‘The Strain’ Featurette: Through The Looking Glass

Published 10 months ago by

FX has released enough trailers for Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming vampire saga The Strain to sate anyone’s interest in the show until its July premiere; some are fun sized teasers, others more lengthy, while others still come in extra-large presentations. All the better to acquaint audiences with the creepy, icky, shadowy world of biological parasitism that del Toro, Chuck Hogan, and Carlton Cuse have concocted on the small screen; and of course, to introduce their stellar cast as well.

But FX is keeping the flow of promo content steady with a new featurette that goes behind the scenes to explore the production process, delve a bit into the story, and – what else? – sing the praises of del Toro’s depth of artistic vision. Del Toro is an incredible world builder, Cuse tells us, and even a cursory look at the Pacific Rim director’s body of work affirms the claim: del Toro has an imagination that shows in every aspect of his films’ visual designs, from the troll market of Hellboy II to the titular mythic creature of Pan’s Labyrinth.

Viewers can expect to see the same attention to detail in The Strain, which should give the series a distinct texture among today’s glut of great television. If you’ve been keeping up with the clips, then you’ve already seen those artistic flourishes in action and recognize just how much they make del Toro’s work stand out. We get an eyeful of them in the featurette, too, and with a full season order on the table, it’s guaranteed that we’re in store for far more of them once the story commences.

The Strain Stoll The Strain Featurette: Through The Looking Glass

For those unfamiliar with The Strain, it’s all about a vampire apocalypse, Outbreak with creatures of the night. When a plane lands at JFK Airport, windows shuttered, communications cut, and with two hundred dead passengers (plus four survivors) on board, a CDC team investigates to make sense of the massacre and eventually discovers that the root cause is an ancient, bloodsucking evil. These aren’t your Twilight style vamps, though; del Toro, adapting the novel he wrote with Hogan, envisions vampirism as a kind of viral mutation rather than romanticizing the legendary monsters as so many narratives do.

We get into a little bit more of that here, though del Toro, in truth, has flirted with this concept before in Blade II. The Strain lets him exercise his idea on a much greater scale, though, and judging by the featurette, it looks like he’s really gone all-in on the twist to folklore, making the conceit entirely his own.


The Strain premieres on FX on July 13th, 2014, at 10/9c.

Follow Andy Crump on Twitter @agracru
TAGS: The Strain
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  1. del toro should do super heros on screen he will be better than whedon im sure..

  2. Can’t wait! This looks awesome! This is what vampires should be, not the romanticized twilight crap.

    • This does look good. Blame Stephenie Meyer for the romanticized bloodsucker. She wrote that series for tween and teen girls so the movies followed suit.

  3. Wow so stoked for this….book was frightening. But Andy, could you please clarify “Glut of great television?” First I would ask “where?”

  4. How is this going to be paced? In the book vampires don’t start vampiring until half way through. I don’t think people want to watch half a season of a weird medical drama before they get to their vampire show.

  5. I can see a few elements of Helix-style stuff, which itself had a few elements of John Carpenter’s The Thing-style stuff, which probably had a tiny bit of Alien-style stuff just for flavoring. However, this looks like it might be worth a watch, so I have it on my list. Hope it proves to be good.

  6. Rather then read the book, which would only allow me my imagination to interpret the words on the page. I went ahead and bought the comic book instead. So that I could compare that to what I might see on screen. And after watching a trailer for the show. I was surprised at how some of the scenes on screen appeared to be almost identical to what i saw on the pages of the comic book. Yes i know the book discribes things in detail. But it doesnt discribe how and at what angle the camera would be pointed at the actors. It almost looked like who ever directed the trailer looked at the comicbook for some inspiration on how to film a few of the scenes. Which I think is really cool. But like someone else mentioned in the comments. The story takes a while to get off the ground. And it seems like by the time things start to get going the show will be already at the end of its season. I dont know if people will stick around long enough to watch the show the way the story is written

  7. This is Del Toro returning to his roots. And I´m not talking about Blade II (where vampires were even kill by some kind of supervampires). Before he was internationally known he did an excellent movie called KRONOS. Here he deals with vampirism for the first time with a very different aproach, like a curse or an adiction, very interesting. You should try to see it, it is also the first time he worked with Ron Perlman. It is almost entirely in spanish (he did it in México)except from some parts. It´s a cult classic.