of Terror

Postby c_nordlander » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:02 pm

Sorry for the lateness of the review. I've been looking forward to reading this for a while, but work has been really stressful.

Typoes and technical stuff: "twin sisters [...], that worked" should be "who"; "spring" shouldn't be capitalised; "teacher's lounge" should be "teachers' lounge"; "still had her hands up where they were" doesn't really make sense; "Wiggums" should be "Wiggum"; "anymore" should be "any more"; "She should at least to say" seems to be missing a word; "sawed-off" should be "sawn-off"; "BMV" in the third story should be "DMV" (unless I'm missing something); "[spoiler] looked on in horror his leg turned into a pile of gelatinous goo" also seems to be missing a word; "and axe" should be "an"; the shop is spelt "Kwik-E-Mart"; "your my arm" should be "you're".

Frink said, "but there is so much we can learn from your children."
This needs a colon, and "but" should be capitalised.

You've written "Miss Krabappel" instead of "Mrs." in several places. Also, not really an error, but "she just started walking as if she'd been commanded to do so" is odd, given that Lisa *did* actually command her. In the third story, you refer to Bart, Homer and Frink as "the three human survivors", but wouldn't other people have followed them from the bar (at least Lenny was mentioned earlier)?

OK, firstly, the title is pretty unoriginal. The stories are good, though. Writing is generally good (though it seems to be best in the first segment), and I like the recurring motifs, such as scenes with Patty and Selma bookending the fic. More detailed comments below.

"That Terrible Power": This plot seems to be quite common in Simpsons fanfics, especially about Lisa, but you put a bit of a spin on it. That scene with Mrs. Krabappel in the classroom was terrifying: by far the scariest thing I've read by you, and ranking pretty high on the list of scary Simpsons fanfics all around. The resolution to the plot is unexpected and feels very suitable to a Treehouse of Horror episode. Very good writing; maybe a little bit succinct, but not so much that it's a problem. Characterisation feels good. Especially Skinner's dialogue is perfect, but Marge and her sisters are great as well. Frink felt a bit bland, but he wasn't a major character. One of the few problems with the story is that the tension defuses kind of quickly, and then the story seems to meander for a while before it ends. But that's minor. My score: B

"Slow to Speak": Very short, and a bit too dialogue-heavy (ironically) but it's a pretty good concept. Reminded me of the "Starship Poopers" segment in THoH IX, but I liked your story more ("Starship Poopers" was a great idea, but I thought it didn't live up to its potential). The ending made me smile. A bit insignificant, but not bad. My score: C+

"It's a Simpson Thing": Great story title. I've never seen "The Thing", but the story is good and very suspenseful. Not as scary as "That Terrible Power", but still pretty tense in places. Very innovative use of body parts. This story probably has the best jokes in the fic, such as the little parenthesis about how the lab area had been built to research giant squid, or the reaction to Bart's "Have you ever known me to lie?" There are plenty of other good jokes as well. The ending is unexpected and well-written.

On the downside, the writing in this story is a bit blander than in "That Terrible Power"; for example, "Then something grabbed him" is so brief as to not have a lot of dramatic impact. Other scenes are better, but that and the battle in the bar are really too succinct. (Also, to nitpick, there are a lot of sentences like "Edna Krabappel then spotted them" or "He then walked away". A few repetitions are fine, especially of a small common word like "then", but it gets a bit much.) You seem to be using a lot of colourful "said"-verbs like "quipped" or "declared" when just "said" would do. Again, not a big problem. My score: B+

All in all, a nice Hallowe'en offering with lots of good jokes, some chills, and the right ambience of a Treehouse of Horror episode. I especially enjoyed the third story. Recommended to all Simpsons fans. Average score: B
Last edited by c_nordlander on Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


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Re: Review: Trilogy of Terror

Postby Gulliver63 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:15 am

I was really wondering if you'd seen the 2011 version of the "Thing" - about a third of it is in Norwegian. If you like horror, and I have a feeling you do, the Thing movies are really fun. I really, really liked the daylights out of writing that scene with Edna - I enjoy writing that kind of horror. Robert Stewart at work provided the visual image of her mind being like a file room. I quickly found out that writing about such powers was fun, but putting limitations on the powers was really fun.

Giganto-woman, mentioned in the beginning of the third story, is part of a panthenon of superheroes that I created for other projects; I recently did a picture of her for my nephew in Arizona http://gulliver63.deviantart.com/art/Gi ... -406358494 . I then loved using Hans Moleman as a convenient chew toy of a victim (how else would you use him?). I also enjoyed the Lenny gag, and Moe was fun to write. I had to hustle a bit to get it all done, but I was glad I did. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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