Spoiler-Free Review of “The Terror: Infamy” on AMC: A Faint Flicker of Ghostly Potential

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“There’s something evil…I can feel it.”  Well perhaps it is the real life terror that these characters are facing in the midst of World War II, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some supernatural occurrences too.  Or does it?

The Terror is a historical drama horror anthology series on AMC. The second season will feature 10 episodes and it premiered on August 12th 2019.  The Terror: Infamy looks deeper into the real life horror that Japanese-Americans went through during World War II, leading up to Pearl Harbor.  It stars Derek Mio, Kiki Suzekane, Shingo Asami, and George Takei.  After watching the season premiere, I have some mixed thoughts and I’m wondering if this show really needed the ghostly elements.  Let’s find out!   

The Pros:

The terror 5
Images courtesy of AMC

Cringe-worthy horror scenes.

In particular, the opening scene was extremely gruesome and almost difficult to watch and yet you can’t shift your eyes away from it.  There are a lot of images that will truly make your skin crawl, so be warned if that is not your cup of tea.  And speaking of tea…

Interesting exploration of Japanese folklore.

I am actually really invested in this story-line and I like learning about supernatural occurrences from different cultures.  The scene with reading the tea leaves was mysterious enough and I am intrigued to find out more about evil spirits, which are referred to as the Yurei.

The real life historical backdrop is compelling.

So, I really appreciate that this series is trying to take a deeper look at terrifying times in history, while giving us a different supernatural take, but the scenes that focused on the real life moments in history could almost be a stand-alone series.  I know that this show is trying to create a balance, but I thought that these moments were truly captivating, so it will be interesting to see if the balance is tipped toward the historical moments more in the coming episodes.

The Cons:

The terror 6
Images courtesy of AMC

Uninspiring characters.

Other than Yuko, who seems to have the most potential, I had a difficult time connecting to the characters and the fluff and setup overwhelming the season premiere.  The main character, Chester, was just kind of OK and I’m hoping that he can captivate me more in future episodes, but there was a lot to process in the opening episode and I almost felt like I had to take notes to keep up.

Slow moving in parts and unsure of its identity.

The season premiere lasted for a little over an hour, but I felt like I was watching it for two hours.  Part of the issue for me was that the opening scene was so incredible and then the remaining parts just kind of fell off.  Even though we continued to get glimmers of interesting story along the way, there were just so many moments that had me dozing off.  I also sort of feel like this show is trapped between a movie and a mini series, as perhaps it doesn’t translate particularly well to a traditional weekly television series.

So am I in or out? 

The terror 4
Images courtesy of AMC

As of right now, I am in about 75-80 percent, but I wouldn’t say that you need to stop what you are doing to watch this.  The opening scene was fantastic and there are some truly chilling moments sprinkled throughout the premiere, but I’m not sure that the show can keep up with this pace if it continues to rely more on unnecessary dialogue and excessive setup. 

There were also not too many surprises, but I’m hoping that the mystery surrounding the Yurei can measure up.  I will continue to watch for now, but I am hoping that the coming episodes can form their identity a little bit better.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Terror: Infamy in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

I live in Long Island, NY. I am obsessed with TV, movies, reading and writing! My top TV shows are Lost, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Prison Break, Charmed, Veronica Mars, and Beverly Hills 90210. My dog, Honey, loves TV too!

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