The Strain Premiere: Science, Vampirism and Good Summer Fun

The Strain Premiere: Science, Vampirism and Good Summer Fun

Guillermo Del Toro combines vampire mythology, CSI sleuthing and a looming human apocalypse to create an entertaining new horror series.

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Indeed, a very solid, promising start. Basically, they seem to be going for the old-school vampire story (with vampires as literal monsters instead of various flavors of sexy) as interpreted by modern science - vampirism as a disease (the protagonist is from the CDC), with a bit of grand conspiracy tossed into the mix. Well executed from a technical standpoint (direction, camera, effects, etc.), good premise, solid acting. Can't wait to see how it plays out.

It reminded me a bit of another show I've watched recently, Helix. It's lower budget and not as well done, and the underlying theme is Resident Evil instead of Dracula, but might be worth a look if you're down for a disease/epidemic/biotech horror show.

The lead vampire is pure Guillermo. It looks like a creature that should be slumped over in a corner of the troll market asking for a smoke. A cross between Mama and the original Nosferatu. Of course, when it moves, it's like watching a stygian horror come to life, like it barely fits in the corridor that it just fed in. I liked the little callbacks to the original Dracula story. The coffin full of dirt was an immediate tell, where in the movie, similar containers were blessed with holy water and then burned. Although in this story I suspect the dirt is simply a transport device for more worms, no religious subtext here beyond the graven images carved on the coffin. I wonder if there will be prologues showing Abraham's younger life, like did he meet his first feeder when he was interned at Auschwitz? This would be a nice subplot to explore, with a world that wasn't quite so advanced as ours but still more advanced than the typical medieval setting that vampire stories normally start in.

All of the characters are written very flat and sterotypical, but if you can look past that, it was exactly as described. Good summer fun. I look forward to the global pandemic aspect.

I read the book series and I really liked it; definitely a new take on an old story. And I'd love to see what is coming up on screen!
I love del Toro... he went to my university and I am familiar with his work since he was an amateur
And they shot this series (well, parts of it) a block away from my house

What's not to like?!

I felt it was fine but nothing to really blow me away. The show could do with a couple of moments of levity as frowny seriousness can get a bit silly when spouting sciencebabble. It's a bit flat and doesn't feel like it's really bring much new to the table. Hoping this will be easy watching campy horror schlock to enjoy.

The opening being similar to Fringe (plane arrives dead) I suspect is more JJ borrowing from the books than this series borrowing from Fringe but the similarity did strike me.

Also, David Bradley was badass.

I found everything about this show a let down. The actors, story, dialog, special effects, all of it. Just skip it, its terrible. Really I fail to see what anyone likes about this.

 

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