Rick and Morty Season 6 just launched another one of the series horror-themed episodes, but instead of borrowing from the works of David Cronenberg or films like The Purge, this time we got an homage to so many horror films that deal with the idea that there could be alternate, evil, personas lurking inside of someone. There is a pretty broad list of horror stories that fit into that category – here are some of the ones we spotted.
Here are Rick and Morty's "Night Family" Episode Horror Movie Easter egg and References Explained:
"Night Family" Title
Rick and Morty has had many odes to Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone over the years, but in titling Season 6 Episode 4 "Night Family" it seems like the show is paying homage to a different work of Serling: The Night Gallery.
Running from 1969-1973, Night Gallery was Serling dipping more into horror rather sci-fi storytelling. Every week, viewers got a new horror story each week, based on a painting hanging the gallery of an old museum. Rick and Morty may have done a lot of fans the favor of turning them onto it, after this.prevnext
Opening Quote By T.S. Eliot
"When you're alone in the middle of the night and you wake in a sweat and a hell of a fright
When you're alone in the middle of the bed and you wake like someone hit you on the head
You've had a cream of a nightmare dream and you've got the hoo-ha's coming to you."
This quote opens Rick and Morty's "Night Family" is a from poet T.S. Eliot's "Fragment of an Agon" a part of his unfinished verse drama "Sweeney Agonistes: Fragment of an Aristophanic Melodrama. It's unclear why exactly this exact work – other than the suggestive wording – but "Sweeney Agonistes" is itself a reference to Milton's "Samson Agonistes", with both works examining themes of violence, revenge, tortured souls, and even foreshadowy elements like female betrayal.prevnext
John Carpenter Music
John Carpenter isn't just the pioneering filmmaker behind classics like The Thing and Halloween – he's also a pioneering composer, whose sonic composition went on to define a lot of Hollywood horror that came after. Rick and Morty's soundtrack for "Night Family" certainly pays a lot of homage to Carpenter's creepy sound, as the showrunners confirm in their episode breakdown.prevnext
Rick and Morty's "Night Family" ep pays homage to any number of signature horror genre tricks, from spooky underligthing to glowing eyes in a dark room. The show's creators legitimately made their own short horror movie to properly create the atmosphere the wanted for the episode – and judging by the fan reactions, it worked!prevnext
As Above, So Below
This 2014 found-footage horror film was by one of the genre's solid talents, John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil), gets directly name-dropped by Rick and Morty, disguised as the sign off for their podcast about having killer abs.prevnext
Another reference to some obscure horror of the past. The night family refers to the Sanchez family as "Daymonoids," which is a spin on the word "Demonoid." Demonoid: Messenger of Death is a 1981 Mexican horror film, in which explorers find a demonic hand that possesses those it touches, causing them to do horrific things.prevnext
Jordan Peele's horror movie US was all about demented doppelgangers, and Rick and Morty's "Night Family" episode clearly borrows from that movie's premise, tone, and staples – down to the creepy raspy voices on the Night Family.prevnext
Rick and Morty ends "Night Family" with a twisted resolution that sees the Night Family win. It's the sort of abysmal ending that any number of famous horror movies have gone with – although Rick and Morty pulls the twist of hilariously undoing it, once Night Family finds out what mundane life in the day is really like.prev