Horror movie The Terror
Many of the reviews on this site are for first few episodes, but it’s hard to accurately judge a work based only on its beginning, so I’ll be reviewing based on the whole series. I’ve also revised my original review after having had a few days to sort out my thoughts.
Character are absolutely un – engaging, seen 5 episodes and yet we are no where into the show, what is known to us is that they are stuck in a frozen sea with a creature antagonizing them for killing a Eskimo ????.
The thing is they are trying to map a way across the arctic circle to benefit their empire, but a polo bear like creature is killing them off 1 by 1.
Sea is frozen and surprisingly this alpha polo bear is intelligent almost like a human, they even address this in one of the episodes. I could understand the creature was from the ocean depths but polo bear look ????.
Such a great cast but every main dialogue that should have some gravity while delivering it, seem even more boring. “shall be punished as a boy” and “I looked into to its eyes” made it seem intense but the actual line was delivered with such low intent.
They should have used the novel as a concept and re-imagined it in modern times with a Alien creature sent on earth thousands of years ago to capture and subjugate the populace but due to some unforeseen event the Alien pod did not open and the creature remained in hibernation till we (humans) found the pod and to open it.
In the beginning, I was drawn in by the production quality, the strong acting, and great costuming. Paul Ready gets my particular commendation on both points, as 1) his every mannerism signals “meek and mild” loud and clear, from his nervous smile to the stoop of his shoulders, down to the way he clasps his hands 2) He sports a glorious set of mutton chops and Romantic-era curls.
I was drawn in by the gothic atmosphere, and the way the suspenseful build-up of the first two episodes was blown open by the quick, strong punch of action near the end of episode 2. However, by the middle of the series, I realized that the writers were become more interested in showing “what happened” rather than “why it happened.” The result is that by the end, several things are left unexplained, and we’re left with only a vague sense of meaning behind what has occurred.
While it’s true that it’s hard to find meaning in the real-life events which inspired this story, the fact that this is set up as a fictionalized narrative, rather than a documentary, creates an expectation of a story arc to be fleshed out, some theme or overarching message to be found within it, even if that message is a sad one. But it’s a payoff which we never really got.
I don’t have a problem with the extreme depiction of violence and illness on principle, as it does grab you by the throat and makes you realize just what these men went through, but I wish the series, as a fictionalized narrative rather than a documentary, had taken the liberty that comes with that, and spent more time weaving the trauma into a meaningful statement about what that it meant in the grander scheme of their lives and personalities.
While we as viewers can extrapolate meaning out of the events, it would have brought a much more satisfying closure if we had seen the characters finding it as well. Even something as simple as “The monster wasn’t just the creature. It was this land. It was us,” being spoken at the end would have sufficed, but there was precious little time spent discussing deeper meaning onscreen. Again, it was more presenting “this is *how* they died” rather than asking ” *Why* did they have to die this way? What did it say about them, their personalities, their relationships, or their culture?”
(Notably, there are two particular deaths where this does happen, and they are emotionally devastating — much more so than the deaths where it doesn’t happen).
The Terror is well-produced and well-acted, with interesting characters and premise. It puts a unrelenting eye on the carnival of horrors and spiralling hopelessness that occurs, which is inexorably gripping while it lasts, but in the end, I was left with a feeling of incompleteness, wishing for more closure on the allegorical aspects of the story as well as the physical ones.