The Terror review

Based on Dan Simmon’s book from 2007 by the same name, “The Terror” is a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to the Arctic, in 1845–1848, to locate the Northwest Passage. Lead by Sir John Franklin and the Royal Navy officer Francis Crozier, and with a crew of 128 men, both ships get stuck in the ice and they find themselves isolated many miles from the outside world. They try to blow up some of the ice with dynamite, without much luck. As members of the crew starts dying from scurvy, tuberculosis and lead poisoning, they also find themselves hunted by an Arctic monster called “Tuunbaq”, which is a creature resembling a polar bear.

The Terror review

“The Terror” has a season of 10 episodes, and Ridley Scott is one of the producers. I’ll admit there are few movies or tv-series that manages to get under my skin these days, but “The Terror” managed to do so. There’s a thick atmosphere with lots of suspense and meat on its bones, and the landscape of ice and nothing-ness really gives a grim and isolating look, and it’s so well done that you can barely see what’s green screen and what’s not. Costumes and scenery are rich with details which also lifts the realism up a few notches and matches the time period. The acting is also great, especially by Jared Harris as the alcoholized Francis Crozier who eventually needs to get his act together and figure out a plan on how to get the rest of the crew back to civilization.

Some additional facts from the true story: Franklin’s wife assembled a search party in 1845 without finding any traces of the ships or the crew, and there were multiple searches since then. Many years later, in 1980-90, several remains were found and exhumed, and the mummified remains showed evidence of severe lead poisoning, and cut marks and polishing of bones indicated cannibalism. As late as 2014, one of the ships were found in the Victoria Strait area north of Canada, which was later revealed to be HMS Erebus. In 2016, they also found HMS Terror. Better late than never…but even if both ships were found, much of the tragic story behind the expedition remains a mystery.

The series are available at Primevideo.

Vanja and I have now finished all 5 seasons of “Bates Motel”, and here’s some thoughts: (warning: may contain some spoilers)

Bates Motel” is a kind of prequel and re-imagining of the 1960s film. The original film and book has no connection whatsoever to this series, just to be clear. This is a stand-alone story that neither demands that you’ve seen the Hitchcock version or that you’ve read the book.

After a marriage from hell, Norma moves with her son Norman to the little seaside town of Pineview. She’s bought a motel that is going to be the “Bates Motel”, and they’re both eager to start a new life. On the outside, Pineview seems like an idyllic, quiet little place…but on the inside it’s a place filled with questionable people, narcotics, and a corrupt sheriff who develops a love-hate relationship with Norma. She does not receive a good welcome either: the municipality wants to remove the main road from the current location, which is right outside her newly bought motel, and place it far away and thus putting her in a risk of going out of business.

As things are progressing in all kinds of directions, Norman initiates a relationship with his teacher, who is later found dead. Norma notices he’s had one of his recurring “blackouts” in the timespan the teacher was supposedly killed, and thus the worried mother develops a strong paranoia as she fears that Norman is behind the murder. She turns into a sickly overprotective mother, who does everything she can to keep an eye on her son, which becomes harder and harder as his psychosis grows.

We get several subplots along the way, some interesting, some less interesting. Characters come and go, but the common thread is the toxic relationship between the mom and her son, which we are waiting for to turn out in full bloom (at least those of us that are familiar with the original story). With its 50 episodes, the series manages to keep itself filled with suspense right up until the end. And I liked how it ended, I honestly didn’t see that coming.

Overall, I think it’s a great series with great characters, acting and a lot of tension and suspense.

30 years after what happened in «Evil Dead II», an aging Ash lives in a worn trailer while suffering from PTSD and surviviour gult, haunted by the gruesome past and spending his time chasing women in the local bars. One night he takes a prostitute home to his trailer park where they get high on marihuana, and does something really stupid. Well, not really. If not, we wouldn’t have gotten «Ash vs Evil Dead» , would we? They start to read from the Necronomicon, which Ash keeps hidden and locked in his trailer, and shit starts to happen right away.

Produced by Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Craig DiGregorio, and Robert Tapert, who produced all four «Evil Dead» films, finally gives what the fans have demanded since «The Army of Darkness» in -92. Give us more Evil Dead with Bruce! It took its time, but here it is. In a TV series, as the Raimi brothers did not have the money to make a fourth movie. But it works and the series (so far) has all the ingredients that will satisfy the fans. It has much of the tone and spirit of «Evil Dead II», mixing horror and comedy just perfect, and Bruce Campbell is still in great shape while playing the role of his life.

It develops into a road trip with the sidekicks Pablo and Kelly, in some kind of «Supernatural»-style while the world is becoming totally infected with the curse of the Necronomicon. We also get to visit the iconic cabin and meet Ash’s-right-possesed-hand. Some cheap CGI blood here and there, but for the most part the effects are practical and looks great. And an awesome soundtrack that includes Deep Purple and Alice Cooper is a plus.