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‘The Returned’ and ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ join ‘The Walking Dead’ to offer high-quality horror

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, which is traditionally the least watched night for television. Perhaps this is appropriate. In 2015, television can be many things appropriate for the holiday: shocking, scary, catchy, overly commercialized, and very, very gross. But one thing he still struggles with is fear. You do not believe me? Take a moment to consider: What’s the last truly scary regular TV show? I don’t mean hideous in parts, like one of Leatherface’s victims. I mean a show that is scary from top to bottom, from start to finish. And I mean a show other than, say, potatoes.

This is not so much a criticism as a fact of life. Movies, with their contained runtimes, are especially good at keeping the mood going. When you sit down to watch a horror movie, you essentially agree to be on edge for 90 to 120 minutes. Television, by its very nature, demands a diversity of tones and tones. Viewers simply can’t be asked to hold their breath for eight, 10, or even 22 hours per season. Try it and they’ll be dead even before your program. Instead, television has traditionally had to play on the fringes of horror, building entire series out of cuts and cuts generally underappreciated by television. Fangoria crowd: the slow and dying buildup; stolid research, like a landowner; the long and painful outcome. (Or, as is the case with Fox’s smarmy scream queens(The idea that a grimace can cut deeper than a knife.) A horror movie is a tour of a haunted house. A scary TV show is more of a haunted timeshare. There have to be at least occasional feints towards comforts like comfort and humor because, let’s be honest, you’re going to be there for a while.

If anyone was going to crack the horror code on television, they would have expected it to be a pay service like HBO or Netflix, with their unlimited makeup budgets and the freedom to micro-target audiences with the precision of a serial killer. But the two most successful series to challenge the primacy of horror movies come from the fiendish Jigsaws on basic cable. fx american horror storiescalm killing grades in its fifth iteration, television has probably moved closer to the specificity and sustained madness of cinema. Part of this is due to the show’s creative cast and unquenchable third party for extremism. But let’s be honest: the most remarkable aspect of AHS It’s not the bearded lady, it’s the length of each season. By limiting each cycle to 13 hours and a single story, the show’s single discordant note can sound like a symphony. one does not look AHS as much as one commit it.

AMC the Walking Dead is even more remarkable. It’s not just TV far and far most popular show Among the coveted 18-34 demographic, he has almost single-handedly refuted every single idea put forward in my opening paragraph. Where most serialized dramas create a world and over time expand on it, adding characters, nuances, and layers. the Walking Dead it has a guillotine where the engine of the story should be. He has no interest in saving the world or curing the zombie outbreak. Instead, he sets up base camp at the crushing moment when most dystopian movies end, sinking into heartbreak, violence, and loss. “Everything is fucked” is not a traditional television starting point, but, again, the Walking Dead It is not a traditional series. His remarkable skill in areas often seen as ancillary — sound design, visual effects, editing, and casting — has helped keep him going, even as the plot veers decidedly into a kind of sadistic nihilism. And, perversely, the desolate consistency of the Walking Dead – no matter what else is going on, someone gets bitten every week – it’s the very thing that saves it as a TV show. At this point, the constant and excruciating suffering has become as dependent as a laugh.

Genes/AMC Page

This Sunday’s controversial episode actually further cemented the Walking Dead‘s connection with the rest of TV. In the age of Jon Snow, beloved shows have far exceeded the limits of their time slots. Fandom is a full contact sport that runs 24 hours a day, seasons be damned. That showrunner Scott M. Gimple had to qualify a major death, and thus stepping on its own dramatic narrative mere minutes after kicking it off, was further proof that the winking game no longer works in a world where everyone plays at such a high level. In the Walking Dead, humans may just be an oversized sidekick to the zombie masses. But in reality, these characters are intimate, welcomed into our homes every week. A modern showrunner can, and should, mistreat them, but they must remember to respect them.

Despite this misstep, my main takeaway from “Thank You” was admiration. Though there are plenty of nits left to choose from the Walking DeadI am deeply impressed by the show’s ability to harness difficult, fast-paced emotions like heartbreak, stress, and despair and corral them within the confines of a weekly series. The almost drugged panicky fugue into which Nicholas fell as an impossible horde of zombies surrounded him was contagious. I’m not saying I identify with the choice he made at the time, but, God, who could blame him? Time and time again, I am finding the grand scale of this season of the Walking Dead deeply disturbed; death has been ever-present for a long time, but rarely so monumental or seemingly inevitable. This relentlessness is radical for television, and in particular for Sunday night television, which has long been the warm heart of the country’s television week. It is a pivot that has helped the Walking Dead becoming the most horrible TV show in a more than literal sense; it ravages the emotions now, not just the guts.

On Saturday night, just when most kids will be home counting their candy, two spooky and wacky series will premiere, each looking to keep the jack-o’-lantern lights on well into November. Although Sundance TV Return is back for a second season, I loved the first one, it’s from Starz Ash vs Evil Dead that’s actually the more familiar of the pair. That’s because it picks up a loose story that began in 1978, when two frustrated Midwestern drama jerks named Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell shot a bloody short called in the forest. From that scattered fragment a cult empire arose: a trilogy of beloved moviesin addition to a series of video games, comics and unlimited opportunities for cosplay The only connective tissue between all of this: Raimi’s inimitable wry/axe-wielding aesthetic and Campbell’s performance as Ashley “Ash” Williams, a one-handed Everyguy in possession of a summoning spirit. necronomicon. When the ghouls come calling, Ash is usually there to dispatch them with a barrage of one-liners and shotgun shells. No more mountains to climb on the big screen (a movie reboot flopped in 2013) and no more Spiderman dances to choreographer, the two have taken their trademark chainsaw to the only frontier left to them: the small screen.

Here’s the thing about Ash vs Evil Dead: It’s good. Better, it’s fun in a goofy, infectious way that’s the polar opposite of the Walking DeadThe frown. You don’t need to be familiar with the franchise’s history or humor before you tune in. I’d say the opening montage of Campbell, now 57, trying to get into a girdle is a pretty good introduction, as it’s the scene where a detective from Michigan (Jill Marie Jones) is attacked by a poltergeist. which twists his neck and whose head finally explodes with the force and liquid speed of one of Gallagher’s overripe melons. what’s good about him Ash vs Evil Dead It’s not that he doesn’t take himself seriously, although, come on, he doesn’t at all. It is that he collects and chooses the details of it very carefully. should to take seriously. So Campbell, still the Ibérico de bellota of the B-series hams, thinks as much about Ash’s chaplinesque falls as he does about chainsaw arrogance. And Raimi, who directed the first hour and co-wrote or produced the remaining nine, imbues each slippery-jumping demon with both gravity and wit. With its amputated limbs and references to Shabbat dinner, this is not your father’s horror show. It’s from your crazy uncle. And thank God for it.

At the whole other end of the spectrum is Return. Yes Ash vs Evil Dead it is an artery that springs from gore gore, the French series is rigor mortis itself. In the first season, the residents of a remote mountain town were shattered when their dead relatives suddenly came back to life, seemingly unharmed and frozen at the age they were when they expired. Then: A teenage girl suddenly reconnects with her barely teenage twin, a young mother is visited by the fiancé who killed himself while pregnant, a bar owner who happily buried his murderous brother years ago must find a way to come to terms with it. back in its orbit. It’s a bold premise, to be sure, and a lesser show would have resisted the pressure to provide answers. But the beauty of Return it was the awkward way he framed his heavy questions, the way he allowed his impossible dream of a premise to curdle, subtly and slowly, into a bitter nightmare.

In season 2, Return it remains as puzzling and elliptical as ever. Few shows are so starkly beautiful; his palace of ghostly grays and harsh, metallic light suggests the work of an Impressionist T-1000. And the music, composed once again by Scottish noise poets Mogwai, is subtle and devastating. A flood has swept through the city and the dead have established their own society in the mountains. The imminent arrival of Adèle’s (Clotilde Hesme) baby, who was impregnated last season by the late Simon (Pierre Perrier), is what drives the plot, but the truth is that the plot seems almost secondary in such an unsettling landscape. Indeed, Return It doesn’t scare as much as it haunts. On a show like this, it’s the living who slowly remove their masks to reveal the scarred monsters lurking beneath. The supernatural is really just a mirror of the terrifying possibilities of human nature. It is this psychological dismemberment, not the bloodier, more literal kind, that television has historically excelled at. That’s because when a movie ends, you can quickly walk out of the theater and retreat to the quiet safety of your home. On TV, the scariest sights are always coming from inside home.


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