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Horror-packed Simpsons opening by Guillermo del Toro

For "Treehouse of Horror XXIV", Fox pulled out the big guns, with an opening credits sequence directed by master of horror Guillermo del Toro.

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(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

For "Treehouse of Horror XXIV", Fox pulled out the big guns, with an opening credits sequence directed by master of horror Guillermo del Toro.

The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror" annual Halloween episodes traditionally feature an opening sequence that deviates from the norm. For the 25th anniversary of the special, the credits have made a sort of return to the basic sequence of events, with a particularly brilliant touch: the leadership of master of horror Guillermo del Toro.

According to Entertainment Weekly, del Toro was offered a choice of providing a guest voice or providing a couch gag and instead opted to reimagine the entire credits sequence. "I really wanted to land the connections between the [show's] set pieces and the titles and some of the most iconic horror movies and intersperse them with some of my stuff in there for pure joy," he said.

His creation includes Mrs Krabappel sitting with Alfred Hitchcock, in a scene that mirrors The Birds; Chief Wiggum as Ray Harryhausen's Cyclops; Homer as a reaper from Blade; Bart echoing the famous scene from The Shining and Mr Burns as one of del Toro's own creations.

The idea, he said, partly came from reading Mad magazine as a kid. "They would try to cram so many references in," he said. "You as a kid could spend an afternoon on your bed with your magnifying glass going through a frame of Mad magazine and finding all these references to this and that."

The sequence took several months to complete, and it's a thing of joy. You certainly won't be able to catch every reference the first time round. Give it a watch for yourself, and see how many you can pick out.