Vampires have come out of the dark in recent years, and the creatures of the night have made a home in mainstream blockbusters such as Twilight and on TV in shows including True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and Being Human. Apparently the key to widespread success was to simply amp up their sex appeal and emphasize the tortured-but-sympathetic side to their natures.
By contrast, the vampires of Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming horror series The Strain are not pretty, not particularly sympathetic and would rather torture than be tortured. They feed using a retractile proboscis that is released by freakishly gaping their jaws. They have no hair or fingernails and their nose and ears wither away as they grow older. In short, you probably wouldn’t want to take one out for a romantic meal.
The latest teaser for The Strain, which is based on the novel trilogy that del Toro co-wrote with Chuck Hogan, is emblematic of the way the story begins: a Boeing 777 arrives at JFK airport and goes dark, with window shades pulled down, communication channels dead and all the lights out. The plane brings with it a rabid vampiric virus that soon spills throughout all of New York City.
The “he” referred to in the teaser is most likely Jusef Sardu AKA The Master, one of the original ancient vampires who is afflicted with gigantism. Sardu will be played by Robert Maillet, a Canadian actor who stands at nearly 7 feet tall and is probably best known for his rather mismatched fight scene with Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes. The Strain also stars Corey Stoll (House of Cards) as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and Mía Maestro (Alias) as Dr. Nora Martinez, both members of the CDC who are called in to investigate the plane.
We’re definitely looking forward to seeing these frightening and intriguingly gross creatures on TV this summer, but hopefully the next teaser that FX releases will be a little less vague – and maybe show off a little vampire biology.
The Strain will premiere on FX in July 2014.