Ghost stories are amazing things. There are themes and elements that are similar across the globe. There are also parts that are unique to each culture. It might be what attracts a spirit, how to bind a spirit, how to banish a spirit, how a spirit will appear to the living, or many other aspects. The one thing that is the same, though, is the terror.
In 2018 AMC released a new series. It was different from their usual line up at the time. A whole season devoted to a particular tale of terror, thus creating a horror anthology through the medium of film. Season two focused on a ghost story. Starring Derek Mio and an amazing cast The Terror: Infamy was released in 2019. The Terror: Infamy has many layers to, well, it’s terror. There is a ghost story and then there is the terror that is the setting of the season, a Japanese Internment camp during World War Two.
From the years 1942 to 1945 American citizens who had immigrated from Japan or who were of Japanese descent were ordered to leave their homes with only what they could carry. Their possessions would be sold and their property seized while they were transported to the harsh hellscape that would be their “home” for three years. The winters were bitter and the summers were scorching. Families lived in horse stalls that they had to clean up themselves when they arrived. It was an awful experience. The survivors and, arguably, America itself, still live with the effects of that trauma today.
Chester is a regular young man who wants to travel the world and to become a photographer. He has a hard time understanding why his parents want to stay on a small fishing island. After a neighbor commits suicide the community is left reeling. There also seems to be something more something sinister creeping into their small community. Then: the devastating news of Pearl Harbor. The loss of life there will affect their lives forever. The small community of Japanese immigrants and their children are being moved to a camp for their own “protection.” It quickly becomes clear that nothing about the camp is meant to protect them, and it seems that the same sinister evil has followed them there.
The Terror: Infamy was amazing to watch. The wardrobe department alone went above and beyond in this series. The characters are fantastic and their actors did a phenomenal job. The music is perfect. The ghost story itself is amazing. Layering it within the real evil of the Internment Camps makes everything all the more urgent for the viewer and the characters.
I cannot sing the praises of this series enough. It is a an American ghost story that we’ve never seen before. There are aspects of Japanese horror layered in with American folklore.
If you are looking to dip your toe in a story with elements of Japanese horror, this series is a must. If you are looking for a well done American ghost story then look no further. Everyone should watch this season.
ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!!!