Animated Empire Strikes Back

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures has delivered a stylized, animated version of The Empire Strikes Back in just five minutes. Plus, watch The Simpsons famous steamed hams scene recreate in LEGO form, and The Hollywood Reporter brings in some of the TV drama showrunners, such as Damon Lindelof (Watchmen) and Liz Tigelaar (Little Fires Everywhere), who might be in contention for Emmys when the time comes later this year. Read More »

the terror infamy into the afterlife

The Terror: Infamy failed to live up to its incredible first season. But with this finale – “Into the Afterlife” – the season goes out on a high note, managing to pull off an emotional conclusion that elevates what came before. “We have to make sure we keep remembering,” Chester says in the final moments of the show. “Or else we forget who we are.”

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the terror infamy come and get me

The Terror: Infamy is ticking down towards its final episode, and it’s ready to go out with a bang – literally. By the end of “Come and Get Me”, a rushed, hurried episode, most of our main characters are deposited somewhere extremely hazardous: on the New Mexico land that will be home to the July 1945 Trinity test of the atomic bomb. Of course, our heroes don’t know that. And they have a ghost to deal with anyway.

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the terror infamy episode 8 review

We’re in the home stretch now, and yet, The Terror: Infamy is still throwing curveballs. The two most recent episodes – 7 and 8 – offer up some new twists to keep things going, but one can’t help but feel like the show has run its course by now.

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the terror infamy episode 5

The past two episodes of The Terror: Infamy have been all about answering questions. Episode 5, “Shatter Like a Peal”, involves a lengthy interrogation scene between two characters. And episode 6, “Taizo”, finally fills us in on the backstory of Yuko, the mysterious, ghostly demon that has been plaguing the show’s characters from the start.

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the weak are meat

The storytelling of The Terror: Infamy might be a bit rushed at times, but the show sure knows how to get creepy. “The Weak Are Meat”, the latest season 2 entry, ratchets up the horror movie tropes – jump-scares, significant gore, and even a killer ghoul sporting a spooky mask. And if all that isn’t enough for you, there’s a steadily rising body count to boot.

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Gaman review

Have you ever accidentally bitten your tongue? Hurts, doesn’t it? Now – imagine a ghost woman biting your tongue completely off, and think about how damn painful that must be. And if you can’t imagine it, don’t worry: this week’s episode of The Terror: Infamy is here to show it to you. The ghastly, grisly, gory moment comes near the end of “Gaman”, the third installment of the new season. It’s a jolting moment in an otherwise subdued episode.

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the terror All the Demons Are Still in Hell review

If I could offer one piece of advice to The Terror: Infamy it would be this: slow down. The second episode of the latest season of AMC’s spooky – and now disturbingly timely – anthology series moves at a mad dash. I’m not talking pacing, either. Rather, episode 2 – “All the Demons Are Still in Hell” – constantly feels as if it’s in a rush, bustling its characters from one location and plot point to the next. Perhaps this is meant to reflect the mental state of the characters, who are being kicked out of their homes and shuffled from one location to another. But as a result, the show is not letting its viewers have enough time to digest what they’re being fed.

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the terror infamy a sparrow in a swallow's nest

The first season of The Terror, an adaption of Dan Simmons’s novel of the same name, was a show that balanced two types of horror: the supernatural, and the natural. Sure, paranormal figures are plenty scary – but nothing is quite as scary as the inhumanity of human beings. Season 2, subtitled Infamy, jumps to a whole new set of characters and decides to crank-up the supernatural shenanigans. And yet, the underlying truth is there: ghosts and ghouls pale in comparison to fearful, foolish, hateful mortals.

Infamy is set against the backdrop of World War II, with the first episode – “A Sparrow in a Swallow’s Nest” – set literally on the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The season is set within in a Japenese-American community that will soon find itself shipped-off to internment camps. This forced relocation of “outsiders” to camps is unfortunately timely, and comparisons between current events involving America’s current atrocious border camps will abound. But the Japenese internment camps are plenty horrifying on their own – a blemish on U.S. history. The thematic connection to history and current events makes The Terror: Infamy even more worth watching.

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the terror infamy trailer

One of the best shows on television last year, bar none, was AMC’s The Terror. The first season adapted the Dan Simmons novel of the same name, telling the complete story of a doomed Arctic expedition aboard the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus. It was based on Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition, a real historical incident. The ship’s names really were synonyms for “fear” and “hell,” and in their search for the Northwest Passage, they really did disappear with 129 men aboard.

You don’t have to be a J-horror lover to be excited about The Terror: Infamy (read our review here… but it certainly helps. This second season of The Terror is reinventing the show as an anthology series that serves up period drama with a horror twist. If you were so inclined, you could even go into it without having watched the first season (but why would you do that when the first season was so bracingly good?) What’s clear from the trailers and promos is that The Terror: Infamy will be drawing from both the real history of Japanese internment camps in the U.S. and the genre of kaidan (ghost tales) in Japanese literature.

How well do you really know your Japanese ghosts? Can you tell a ghost from a shapeshifter? How well do you really know your World War II history? Below, we’ll debrief the intrepid viewer on the supernatural folklore, Japanese cultural traditions, and real-life wartime events behind The Terror: Infamy. Consider this your field guide for the, ahem, terror that awaits viewers in the weeks to come. Read More »