The Terror: Infamy shows the horrors of war and ghosts (review)

The Terror: Infamy

There aren’t too many movies or shows about Japanese American Internment Camps during World War II, and it’s often an overlooked part of U.S. history. The Terror: Infamy tackles the dark history and follows a Japanese American family and how their world is affected by war. It’s already horrifying to watch how the family is treated back then, but there’s an extra element of supernatural horror. The AMC series combines historical drama and Japanese ghost stories to deliver a disturbing tale of love and loss and the cruelties of war and racism.

The Terror is an anthology series, with the first season following the Royal Navy in the 1800s. The second season, The Terror: Infamy, is about the Nakayama family living in Terminal Island, California. Derek Mio plays Chester Nakayama, an American of Japanese descent. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, his whole life turns upside down, and he and his family are forced to relocate when the military takes over Terminal Island. After relocating, things continue to get worse, and the family is forced into Japanese American Internment Camps due to executive order 9066. Since this show is called The Terror, supernatural elements are introduced, and death begins to surround the Nakayama family.

Mio as Chester is serviceable, but I never really felt the love between him and Luz, his Mexican American girlfriend. His story is still captivating since he’s dealing with racism, and his romance with Luz is looked down upon by everyone around him.

The Terror: Infamy’s looming doom comes from Kiki Sukezane as Yuko Tanabe, a vengeful spirit. She gives a performance that is both creepy and sad. Shingo Usami plays Chester’s father, Henry Nakayama, and he gives a tragic performance where his American pride is crushed when he’s treated like a second-class citizen. George Takei is the elder at the camp, but his role feels very secondary.

One question that comes to mind is what do you do when you’re asked to help out a country that wants nothing to do with you? The first 6 episodes are filled with compelling drama and interesting dynamics within the family and friends. The Terror: Infamy is a frightening tale, whether we’re dealing with the treatment of the Japanese Americans or a vengeful ghost. Here’s hoping that the last four episodes will continue to surprise and haunt us.

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