The Strain S1-4
If you’re easily grossed out, The Strain is probably not for you. This new take on the old legend of vampires was imagined by producer, director and screenwriter Guillermo del Toro, who also directed Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth.
The story begins with a downed plane in which everyone is seemingly dead, with no visible cause. A group of experts in biological threats is sent in to investigate – and that’s when things get really weird. Without giving too much away, instead of creepy pale guys hanging out in the shadows wanting to bite your neck, this all starts with parasitic worms that crave human blood and escalates to a monster that materialises from the floor.
The mystery seems to be connected to a coffin-like cabinet that was in the hold of the plane, but when the surviving passengers and the coffin are allowed to leave the airport, the virus is free to multiply. And that’s when the horror really begins.
Del Toro and his production partner Chuck Hogan wrote the trilogy of books upon which the series is based.
“The Strain isn’t eye candy, it’s eye protein as the vampires are parasite worms that infect humans through their eyeballs,” explains Guillermo. The Strigoi (Romanian vampires) are the modern-day army of the undead created by The Master, the ancient one created by the parasites.
Their enemies aren’t sunlight or holy water, but The Born – vampires with a consciousness who fight alongside human resistance fighters led by Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley), who has first-hand experience with The Master.
Sure, it only won two awards (Most Exciting New Series at the 2014 Critics Choice Television Awards, and actress Natalie Brown (resistance fighter Kelly Goodweather) won Best Actress in a TV Series at the Golden Maple Awards in 2016, but it’s good. It’s gory. And it’s a refreshing take on the old Dracula story.
Be warned: you’ll need a strong stomach – the gross-out factor is off the charts.