Finally a horror series where you might not want Andrew Lincoln’s character dead! The actor famous as hero cop (annoying) Rick Grimes in ‘The Walking Dead’ series, plays ornithologist Edgar Bradley in Episode 8 of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

Directed by Jennifer Kent, ‘The Murmuring’ follows ornithologist couple Edgar and Nancy Bradley (Essie Davis) while they nest in an old secluded sea-side home to study flights patterns of Dunlins. Still reeling from a heartbreaking loss, Nancy starts to see and hear sinister things on the property. Are they hallucinations of a tired mind or the truth of a haunted house with a tragic past?

I loved the juxtaposition of bright sea-side mornings brimming with the twittering of birds against the gloomy ghostly house drowning in darkness and demons of the previous inhabitants. The outdoor cinematography is stunning and watching the Bradleys capturing the behavior of birds looked straight out of a wildlife documentary, but the scenes also had a personal domestic touch as the couple seemed to be genuinely fond of the winged creatures. So despite their shared trauma and grief, Edgar and Nancy are the happiest when they are doing their job.

At first glance, Andrew Lincoln and Essie Davis look like an odd onscreen pair, but they make their characters work. The creators use old horror tropes for scares, but ‘banging on doors in the middle of night in a large creepy house’ is still as eerie as ever. The supernatural part of the story was quite predictable and tame, but the whole 1950s settings of two ornithologists trying to understand birds was fascinating to watch. Also, Essie Davie delivers the most poignant performance in the series, flitting between a passionate professional joyously immersed in her work and an emotionally spent woman trying to recuperate from a tragic personal loss.

It’s a 8/10 from me.

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