Without beating around the bush too much, The Strain (airing Wednesday July 30th on FOX8) resembles a horror movie that may have come out in the mid 1990’s – you know, the kind that went straight to DVD. I’m not saying it like it’s a bad thing, just that, here, The Strain is purely for scares and gore while only slightly relying on a deeper story-line.
Now that deeper story-line is either about ancient vampires coming to New York or lead character Dr. Ephraim Goodweather’s failing marriage…i’m not to sure as to which as we’re drowned with too much personal information about Ephraim, his distant wife and their son right off the bat.
So just like FX’s creepy disease based Helix, The Strain (also from FX) brings us another biological catastrophe involving the CDC and those affected by a mysterious disease, but unlike Helix where all the action takes place in the isolated Arctic, The Strain takes place in heavily populated New York City.
According to FX, The Strain is about “a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism” and is based on the series of books from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (Guillermo del Toro is also credited as the creator, writer and director) where the central character of no-good is, well, he’s the ancient king of Vampires named The Master.
Now the vampires here in The Strain are nothing like you have ever seen before. Gone are the tweenie glittery human loving creatures we’ve been saturated with of recent times and in their place, creepy hooded monsters that rely on blood seeking and sucking worms over fangs and del Toro (a master in the field of scares and gore) goes to lengths to create a dark and eerie visual that offers up some jump worthy scares.
The cast is pleasant enough to watch and while some of the acting is a bit kitsch and over the top, it fits perfectly into the theme of what we are being offered up….Lord of the Rings star (or Goonies star to me) Sean Astin is there along with Alias’s Mia Maestro and House of Cards actor Corey Stoll taking the lead as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather.
So in the end, Helix stands miles above what The Strain is, but as a show where you don’t really need to think too much and can get a few decent scares and some gross out gore then The Strain should sit nicely into your weekly viewing.
The Strain begins Wednesday July 30th on FOX8.