The Walking Dead Season 9 Midseason Finale: Greg Nicotero Previews Whisperers’ Arrival

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There’s been so much going on during the first half of this season of The Walking Dead that we haven’t even really gotten to the new adversary the Whisperers yet. But that’s going to the change in the Season 9 midseason finale, “Evolution. As seen in this preview released Sunday night, the episode will find Daryl (Norman Reedus), Jesus (Tom Payne) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) searching for Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and investigating the strangely behaving herd that spooked the hell out of Rosita (Christian Serratos) by talking.

We know that that herd is not made up of walkers, but is actually living people wearing the skin of the dead. But our heroes do not, and they don’t know what to think when they see the herd doing stuff they’ve never seen walkers do. Eugene — who will be found alive, the preview reveals — says the herd was looking for him.

The short teaser gives us our best look yet at the Whisperers, who The Walking Dead executive producer and makeup effects mastermind Greg Nicotero told reporters are “probably the closest we’ll ever come to a John Carpenter Halloween movie.”

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During a visit to The Walking Dead set earlier this fall, Nicotero previewed what was coming up with the Whisperers, including why they have such a chilling appearance. According to Nicotero, the Whisperers have a different makeup effects design than usual walkers — they’re masks rather than makeup, which gives them a really terrifying blank affect, Nicotero explained. “The face doesn’t move, so you cannot judge any kind of emotion,” he continued. “So anytime we shoot with a group of them, I look at them like, ‘that’s f—in’ weird, man.'” Nicotero designed the masks to have deep eye sockets so that the brow sticks out enough to create a shadow over the eyes, “so that when you look at the faces… you get nothing there.” The masks are then over-textured to look really shriveled and decayed. They’re unlike anything that’s ever been on the show before. They’re also really, really hot to wear and not for the claustrophobic, but no one has complained, per the executive producer.

The midseason finale might be the long-awaited debut of Samantha Morton as Alpha and Ryan Hurst as Beta, the leaders of the Whisperers and two truly brutal, feral characters. Nicotero said that the threat the Whisperers pose is an existential one as much as a physical one. “They’ve abandoned the way of life that we all believe in,” he said. Most of the characters are fighting desperately to preserve society, and then along come the Whisperers, who have moved on to another, sort of post-human way of being. In an episode earlier this season, Luke (Dan Fogler) talked about how music, i.e. culture, is what separates people from animals. The Whisperers don’t care about any of that. Things are about to get real dark again.

The Walking Dead‘s Season 9 midseason finale airs Sunday, Nov. 25 at 9/8c on AMC.

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Source : TVGuide