The Last of Us: Close-up zombies look like Silent Hill demon-popcorn, chewed up by Guillermo Del Toro

Monsters without proper faces. For some reason they freak me the hell out. I’m not talking about disfigured monsters, or monsters with one giant laser eye, or something like that. No, I’m talking about the ones with missing features and horrible structural aberrations where they should have normal face bits. Stuff like the Silent Hill nurses, or The Thin Man from Pan’s Labyrinth, or that mouth-face girl from the remake of The House on Haunted Hill. They’re all a special kind of bloody horrible.

Maybe it’s some issue to do with their lack of identity, or inability to percieve and communicate. Either way, I find a uniquely strong revulsion toward the things, and feel a particularly shuddery skin-crawl when I come up against them in games, which can only be exorcised by destroying every last one of the shambling nightmares into absolute nothingness. Or running the hell away.

And now it turns out that The Last of Us’ zombies are going to be exactly that sort of enemy. Great. Thanks, Naughty Dog. I know this because of a photo that appeared on ND co-founder Evan Well’s Twitter account over the weekend, featuring a sculpted bust of one of the things. Of course, I’m not being entirely sarcastic when I say “Thanks”. The character design is brilliant. It’s one of the most rotten, stinking, horrible enemies I’ve seen in a game in a good long while. It’s going to scare the crap out of me in-game. Particularly given that The Last of Us’ melee emphasis is going to make me get really damn close to the things in order to kill them right the hell up. I’m shuddering just thinking about having to do that. Actually doing a little involuntary motion with my shoulders and everything.

Still, some poor sod actually had to sculpt this thing. Touch it with his actual hands, Shape it into being with delicate caresses of his naked finger tips, knowing full well as the thing slowly wretched into life that he, and he alone, was responsible for its existence.


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