Ah it’s All Hallow’s in Shepzoy, and for the most part things are getting much more strange and sinister. Apparitions are appearing before Appleby more frequently, specifically the futuristic woman in red. And the locals are hearing strange echoes of the past too which means that perhaps Appleby may have more than he can handle in this penultimate episode of The Living and the Dead.
Halloween is a great plot device as it allows the show to explore the pagan theory that on the 31st October the veil between the world of the spirits is so thin that the dead can pass through into our world. Thus Appleby naturally experiences even more hauntings than he has been in the past four episodes which as a result quickens the pace of the episode to make for some edge of your seat viewing. Apart from serving as a plotting device the inclusion of Halloween also allows for creepy imagery. At one point, Charlotte is seen taking a picture of a group of villagers all in homemade halloween costumes. This makes for quite a eerie moment both at the time of the photo and when she looks at the prints afterwards, to discover a strange young boy who is clearly Gabriel clutching a toy boat that wasn’t there before.
A great piece of cinematography in this episode is of a low angle shot that spins around looking up at the spindly naked branches of a gigantic tree as Nathan contemplates the previous nights events. This shot creates a dizzying effect that has a sense of foreboding in it as it could be reflecting that Appleby’s mind is spinning out of control as he is faced with the unending mystery that is slowly driving him to insanity. Although soon after the events of All Hallows Eve reveals to even the most skeptical of the villagers that something wicked is most definitely rooted deep in Shepzoy, from ghostly riders in the woods to the Reverend seeing his own daughter Harriet being hung in his church by a invisible entity. This revelation that Appleby is not alone in seeing the spectres of the dead visibly eases him but one must consider that he did see the ghosts long before and most likely after All Hallows revealed them to the villagers thus is the futuristic woman’s warning of “they are coming for you” a fatal prophecy that Nathan should not ignore.
In conclusion The Living and the Dead’s penultimate episode had so much happening that there was no moment of respite from the insurmountable tension and dread that Halloween bought which was a really great way to build suspense for the finale episode (which I am really looking forward to as I hope we get some much needed answers about the past a present and why they are circling around Nathan Appleby).
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