Sunday, August 28, 2011

Seeing The Strain

I've been reading Guillermo del Toro's vampire trilogy and, while cruising the internet for added value material, stumbled across a couple of videos that were available on the website HarperCollins put up for the first book, The Strain. The videos were cheaply done and don't have a lot of production value to them but there is one recognizable actor (which is kinda cool) and, best of all, we get a look at what del Toro envisioned for what the strigoi actually look like.

I'm sure Roy Dotrice did this because he had a previous relationship with del Toro, having played King Balor in Hellboy II. In this second clip, I just love how he appears from, seemingly, out of nowhere to lay on the exposition.

I thought I would include the last video on del Toro's YouTube channel where he talks a bit about why he decided to explore vampires and novels.

It's funny but, a year ago, I probably wouldn't have recommended the trilogy to anyone because of a knee-jerk reaction I had to the first book in the series. I loved the procedural/outbreak handling of the vampire plague but when a more classic (clich├ęd?) element was introduced about half-way in, I resisted it, threw my hands up in the air and put the book down for a while. Since then, I've become more accepting of the things that I won't get into because there could be spoilers attached, but I'm now into the second book, The Fall, and looking forward to the release of the third, The Night Eternal, when it comes out this October.

Now, I would gladly go out on a limb and recommend the series to fans of del Toro, suspense, horror, vampires, and stories about pandemics. I think the reviews comparing the books to a cross between Stephen King, Michael Crichton and Bram Stoker are pretty accurate and Hogan and del Toro have incorporated only the best traits of all three for their epic. Especially with Hallowe'en coming up and the conclusion of the series, it might be worth checking out.

Oh, and as a side note, it will also be a comic book series soon from Dark Horse Comics, so if you don't want to trouble yourself with the books, that might be another way to experience it.



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