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The Last of Us is being called a 'masterpiece' of practical effects

The Last of Us is being called a 'masterpiece' of practical effects

The co-creators have previously spoken out about the incredible use of prosthetics

The Last of Us is being hailed a ‘masterpiece’ thanks to its practical effects, with creators choosing not to rely entirely on the modern benefits of CGI.

The new HBO series is based on the video game of the same name, and follows smugger Joel (Pedro Pascal) as he is tasked with transporting 14-year-old Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across a post-apocalyptic America, 20 years after modern civilisation was destroyed by a zombie infection.

The zombies in the show have been described as among the ‘most terrifying’ in TV history – especially the ‘Clickers’, a name given to the third phase of infection.

At this stage, the fungal growth has fully enveloped the host’s head, blinding them - and simultaneously heightening their sense of hearing and spatial awareness.

While you’d assume it might be easier to turn to the powers of computer-generated imagery to create the complex headpieces for the Clickers, co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann said they wanted to go old school with prosthetics.

Speaking on the official podcast for the show, Mazin said they wanted the Clickers to look as similar to those in the game as possible.

"If you go into a CGI characterization right off the bat, it just starts to feel like it's not there,” he said.

The Clickers in The Last of Us.

“So we really wanted to find prosthetics to actually turn somebody into a Clicker.

"We found great performers who could move like Clickers and even sound like Clickers."

The result has well and truly paid off, with fans and critics alike praising the incredibly intricate prosthetics, created for the show by designer Barrie Gower.

“The prosthetics in The Last Of Us look amazing,” one recently tweeted alongside a picture of the zombies, with another adding: “The Last Of Us prosthetics are out of control.”

A third said: “The decision to use prosthetics on the Clickers in The Last Of Us is the best choice.”

A fourth also agreed: “Clicker prosthetics in The Last Of Us show are a chefs kiss from me.”


FandomWire’s Minhaz Ahamed said the show was a ‘masterpiece of practical effects’, saying Gower’s work was ‘nothing short of phenomenal’.

“Instead of relying on computer-generated imagery (CGI), the show’s creators chose to use prosthetic makeup and special effects on actors, a decision that has paid off in spades,” Ahamed wrote, adding that the attention to detail and realism evoked was what made the Clickers so ‘terrifying and effective’.

He added: "The prosthetic makeup used on the actors playing the Clickers is so seamless and believable that it’s almost impossible to tell where the makeup ends and the actor begins.”

Featured Image Credit: HBO

Topics: TV and Film