Starring: Jaime King, Justin Chu Cary, Christine Lee, Zoë Marlett, Bobby Naderi, Kelsey Flower,
Synopsis: Winter comes with cold-blooded new challenges during the zombie apocalypse as frantic scavengers
and violent militias battle the dead and desperate
Review: Netflix’s Black Summer returns after a two year hiatus, due to the pandemic, and wastes no time getting straight into the dark depths of zombie horror.
Black Summer begins with an intense zombie chase to quickly remind us of the speed and aggression of these zombies — they are different from the typical slow-moving zombies we often see in this genre. Black Summer zombies are intelligent trackers; they use all their senses — a unique characterisation of the dead. For all the gore-hounds out there, fear not: the blood and guts is on full supply here, and there are plenty of bone-crunching, flesh-eating moments.
Black Summer doesn’t flow in the typical introduction-to-finale direction; the story is told backwards. This method creates excitement and inquisitiveness; you will be asking a dozen questions from the offset: ‘who is that?’, ‘why did they do that?’ ‘where are they?’, ‘how did they get there?’, and by the end of each episode, your questions will be answered. This creative structure builds a thrilling and suspenseful production.
A noteworthy realisation of Black Summer is that no character is safe… no one is exempt from death. Some characters from the first season return, namely Rose, Sun and Spears, but their world has changed again and they have adapted. Everyone is out for themselves now; characters can turn on each other in the blink of an eye. Rose’s daughter, Anna, is the newest main character of the group, and like her mother, she comes across as a calculated, battle-hardened survivor. Jaime King’s acting is on fleek; she plays Rose brilliantly. Rose has no care for anyone other than Anna, making her a terribly unlikeable character. You wouldn’t fancy bumping into this mother-daughter duo in an apocalypse. Sun’s character has a rough time of it in this season, and Spears meets a blast from the past from before the world went crazy.
New character, Ray Nazeri, is a former detective who now leads a band of military-type personnel. They’re a very heavy-handed group that use violence and intimidation, though they can surprise you — Ray has some quite likeable moments. Unlike Rose, he tends to give people a chance. Another group, run by Mance (played by Jesse Lipscombe), often ends up conducting ambushes on Ray’s group, and having head-to-head fights over supplies. It is hard to know who to root for because Black Summer really goes into depth in their characters — we see them at their worst, but also at their most vulnerable; we see everyone just trying to live. It the end, though, everyone becomes savage and barbaric, and loyalties are truly lost. The finale of Black Summer is gripping; all the loose ends from throughout the season are tied up, and each character’s world finally collides. The final episode is an epic showdown!
Overall, it is safe to say that Black Summer, season two, won’t disappoint. It is unique in every way, the scenery in each scene is very aesthetic, the characters are hardened, and when night falls, the fear creeps in; when a character feels vulnerable, the viewer feels vulnerable, too. The action pieces in Black Summer move so fast that you will be left screaming at the TV. All I can say is, bring on Black Summer, season three!