If you love horror, you NEED to watch Black Summer on Netflix
The brutal zombie show is unrelenting nightmare fuel
Black Summer is a Canadian zombie series on Netflix that came out in 2019. And it’s TERRIFYING. So why is nobody talking about it!?
I got an advert for the upcoming season two and it looked great. Filmed in that kind of grey-blue filter that Black Mirror’s often shot in, it looked visceral and tense and as a huge horror fan piqued my interest immediately. I’d never heard of it, but saw that it had decent reviews so decided to give the first season a whirl before season two drops on June 17th.
And thank GOD I did. Because I can’t stop thinking about it.
I love horror so much. I’d like to think I’m a connoisseur of the genre. An expert, if you will. And as soon as I started watching Black Summer, I just couldn’t believe that for the last two years it had completely passed me by. It’s brutal. It’s unrelenting. It makes me have zombie apocalypse nightmares.
What’s Black Summer about?
It’s set in the same world as Z Nation, a bit of a zombie spoof that airs on SyFy. But Black Summer is a COMPLETELY different tone to its parent show.
Set in the early days of the zombie apocalypse, the world of Black Summer is fast paced and merciless. The show centres around a ragtag group of survivors, mostly focussing on Rose – a mother who finds herself separated from her family. The other characters very in age, race and class. No one is more important than another, and characters you think are too important to die can be killed off unceremoniously in a heartbeat. No one is safe, and nobody gets a hero’s death.
Who’s in it?
The lead role of Rose is played by Jaime King, who’s best known for her roles in Pearl Harbour and Sin City. She also starred as Lana Del Rey’s lover in the music video for Summertime Sadness.
The rest of the cast is made up of relatively unknowns, including Justin Chu Cary, Christine Lee and Kelsey Flower rounding off the main roles.
Is it any good and is it scary?
Right. Not to blow my own trumpet but I’m not phased by most scares in horror.
When I was a child, it terrified me. My dad showed me horror films at a bit too early of an age, but I was obsessed with the genre and still am to this day. I didn’t care that I was so scared, the adrenaline and the cinema was just too good.
Because of my obsession leading me to watch so much horror across all its different subgenres, I’m pretty numb to scares. I still jump at shocks, obvs. But I’m very rarely unsettled. I could literally eat my dinner watching the violence and gore of Hostel. I’m not arsed!
I’m not saying this to flex, but more to highlight how I don’t throw the word terrifying around lightly. I find The Blair Witch Project terrifying in its realism. I found It Follows deeply unsettling and a really frightening watch. I found Black Summer truly terrifying.
The zombies in the world of Black Summer are FAST and they don’t stop until they find a way into whichever room you’ve chosen to cower in fear in. And if you die, you reanimate as undead within 10 seconds, no matter if it was because you were bitten by a zombie or died of natural causes. This RAMPS up the threat. If someone is shot and dies, you can’t stay by that body because the timer is on before they’re suddenly trying to eat you.
It’s raw. And I mean RAW. It’s a suburban nightmare. There isn’t any music and it’s the most realistic I’ve ever seen a zombie apocalypse presented. Nobody is suddenly a professional marksman with a pistol, nobody does any stupid heroics and people are selfishly quick to leave friends and loved ones for dead.
It’s a survival simulator, that sacrifices character development for action and tension. It doesn’t really matter who we’re watching run, all that matters is how they adapt to the chase. One episode is entirely centred around one character running away from one zombie. For 40 minutes. It is NAIL BITING stuff, and I had to physically look away because my nerves couldn’t take it.
The king of horror himself Stephen King endorsed Black Summer, saying “Just when you think there’s no more scare left in zombies, THIS comes along.” And he’s right. It’s scary. It’s thrilling. I can’t stop thinking about it.
Season two releases on Netflix on June 17th, so binge season one immediately if you’ve got the nerve. And a fresh pair of underwear to hand.