Guillermo del Toro‘s new vampire drama “The Strain” premieres on FX on Sunday night at 10, and TheWrap has assembled a primer on what to expect.
Yes, there is a portal involved. Rest assured, Guillermo del Toro fans; the filmmaker’s penchant for passageways into an alternate world is amply represented here. In this case, it’s the cargo hold of an airplane — but more on the whole airplane thing in a moment.
It’s creepy. Come on — what did you expect from a series from Guillermo del Toro, whose promotional material infamously features a stomach-turning image of a worm burrowing through someone’s eye? Did you really expect them to sugar-coat it in the actual series?
It will make you hate air travel even more than you already do. The series’ drama stems from a New York-bound airplane arriving at its destination with a cabin full of mysteriously dead passengers. And you thought it’s a hassle to take off your shoes and walk through the creepy X-ray machine as the TSA snicker while ogling your private parts? Well, yes, that is a hassle — but landing dead on arrival is way worse.
David Bradley is in it, and he is awesome. As always, really. In “The Strain,” Bradley plays Abraham Setrakian, the proprietor of a curio shop who really doesn’t like it when a couple of punks try to rip him off. And his character only gets more chilling from there. If you thought Bradley was calculating and menacing as Walder Frey on “Game of Thrones,” you haven’t seen anything yet.
The “hero” of the series is a pretty big jerk. Ephraim Goodweather (as portrayed by Corey Stoll) might be a brilliant epidemiologist. But as a human being, he’s really quite lousy. When we first meet absentee dad Goodweather, who self-admittedly has control issues. he’s on the way to being late to a custody counseling session as he tries to work his way through a divorce settlement — the fourth session of six, as it turns out. that he’s been late for. Plus, he’s the kind of guy who asks questions that he answers with the word “check.” As in, “You want a guy who’s crazy about Zach? A guy who’s crazy about you? Check. Check. Decent? Employed? Check. Check.” Is that a dickish characteristic? Check, please.