The Terror: Infamy: The supernatural aspect isn’t the most terrifying thing about this show

Marlon Harris, Burt Okamura, Lee Shorten as Walt Yoshida, Derek Mio as Chester Nakayama - The Terror _ Season 2 - Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/AMC
Marlon Harris, Burt Okamura, Lee Shorten as Walt Yoshida, Derek Mio as Chester Nakayama - The Terror _ Season 2 - Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/AMC /

The Terror: Infamy premiered earlier this week setting the scene for the season. However, it’s clear that the most terrifying thing isn’t the supernatural.

If you haven’t watched the first episode of The Terror: Infamy, there will be some minor spoilers in this. However, the show is a slow burn right now and there weren’t many major plot points revealed, except for the fact that that the Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor (leading to the internment camps) and we’ve been introduced to something supernatural going on.

With this type of horror series, it would be easy to assume that the supernatural aspect is going to be the most terrifying aspect of the show. After all, there’s a huge focus on that in the promos. But it really isn’t.

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Quite honestly, the real terrifying element is something that still takes place today. It’s all about immigration, racism, and what people are willing to do believing they’re keeping their family and their “kind” safe.

A side of World War II that is very rarely put on the TV screen, especially on one of the bigger networks like AMC, is the internment camps. They were very real and you’ll be forgiven for thinking of the current state of politics in the United States. Out of fear, people who are considered “bad” or “different” or a “risk” are being forced into camps.

As a race, we haven’t learned from past mistakes. During World War II, many of the Japanese did believe that what was happening to them was right. Their own people had attacked the Allied powers. All the Allied powers wanted to do was to protect their homeland from potential spies in the country. But over time, everyone agreed that this wasn’t the way to go about it.

The Terror: Infamy puts some focus on these camps. They weren’t like a holiday camp, but a place where the Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians were treated unfairly. These men, women, and children weren’t treated like humans but like caged animals. While George Takei has recently shared that the experience as a boy wasn’t too bad, for his parents it was degrading and scary.

The supernatural element also has its place in the story and in real life. You’ll notice in The Terror: Infamy that it was the older generations bringing up the discussion of the spirits. Derek Mio’s Chester doesn’t believe right now. He doesn’t cling to the stories from the old country. And that’s exactly as it was in the past.

While there may not have been the spirits of the dead and it was actually the terror of the situation that caused people to do crazy things, the older generations believed the spirits were there. They believed that it was something supernatural, bringing a grounding to this entire story that adds to the terror the internment camps already offer.

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What did you think of The Terror: Infamy? What has been the most terrifying aspect so far? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Terror: Infamy airs Mondays at 9/8c on AMC.