Genre fans will be quite familiar with the work of Guillermo Del Toro. Heís directed such films as Mimic, Cronos, The Devilís Backbone, Blade II, and the critically acclaimed Panís Labyrinth. Heís also done both Hellboy films and for fans who havenít gotten enough LOTR heís working on The Hobbit 1 & 2. But The Strain isnít a movie. Itís a book collaboration with Chuck Hogan (Prince of Thieves) about vampires.
Fans of his will know heís delved into vampire waters before with Blade II, but instead of an action movie feel thereís more of a CSI investigation vibe as a 777 airplane lands in JFK airport in New York City on board which all but four people have died with no visible signs of of injury. We follow Ephraim ďEphĒ Goodweather, a member of the canary team of the CDC, as he gets called in investigate what happened on this flight.
Many storylines are interwoven in this tale. Depending on your point of view, the pacing is either a positive or a negative. The Strain does initially move swiftly, but it slows down a bit after the first third. The way that itís structured made me believe this was initially concieved as a movie project, but it couldnít get financed so it went into a different medium.
The sound quality is excellent. Every word is crisp and clear without a single bad dub. There is some use of music to intro chapters but itís the same piece over and over. The narration is done by Ron Perlman (the star of both Hellboy films, he also appeared in Del Toroís Blade II). You might even remember him from televison as Vincent on Beauty and the Beast. He does a solid job narrating this work, but he has a very distinctive voice with a deep timbre. This may or may not tickle your fancy. But if youíre looking for something other than romantic teenage vampires or Southern gothic vampires, The Strain just might be what you need to sink your fangs into.