5 Reasons Why You Should Watch THE STRAIN

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The Strain is the new series coming to your television screen this Sunday. Here’s a mini list of reasons why you should watch it accompanied with some more non-list words about what makes it great.


  1. The Strain is based off of a book series co-written by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro. Before the TV series got green lit, it was also turned into a comic book series adapted by David Lapham (Stray Bullets) and illustrated by Mike Huddleston (Gen 13) and published by Dark Horse Comics.
  2. Guillermo del Toro writes and directs the pilot episode of the series, so you just know that it really encapsulates his vision for what he wanted it to be… and let me assure that that vision is creepy as heck.
  3. The Strain is dark and atmospheric, mixing lots of psychological thrills with actual scares. The design of the vampires is new and these ain’t no sparkle in the sun vegetarians.
  4. It took me a while to put it together without looking at IMDb or the book that FX was kind enough to send along, but that guy that plays Peter Russo in House of Cards (aka Corey Stoll) plays the main character, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather. He just has hair, so it takes a minute to register (see the side by side comparison below). Oh and Filch from Harry Potter/Walder Frey from Game of Thrones (depending on what your geeky cup of tea is) is also in the show playing a sort of Van Helsing-ish badass old dude named Abraham Setrakian.
  5. The show is filmed in my hometown of Toronto, Canada. This might not be a cool reason for YOU to watch the show, but it’s a cool enough reason for me. Pacific Rim, the upcoming Crimson Peak movie (also from del Toro) and parts of Blade II. Guillermo loves him some Toronto.


Ok, I’ve run out of fun and witty reasons for you to tune into The Strain when it starts airing, but let me talk a bit more about the show generally outside of this list thing I’ve started.

I haven’t read the book series The Strain. I haven’t read the comics of The Strain. I have no prior knowledge of The Strain whatsoever. My knowledge of the show a few weeks ago consisted of knowing what the book cover looked like, who wrote it and that it involved vampires. I can’t tell you if it’s a good adaptation of the materials to come before but what I can tell you is that it’s creepy and fantastic without having any of that information. Occasionally Corey Stall comes across a bit like he’s trying too hard to captivate audiences and the dialogue can be a bit hokey but the quality of the show speaks for itself and I enjoyed watching it a lot.


I’m a HUGE wimp when it comes to the horror genre. I love it and yet I hate it. I love a good scary story but I don’t like needless and gratuitous scares and I don’t enjoy watching things that fall into the torture porn genre but The Strain is not compelled by any of that. It moves forward with the intention of telling a good story and an interesting one at that. The moments that are scary, you generally see coming but it doesn’t take away from it at all. They take vampire lore of old and put a new twist on it.

I won’t spoil anything for you, but there’s a scene with a little kid in a bathtub that will probably haunt my nightmares for an indefinite period of time. The imagery is powerful and is seemingly well-thought out to maximize the ability for the show to stay with you after you’ve finished watching it.

The first episode of FX’s The Strain airs Sunday July 13 at 10PM EST. Check out the trailer below:

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The Author

Stephanie Cooke

Stephanie Cooke

Stephanie is a comic book fan, but she also considers herself an avid gamer, movie watcher, lover of music and Twitter. Stephanie is a purveyor of too many projects and has written for Talking Comics,, CG Magazine, Dork Shelf and more. She also runs Toronto Geek Trivia in her home city and can be found helping out at other “geek” community things around there.