Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Strain’ TV Series Gets a Found-Footage Teaser

Published 1 year ago by , Updated December 3rd, 2013 at 1:57 pm,

If a commercial gets people’s attention on the internet and during a broadcast of The Walking Dead that gets 12.1 million viewers, but no one knows what it is for, does it really make an impact? That’s a fair question for the people behind what appears to be the first teaser trailer for Guilermo del Toro’s upcoming FX series, The Strain, but in that we’re talking about the creepy ad, the answer would appear to be yes.

Employing the found footage aesthetic, the ad starts innocently enough, with a woman conversing and drinking a glass of white wine at an outdoor cafe on a city street while her tablemate videotapes her. Soon, though, there is a parade of rats scaring off the patrons, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flash of the words “He is here” and another video showing a similar rat outing in what looks like an office building.

None of the show’s known cast members are featured and there is no mention of the vampires plague that will envelop New York City in the series. Just a bunch of rats and those words, “He is here”, which are apparently a significant phrase in Chuck Hogan and del Toro’s Strain novel that the show is based on.

The Strain Dark Horse Comics Guillermo del Toros The Strain TV Series Gets a Found Footage Teaser

When the show does premiere in the summer of 2014, it figures to generate a lot of interest thanks to the behind the scenes presence of Carlton Cuse, Hogan, and del Toro, as well as a cast that includes House of Cards standout Corey Stoll, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, and Broadchurch and An Adventure in Space and Time star David Bradley, who joins the series after the del Toro directed pilot in place of John Hurt.

Eventually, though, The Strain will be judged not on a clever viral marketing campaign or the sterling cast, but on the grotesque and dramatic transformation between human and vampire and the look of the infected.

Luckily, there isn’t likely a name that will inspire more confidence in a creature laden project than Guilermo del Toro’s, but after the first teaser trailer, it’s understandable why some might be disappointed that they are still waiting to get a real, live-action look at the real horror that will drive this show and, quite possibly, our opinion of it.


The Strain premieres in July 2014 on FX

Source: THR

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
TAGS: The Strain
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  1. Oh that’s what this was!!! I was watching Walking Dead and when this commercial popped up I was clueless. Love Guillermo del Toro got all of his films! Cannot wait to see what he has in store for us here.

  2. This was genius marketing. Everyone on Twitter was going apes*** over what the commercial was. I wish more film and TV would do teasers like this.

    • yeah bored of plain auspicious adverts

  3. I recorded TWD and skipped the commercials so I didn’t see this but last night when my aunt called me to talk about the show (she does every Monday at 7) one of the things she mentioned was this.
    I have to admit I thought she imagined it but low and behold she wasn’t (I apologized) so IMO this was a pretty smart and successful ad. If you have a 60yr old thinking about it I’m sure plenty of others have and what more could you ask for?

  4. Found footage is THE worst thing to happen in cinematic history.

    • It is only good if done right, and only in small amounts.

      So small, they consist of one movie, maybe two. (I will put VHS on the list)

  5. I am more interested to see what Uncle Guillermo is going to do with ‘Monster’ on HBO than I am in this. But I am a fan of his, so there is no way I won’t be watching it.

    Found footage is a tired format though. Last show to try it was ‘The River’ and that was a whole new level of awful. I would be very surprised if the entire show was shot like this, so to keep the teaser and the teaser alone in this style is a fine move and builds anticipation quite nicely.

    • I actually enjoyed The River. Damn shame that got cancelled.

      I think most of the hate for the found footage genre comes from the fact that a majority of movies in the genre are just horrendous and the cheap and easy method it brings has made everyone want to try it, even if they don’t have a coherent or interesting plot or actors to pull it off convincingly (to be honest, I thought Blair Witch Project was a bad movie but I love Cloverfield and Grave Encounters).

      The teaser was great and it reminds me of a quick subliminal flash on screen featuring a symbol and for days, I thought it would be a movie or TV show but in the end, it was just a teaser for a car commercial that aired during The X Factor (where the UK’s biggest number of viewers could see it).

      • I am not opposed to the technique as it can offer a route into the industry for newcomers looking to keep the budget low (out of necessity). It is more the facsimile nature of how they do it, primarily in the horror genre. An evolution of the idea is necessary quite frankly.

        I enjoyed ‘Cloverfield’ myself, actually. More so than I ever expected to.

  6. the comic pictures made me curois about the trailer…. but i found nothing related to this pics at the trailer…..

  7. After thinking about I hope people don’t think that because this trailer is shown as “found footage” that it means the show itself will be in the format because it’s not.

    • @Kevin7 – I was thinking the same thing. It seems like most people are assuming that the show will be in the same format as the teaser. I didn’t even consider it. I guess we’ll see.

  8. Wait, rats, really? Why didn’t they just call an exterminator. If they did, plague over, series over.

    • Nope, the rats don’t carry the plague. I only read the first book, and honestly I think it will work better as a show.

  9. Finally got to watch the teaser, I enjoyed it. I’m assuming the rats will carry the infection and are also a metaphor pointing to the vampires gathering in similar ways.

  10. Wait a minute. They’re replacing John Hurt with someone else after one episode? When did I miss this?

  11. When