True Detective Season 4’s “Corpsicle” Is an Achievement in Gross Prop Making

What do you get when you put seven scientists in an ice cube? True Detective: Night Country’s defining visual effect.

Kali Reiss and Jodie Foster view a "corpsicle" in an ice rink in True Detective: Night Country
Photo: HBO

This article contains spoilers for True Detective: Night Country episode 2.

The first episode of True Detective: Night Country concludes with a grim tableau. Guided by the ghostly vision of her lost lover Travis Cohle (more on him over here), town crank Rose Aguineau (Fiona Shaw) has stumbled across something terrifying in the Alaskan tundra and she’s invited the police to check it out.

There, nestled in the snow, is a block of ice holding the seven missing scientists from the nearby Tsalal research station in Ennis. Their bodies are in states of paradoxical undress – all of them naked with only a handful of shoes and pants found nearby. The frozen heads are all staring in the same direction, each mouth arranged in a rictus of fear and each limb blackened by frostbite. One guy scratched at his own face.

Upon viewing this ghastly “corpsicle” there’s only one thought that can cross the viewer’s mind: Man, that is one hell of a well-designed prop. Or at least that’s the thought that crossed my mind and it’s the thought that crossed the minds of both of True Detective: Night Country‘s stars upon seeing it.


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