There are few things scarier than a post-apocalyptic world. You’d know this if you’ve watched The Walking Dead.
Modern day television series are teaching us to adore once-frightening fantasy creatures. Vampires, apparently, are capable of love and can resist biting people; that’s what Buffy, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries tell us. Even werewolves, despite wanting to rip people to shreds whenever a full moon appears, can be trained and be as loveable as you or me (again, we can thank The Vampire Diaries for that one). But what of zombies?
Well, if you’ve read Warm Bodies, the “zombie romance” debut novel by Isaac Marion, you’d be led to believe that zombies, if they existed, could overcome their flesh-eating ways where love is concerned (I’ll leave you to mull that notion over). The idea of vegetarian zombies however, couldn’t be further from the plot of The Walking Dead, which is the most realistic and frightening contemporary portrayal of zombie-esque creatures.
For those who haven’t watched the series, it’s based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman. The world as we know it has been consumed by an infection that turns humans into ‘walkers’, predatory and frenzied flesh-eating zombies. The first series, consisting of only six episodes, begins with deputy sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln with a very good southern-US accent) waking up from a coma in an abandoned and destroyed hospital. Upon discovering that the world is an apocalyptic nightmare overrun with ‘walkers’, Rick sets off on a terrifying and life-threatening journey to find his missing wife Lori and their son Carl. And so it begins.
To tell you anymore would mean ruining the first six sacred episodes of season 1 and the subsequent 13 episodes of season 2.
What I can tell you is that The Walking Dead is thrilling and scary in equal measures and each episode is as gripping as the last. It’s a show that’s not afraid to kill characters off, so be aware that absolutely nobody is safe. Apart from the actual ‘walkers’, who are disturbing enough, the reason this programme is frightening is because it genuinely feels as if the same thing could happen to our world. Unlike Resident Evil, there’s no super person swooping in to save the day – these are ordinary people just trying to survive on a day-to-day basis as best they can. They’re relatable and painstakingly ordinary – which is what makes their struggle all the more gut wrenching.
The cast are some of the best – they’re believable in their roles and each person brings something different to the small group of survivors. Particular praise should be given to Norman Reedus as Daryl, who plays his part as the unlikeable rebel and inevitably ends up as one of the most likable characters.
If you’re like me you’ll probably require some form of barrier between yourself and the television, a cushion or blanket will suffice… anything that you can hide behind in case one of the walkers suddenly climbs out of the television screen (What? It could happen…). It’s not a light-hearted series; it throws unforgiving punches and is pretty gruesome. It’s not recommended for the faint hearted or the weak stomached. Probably don’t watch it whilst eating your dinner either, just to be safe…
If you’re looking for something gripping and scary to watch on Halloween, or any day of the year for that matter, this is the series you should be watching. Season 1 and 2 are available to buy now. You won’t regret it and come the end of season 2 you’ll be positively hungry for more…in a non zombie-eating-flesh way of course.