I have been waiting for the premiere of Guillermo del Toro’s new series The Strain for months. I wasn’t aware the show was based on a comic series. In fact I knew nothing about the show except what I gleaned from the awesome FX trailers. I could see that it would be a creature story with a master of creature flicks at the helm.
The Strain was everything I expected and more. It put me right into the suspense and action. Introduced me to a great ensemble of fascinating characters. Drew me into their world with excellent special effects. I was surprised to find that the show is a fresh take on vampires. I am always looking for media that takes a well-known story and presents it in a new way. The revamped vamps in this series seem to be more of a disease than a creature.
Vampirism seems to spread just as a virus is in this world that del Toro built. Now, vampirism has been presented as a virus before in other films and comics, but not quite like this. It is presented like an outbreak of an incurable disease that will reach plague like proportions. I like the “Science vs. the Supernatural” feel that is given in the show. You have the CDC agent Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (played by Corey Stoll) and his team working too understand the virus. Then you have the mysterious old man Abraham Setrakian (played by David Bradley) who has fought the vampires before. We find out pieces of information about him throughout the show. Info such as him being a Holocaust survivor. Oh and the tiny little detail that he has a pet vampire heart that he keeps alive in a jar by feeding it drops of his own blood. That was a nice detail to which I am looking forward to the backstory.
Pet hearts are nice
I know I could read the comic series and probably find out all I want to know about The Strain, and I probably will. However, I intend to hold off a bit and just enjoy the series. I don’t want knowledge of the comics to hinder my experience with the show. This has happened before with The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. In true creature feature style the main monster is yet to be fully revealed. The monster and granddaddy of all vampires who unleashes the vampire virus rides into the U.S. from Romania in an airplane. Not in first class, but in the cargo hold inside his giant, hand crafted, soil filled, coffin. This part of the show is familiar and reminds me of other vampire films that featured the most famous of all vamps, that loveable lug Dracula.
Do I have something in my eye?
If it is him, that would be fine with me, as he is being presented in a way never seen before. If you have read the comics NO SPOILERS please. I will find out the old fashioned way. I will absorb every detail as it is revealed each episode. There are many aspects of the show that need further clarification such as the freaky worms that seem to be how the virus is spread and the vampire creatures themselves as it seems they are far removed from widow’s peaks and glittering diamond skin. There is also the creepy little girl vampire that returns home to her distraught daddy in the end of the show. I have to find out how that reunion went. I look forward to finding out this Sunday at ten PM. I hope you’ll join me.