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‘The Strain’ Reviews: New Vampire Show ‘Like A Breath Of Fresh Air’

Sun, July 13, 2014 5:00pm EDT by HL Intern 5 Comments

FX has a new hit on their hands, ‘The Strain,’ and critics are hooked! These vampires aren’t your typical glittered down bloodsuckers with sexy hairstyles! These are some seriously horrifying creatures! Read on for the reviews.

The Strain is not a show wrapped in pretty packaging for Twilight-esque fans. FX’s latest sci-fi drama is all about bringing mythology back into the vampire culture. But does this new show satisfy the appetites of fans who crave blood, gore and mythical creatures?

‘The Strain’ Review Roundup: A Disease Takes Over New York

With what started out as a trilogy of novels co-written by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, adapted into a comic-book series, and has now become a TV show on FX. The Strain is a vampire show, but, it takes a scientific approach to vampirism, treating it as a parasitic disease that follows very specific biological impulses.

The trailer takes place on a dark and eerie night, a passenger jet from Germany lands at JFK — so far, so good. But, then we see that everyone, or almost everyone, on board is dead! Time to call in disease control before mayhem hits the streets of New York! Check out the reviews below:

‘The Strain’ Reviews:


 FX is so steeped in brooding drama, the comicbook-y roots of “The Strain” feel mildly off brand, but also like a breath of fresh air. While there’s not much new to be done with the vampire genre, director Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s adaptation of their book/graphic novel plays like perfect summer popcorn fare, filtering the threat of marauding bloodsuckers through fears of global pandemic. At times the portentous dialogue can sound hokey, but for the most part, the slick pilot and three subsequent episodes set the tone for a series with enough of a hook to get under one’s skin.

Entertainment Weekly:

If your average supernerd could wave her black cape over her television and magically create the world’s geekiest vampire show, it might look something like The Strain. [..] This is cult-classic, midnight-movie horror, designed in meticulous, mythology-respecting detail for comic-book readers and fangirls and -boys. [..] It doesn’t need to ponder what’s inside these characters’ heads. It can just rip them open and show you.

Columbus Alive:

FX’s new series “The Strain” is yet another vampire tale, but its conception and most of its execution make it better than the glut of the genre in recent pop culture. [..] The Strain exceeds typical vampire tales is the quality hands of del Toro (who directs a number of episodes) and the writers telling this story. The vampires here are a wonderful del Toro creation that are both gross and fascinating, and the narrative unfolds nicely over the first four episodes, creating both human moments and some exciting action/sci-fi pieces.


The Strain is not a comedy — remotely — but a particularly grim and gruesome rewrite of vampire physiology, in which fangs play no part, but are replaced by a proboscis, which severs the victim’s carotid artery. Tiny, sentient and ravenous worms are implanted into the host, while blood is sucked out. Del Toro and Hogan’s richly morbid imaginations have also supplied to this a veneer of symbolism and metaphor, while pulling elements from human past (the Holocaust) and present (9/11). Evil is out there — what are you going to do about it? Or what can you do about it?

What do you think, HollywoodLifers, does The Strain sound like it can satisfy your hunger for vampires? It premieres on July 13 on FX — check it out and let us know!

— Brittany King

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