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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

AMC’s ‘The Terror’ brings failed Arctic voyage to life

AMC is no stranger to new and exciting shows, being that it is the network behind the instant classic “Breaking Bad” as well as the pop culture phenomenon “The Walking Dead.”

The network seems to be continuing this popular series trend with “The Terror,” a new series that premiered Monday, Mar. 26, with two episodes.

By the end of the second episode, one is left feeling uneasy about the upcoming events, and what makes it even more terrifying is that this story is based on a true story.

The show is adapted from a 2007 novel of the same name, written by Dan Simmons.

The series is a fictionalized adaption about the disappearances of the H.M.S Erebus and H.M.S Terror, British Royal Navy ships led by Captain Sir John Franklin and Captain Francis Crozier on an expedition to the last unexplored section of the Northwest Passage.

AMC "The Terror"
Ciarán Hinds as Sir John Franklin, and Tobias Menzies as James Fitzjames Photo credit:

129 men were aboard those ships and went missing for nearly 170 years until in 2014 when the H.M.S Erebus was found, followed by the discovery of the H.M.S Terror four years later.

Actors Ciaran Hinds (“Game of Thrones,” “Red Sparrow”) and Jared Harris (“The Crown,” “Allied”) star in this thriller as captains Sir John Franklin and Francis Crozier.

They are two veteran captains who struggle to co-exist equally and have drastically different views on the direction of the expedition.

Franklin is shown to be the commanding captain who arrogantly leads the crew into this terror expedition, while Crozier, who vehemently disagreed early on, must stand back and follow commanding orders.

AMC "The Terror"
Jared Harris as Francis Crozier on “The Terror.” Photo credit:

The episodes are colored by an eerie, discomforting tone that something is just not right.

From the beginning of the show, it foreshadows to the audience that death and horror are both to be expected.

The sudden deaths of some of the crewmembers upfront lays some groundwork for what’s to come in this 10-episode series.

Both ships become trapped in the ice and the crew is forced into an Arctic survivalist nightmare. While that alone play into a traumatizing experience, something more sinister is lurking in the cold shadows.

AMC "The Terror"
Crewmen working tirelessly to get H.M.S Terror out of the ice.

Growing more and more impatient with the cold spring, Franklin sends out scouting groups to see if there is an opening in the ocean nearby.

One group comes back with a starling discovery: not only is there no immediate opening, but they are not alone.

The discovery leads to an Inuit family that is put in a hopeless situation that requires the crew to take them back to the ship, but they are delayed due to another terrifying setback.

Breaking away from traditional horror, the show focused less on cheap jump scares and more on creating an unsettling atmosphere that made the audience feel real terror from the crew.

This is in part thanks to Emmy award-winning cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister (“A Deep Blue Sea,” “Great Expectations”) who delivers a visually pleasing, yet terrifying story.

The uses of a variety of wide-angle shots of the vast icy fields and close-up shots of the terrified faces of the crew serve to make the audience feel almost as hopeless as the crew.

“The Terror” shows a lot of promise as it is not only an adrenaline-packed show, but an in-depth horror that will have audiences excited and scared for what’s to come.

“The Terror” will be airing on Monday nights at 9 p.m. on AMC.