Archive for the ‘Horror’ Category

Zombies again

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

We now finished the fourth season of the Walking Dead. I do like the show. It captures the survival horror feeling quite well. Whenever there is some harmonic scene, you tense up because the next moment several things go wrong at the same time and the heroes have a hard time surviving.
And sometimes they just don’t. In each season there is a substantial staff rotation, as new characters become members of the group and old ones get killed. This is on the one hand bad, if you liked a certain character, but on the other hand it causes a lot of tension.
In a way it is the same issue with tabletop roleplaying games. If the game master is too nice and never lets a player character die, the players soon realize that their characters are in no real danger. The game becomes a Disneyland experience. If on the other hand sometimes a character dies because the GM doesn’t fudge the dice too much, players become more careful and aware of the surrounding dangers. The haunted house becomes frightening once more.
In the show that means whenever a character is in danger you really fear that he or she may die in the next scene, something that doesn’t happen in most shows, where only the red shirts get killed.

Here is what honest trailers have to say about the walking dead:

As I said, I do like the show and I’m looking forward to the next season, especially since the series usually ends with a big cliffhanger. There is however one thing that tremendously annoys me about TWD. In this series whenever someone nice appears you know beforehand that this person is evil, because most humans just are in this series. The zombies (or walkers as they are predominantly referred to) are just and environmental danger. They are out there and you have to be careful. The real danger comes from other humans who just want your gear, your weapons and ammo, your canned food supplies or even your flesh as meat. Why is that so? Of course it somehow adds to the tension. And no one can know for sure before they have been in such a situation for real, but it is my belief, that this is not realistic. In a situation where not just the individual survival but the survival of the species is in danger, cooperation rather than conflict will be the norm. Also since the apocalypse came about very quickly, there should be enough canned food in depots for the few survivors for a very long time. Same goes for weapons and ammunition.

World War Z (the book not the unrelated movie) is much more realistic in that sense. But I suppose that reduces the horror element significantly and the Zombies become an enemy like some alien invaders in other Sci-Fi stories. It becomes less dirty, at least in the second part of the book. That is what I miss in the Walking Dead. Maybe the series evolves that way. I don’t know that much about the direction prescribed by the comic books.