There are such a lot of issues that Avatar: The Final Airbender did “for a kid’s show” that it is not likely truthful to name it a child’s present in any respect. The storytelling and characters had been usually so mature that they transcended demographics, and one of many excellent examples of the craft that went into the unique sequence are the episodes the place it dipped its toes into the world of horror.
There are 4 episodes that play up many horror tropes, and any Avatar fan on the lookout for a Halloween setlist can watch them one after one other to understand simply how nicely the creators might pull off a scary story once they actually needed to.
One of the simplest ways to kick off a horror watch of Avatar is to begin with “The Spirit World (Winter Solstice: Part 1)” which introduces the fantasy world’s spookiest setting. Villagers are disappearing from a city the Gaang comes throughout, kidnapped by a monster that solely seems at evening. What actually makes the horror of the episode shine is how the motion takes a backseat whereas the phobia supplies the driving drive, and when Aang enters the Spirit World for the primary time, the powerlessness he experiences at his lack of ability to bend ramps up the stakes like by no means earlier than. And it is nonetheless not Avatar‘s scariest episode.
Ebook Two’s “The Swamp” manages to domesticate the identical scary ambiance of the Spirit World with out coming into that realm in any respect. When the Gaang are trapped in a mysterious swamp, every experiencing visions that play into the realm’s mystical presence, it is clear that the present is aware of learn how to create a spooky setting. The introduction of a swamp monster cranks the dial to 11 because the swamp itself comes alive round them, whereas the sensation that there isn’t a escape provides a way of stress to the story from begin to end.
But Avatar can get scarier nonetheless, and whereas the earlier episodes could have solely sampled horror components, it’s “The Painted Lady” that makes the style’s inspiration most evident. As soon as once more there appears to be a spirit haunting a lonely village, however the twist this time is that the spirit is definitely Katara defending the Hearth Nation settlement from their overseers. That very same sense of powerlessness is flipped on its head and used in opposition to the Hearth Nation as Katara creates a mysterious fog, monstrous noises from Appa and Toph announce her presence and a bit of boy pronounces ominously “It’s the Painted Lady…she’s coming.” The mastery of horror tropes is in full drive, and but there stays one episode excellent to cap off the evening of frights.
“The Puppetmaster” is a horror story from begin to end. Beginning with the Gaang round a campfire swapping ghost tales, they’re approached by a spindly previous lady who invitations them to her inn. The city close by suffers a plague of disappearances throughout every full moon, and the innkeeper shouldn’t be the harmless Southern Water Tribe survivor she appears to be. She has a fascination with puppets that hints at darkish talents she solely reveals later, bending the blood within the our bodies of her victims to her will. From the misty settings to the virtually gory sight of Hama’s veins bulging from her arms, there isn’t a higher method to finish an evening of Halloween Avatar viewing.
The tales are sprinkled all through the unique sequence, and display the sheer versatility that made the present the legend it’s right this moment. Watching the episodes one after one other, it’s clear that no supply of inspiration was off-limits for the Avatar crew, they usually introduced the total drive of acquainted cultural tropes to bear it doesn’t matter what they wanted.