Guillermo Del Toro has been a favorite director of mine ever since The Devils Backbone back in 2001. He has the ability to terrify, disgust, enamor and induce laughter all while supplying the most beautiful of environments.
Now, I didn’t know anything about The Strain prior to watching the first episode except that Del Toro would be directing it. Considering that he makes some of the best creatures I have ever seen on film, this show seems to be the perfect fit.
The series premiere begins on an airplane full of passengers. A loud sound in the cargo hold below frightens the male flight attendant to the point of calling his female co-worker to the back to help. In no time at all, the door burst open and something is let loose.
The airplane lands, windows closed and completely silent on board, but no one steps off. The CDC is called and Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, played by Corey Stoll whom you might remember from House of Cards, is on the case to investigate.
Ephraim, or Eph as he prefers to be called, is the typical film scientist who is so amazing at his job that his family life suffers. His marriage is crumbling, much to his dismay, but, as he puts it, “If I take a break, if I go fly fishing, people will die.”
Once on board, Eph and his partner Nora (Mia Maestro) discover that no one is left alive but there are no signs of struggle or trauma on the passengers. However, they find signs of a virus of some kind all over the surface of the interior.
Four of the passengers thought to be dead begin to move, proving that the entire flight was not wiped out. Those passengers, however, don’t seem to remember anything of what happened.
Found in the cargo hold was some sort of ancient container, which must have once held something very old. Considering the container is empty, that something has been released. The question is, will they find it and cure this plague before things get really out of hand?
Amongst the cast members you will find Sean Astin, Harry Potter actor David Bradley and Del Toro regular, Doug Jones. Considering that Astin is quite possibly the biggest name and most recognizable face in the cast, I was surprised to see him play such a small role. Perhaps he will play a larger part in the episodes to come.
As far as the premiere goes, I enjoyed it. It wasn’t highly action packed or scary but the story was interesting enough and the episode ended strong enough to ensure that I will be back next week. I have a feeling that future episodes are going to be quite disturbing and, if I know Del Toro half as well as I think I do, things will get pretty gross.
I am excited to see where this show goes. Guillermo Del Toro has never disappointed me before and I don’t expect he will disappoint me this time.
Catch The Strain on FX, Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
Film Review: Pacific Rim (Jason Stives)
Ann Hale is the horror editor for Pop-Break.com and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. She is also the American Correspondent for Lovehorror.co.uk. Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter