New York Daily News reporter Don Kaplan gives all the new on Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse's latest television series in "FX's 'The Strain' explores the more complex, monstrous world of vampires."
Del Toro's upped the creepy special effects from Blade II in this adaptation of The Strain's comic book series.
You won't find any Angels lurking around, brooding over the hot blonde cheerleader that's a little feisty. And you definitely won't find Edward Cullen staring carefully over as you sleep. Count out Dracula wearing Gary Oldman's face, too. This is a new batch of scary that's ready to make nightmares seem like summer vacation.
Just don't compare the series to AMC's critically acclaimed adaptation of The Walking Dead, either.
“Zombies tend to be nonsentient,” says Lost co-creator Carlton Cuse. Not really a problem with an infected person turned host in this parasitic thriller since the vampires can do more than "shuffle and eat around." Instead “there’s kind of a hierarchy here."
So how does the hierarchy fall out?
First is the Master, who’s currently a former Nazi, while the next level is all about the torture element. These second-level creatures seek out "those they love most in life — and kill them." And all hail the Master since the underlings are "also directable by the Master,” which is another difference from The Walking Dead.
As a faithful adaptation, the television series heavily focuses on the mythology and functionality of vampire life, such as describing the excretion as "splatters of ammonia that can be seen only under ultraviolet light." A lot of detail means a rich world to torment fans and characters alike.
Of course, Cuse teases a scene on just how carefully the direction between print and film went. “There’s a vampire autopsy scene fairly early on in the show that was designed to show the audience that a lot of care and attention went into the biology of these creatures."
And the epidemiology, on what makes a vampire, is very important to del Toro as well. Cuse notes the vampires must "make sense biologically," like the comics.
Production and network have been very careful in not showing what the vampires look like in full effect, but expect to be startled, grossed out, and maybe a little scared.
And how does this horrific version of vampirism spread? Not through a love bite with elongated teeth, that's for sure.
Kaplan describes mealtime in gruesome detail. "Their jaws are like a snake’s, unhinging to make room for an appendage that moves lighting-fast — like a frog’s tongue — to wrap around a victim and pierce the skin with razor-sharp blades."
From the promos, the agent seems to be a parasitic worm that crawls into a host, rendering the infected inhuman. Not a walk in Central Park, is it?
And that bleeds into the specific New York City locations, such as Avenue D in Alphabet City or 115th Street in Spanish Harlem. As a matter of fact, the writers' room has a pin- and tag-filled map of the boroughs for that reason. “Part of the fun of the story is seeing all these New Yorkers and how their lives are upended by this strain of vampirism.”
Humans may want to back away from the creatures looking for dinner or a brand new friend. Curiosity, cat, and all that rot.
Watch the video below for the series short prequel, "The Survivor."
The Strain premieres on FX at 10/9 tonight.
Source: New York Daily News