The Walking Dead mid-season finale delivers new levels of horror

Ross Marquand as Aaron - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Ross Marquand as Aaron - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The Walking Dead season 9 mid-season finale brings with it an element of horror that viewers haven’t seen in a long while, and it’s a game-changer for the series.

Fans who have been tuned in to season 9 of The Walking Dead so far can attest to a bold new direction for the show. For those fans who might be on the fence about coming back to the show after being away for a while, you don’t want to miss the mid-season episode. “Evolution” takes the show to a whole new level by ratcheting up the horror factor in ways we haven’t seen before.

The Walking Dead mid-season premiere airs on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, and thanks to the holiday week AMC was kind enough to send the screener for the episode on Monday. I need to confess that when it comes to horror movies and generally anything scary, I’m a total lightweight. I was a complete mess at the press preview for Knotts Scary Farm.

I’ve never been scared watching The Walking Dead….until now.

To set the scene, I was watching the episode on my laptop at my sister’s house with headphones on because the episode is top secret and I’m contractually bound to not reveal spoilers, not even to my more-than-curious family. There was a point when I literally shot up from the couch, almost dropping my laptop. I gasped so loudly that my sister came running. I’ve never had that reaction to The Walking Dead before. But I suspect this is only the beginning.

Those are the kind of frights you can expect in “Evolution,” which is directed to perfection by The Walking Dead uber director Michael E. Satrazemis.

Here’s how I described the episode: “If The Walking Dead 701 was chilling and disturbing, then after watching the screener for 908 the mid-season finale can only be described as downright terrifying in ways we haven’t seen before. I’m standing by that TWD Family.”

The episode, which clocks in at just over an hour, plays out like a traditional horror movie. Tension is present throughout, along with a sense of foreboding thanks to the walkers that seem to be evolving. There are moments when you think everything is ok, but the false sense of security is cut short as a dense fog rolls in. And then all hell breaks loose.

The last time we saw dense fog, incidentally, was in the season 7 season premiere. And we all know what happened back then.

“Evolution” isn’t at all like 701, by the way. It’s not gory. It’s terrifying. It’s scary. It’s like a horror movie, and it’s the perfect way to introduce the Whisperers. It’s definitely going to be in the top five episodes of the franchise moving forward.

Next. The Walking Dead 908 synopsis: Evolution. dark

If you’re curious about where The Walking Dead is going for the second half of season 9, you’ll get a very clear picture with “Evolution” as it sets up the back half of the season quite nicely. It will also keep fans talking for a long time to come.

The Walking Dead mid-season finale airs Sunday, November 25 at 9pm on AMC.