If you haven’t yet tortured yourself with the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’, I suggest abstaining from this article. However, if you did indeed watch it, firstly I want to offer you my condolences and secondly, my honest thoughts.
I grew up with horror films. Judge my parents all you want but I have always been infatuated by evil. I think I was about nine when I watched the first ‘Saw’ instalment. That being said, no horror film could have prepared me for the absolute fuckery that the season 7 premiere of ‘The Walking Dead’ displayed.
Modern day television has already desensitised me to the loss of favourite characters. The main culprit being Game of Thrones and Catelyn Stark’s throat. Nevertheless, what I was not prepared for was the brutal manner in which my favourite character was taken. A bat of barb-wire was brought to Glenn’s head and his wife watched as he was pummelled into raspberry ripple. Decapitation is not new to the horror genre but the way the producers staged it, definitely is.
‘The Walking Dead’ is presently comprised of 84 episodes. Glenn has been in 83 of them. That’s hours and hours of extensive characterisation. The truth is, we all adored Glenn. He was a selfless character who was loyal to the group and one who had the kind of love that we all desire. However, that’s only half of the reason for the pain we felt when watching his downfall.
The cinematography of the latest episode is worthy of an oscar. Camera shots were lengthened, made uncomfortable and ultimately used to reflect the brutality of the situation. It was almost as if we were sat in a room with a demon that taunted us in every way possible, before finally taking our souls. Although the show is traditionally categorised as a hybrid of drama and horror, they have now proved their psychological thriller potential.
This is the first long-running horror television show that has been able to find a sweet balance between characterisation and cutting-edge film techniques. That is why our hearts ache. However, we must realise that such an ache is indicative of brilliant television. I can only wonder what the rest of this season will bring.