The Strain. That eerie music as the title comes up on screen. It’s a horror show which is rare, I mean lets think of how many are around at the moment? All I can think is American Horror and not every season of that it terrifying but The Strain, well that’s something else.
So to start off with the idea behind The Strain is basically vampires but not the usual ones we’ve seen in previous films and TV. These are infected people who turn into some hideous monsters almost as if they’re zombies and spout of long tongues they feed off of people with. It’s very different from what we’ve seen in the past but being created by the all great Gullimero Del Toro himself there’s no real surprise.
The premise of the show is that there’s a landed plane with only 4 survivors and the CDC have been sent in to investigate. It’s a slow start as so very little happens in the first few episodes but then suddenly we have loads happening. The first few episodes mainly start as to what is this disease, why are there Just 4 survivors and what’s really going on with the story and the characters. It’s kind of an ease into the situation, letting us understand everyone’s personal dilemmas and get to know who they are. There’s the CDC characters along with an elderly man who seems to know more than what he let’s on with, who the story flits to along with the rat catcher. All well and good but when the group finally merges in an episode which revolves around them being stuck in a gas station (just wait till you see it) is when everything really starts working.
So what’s going on? Well it’s the spread of this ‘disease’ which you get an understanding for quite quickly. As the episodes go you go from a handful of the infected vampires to sewers filled with them as it spreads further and further. It’s creepy and terrifying but the way the show is done works perfectly. We never see anything from the news broadcasters or even the usual paper thrown down revealing a headline as a placement for the story, instead we just hear and see that the city is in tatters. It’s falling apart as this infection spreads and not just through the night. Even when characters go home they might find the undead there, suddenly and this is what creates this eerie atmosphere and creep factor. The show is like a disaster movie but one that doesn’t throw everything in your face. From the final moments of the season finale you see that their world, this world these characters inhabit, is falling apart around them but we don’t see this until the very final moment.
It’s a horror TV show at the heart but it’s the way we’re drip fed little bits of information as to exactly what is going on which makes it all so interesting. Yeah it’s vampires and we know so much already about them but these are some seriously hideous creatures and it’s not about just taking them out. The story is so much more as it twists, turns and configures itself into all sorts of things. Characters could do with some more development through the series as our primary focus is mainly just on Eph’s (Corey Stoll) and partly the old man professor Abraham (David Bradley) Hopefully the second season delves into development and caring for the other characters who just chill in the background to much to be concerned.
So The Strain is a fantastic and terrifying series which is well worth the watch but don’t give up after just a few episodes. Just push through the slowness until about episode 4 when thinks start to get amped up!