Guillermo del Toro isn’t known for his work on the small screen, but that will change when “The Strain” premieres on FX July 13. The acclaimed film director, writer and producer has teamed up with Carlton Cuse, executive producer of “Bates Motel,” to bring the 2009 horror novel (by del Toro and Chuck Hogan) to life.
International Business Times attended an advanced screening of the new supernatural drama at the 2014 ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, and we promise you the new series is one of del Toro’s most jaw-dropping creations yet.
Supernatural shows about vampires and other chilling creatures are nothing new, yet “The Strain” manages to introduce a whole new side of this dark world. Starring Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”), Mía Maestro (“Alias”), Sean Astin (“The Lord of the Rings”) and David Bradley (“Game of Thrones”), the new series is more like “CSI” meets “Blade.”
Stoll plays Dr. Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather, the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City, who puts his work ahead of everything, including his family. The premiere kicks off with Goodweather trying to repair his relationship with his wife (Natalie Brown) but receiving a phone call to investigate a mysterious outbreak that silenced an entire plane at JFK airport. With his CDC team members Dr. Nora Martinez (Maestro) and Jim Kent (Astin), Eph makes a horrifying discovery onboard the “dead” airplane … and it’s something that they’ve never seen before. The flight was carrying 210 people, but only four have survived. The families of the passengers want answers, and it’s up to the CDC to find out what happened. But nothing is adding up.
Feeling the pressure (and sting of a slap from an angry family member of a victim), Eph is exploring every option, but he has no time to look into a bizarre warning from local pawnshop owner Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley), who claims to have witnessed the horror of this disease years ago. But it’s not your average disease that has resurfaced … it’s a dark and ancient creature, the vampire. Unlike any vampire you've ever seen, "The Strain" monster is fangless, has a giant tongue and looks like the Grim Reaper.
That’s only one part of the mystery of “The Strain.” Viewers will also meet Thomas Eichorst (Richard Sammel) in the pilot, who appears to have his own agenda for the deadly vampire.
“The Strain” had audience members jumping in their seats, even letting out the occasional surprised yelp. While promos and art for the show teased gore in store, it appeared only minimally in the pilot. Instead, most of the chilling aspects that made viewers jump were due to the suspense. That said, the final moments of episode 1 feature one of the most insane scenes I’ve ever seen on TV, right up there with some of the mind-blowing deaths on “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead.”
You can watch the pilot episode of “The Strain” when it airs on Sunday, July 13, at 10 p.m. EDT. Will you be tuning in? Let us know in the comments section or tweet @AmandaTVScoop.