Guillermo del Toro's 'The Strain' Gets FX Order, Because Pop Culture Needs More Vampires
It's a good day for revolutionary horror director Guillermo del Toro. His novel The Strain has just been ordered as a 13-episode series for FX. It's no surprise that cable network known for ruthless violence and drama, thanks to series like Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Story, has ordered yet another series that dares to take us around dark corners, especially since it's got a name like del Toro behind it. What is curious is the fact that FX has just picked up a series about vampires at a time when we've proved that vampires have begun to bore us.
Somehow, the king of innovative horror is delivering a series based on the most over-done horror character out there. While The Strain aims to re-invent the vampire (garlic and crucifixes can't ward them off... just like on The Vampire Diaries... or True Blood... or in Twilight) and it's got the added bonus of Lost EP and co-showrunner Carlton Cuse as the FX series' showrunner (who's also doing good work over at A&E's Bates Motel), the premise still seems doomed to traverse the same territory that every vampire series, book, and movie has already explored in the very recent past.
True, del Toro's vampire explanation skews scientific, which is likely why FX leaped at it. Turning to a more realistic discussion of vampirism is appealing now that The Walking Dead has paved the way with its own explanation of zombies. However, The Walking Dead works because it's explaining zombies in a new, televised format way that we couldn't enjoy in earlier film iterations. What could we possibly learn from yet another vampire show? To answer that question, we've rounded up the variations of vampire we've already met in hopes of finding a sliver of space for del Toro's creatures.
1. The Sparkling, Brooding Vampire
We've put up with that for four Twilight movies, and there were only three books. Think about that.
2. The Jack-Hammer Sex Vampire
Bill Compton and Eric Northman, of True Blood, may have different personalities, but they've both been guilty of sex that looks like it's happening with the fast forward button on. Ouch.
3. The Vampire Temptress
We've seen this style of lady vamp time and again, but the most memorable iteration is likely Salma Hayek dancing with a snake in From Dusk Till Dawn.
4. Traditional Vampires
If literature -- and Bram Stoker's Dracula wasn't enough -- we've seen this guy plenty since 1931's silent movie version starring Bela Lugosi.
5. Traditional Vampire: Sexy Edition
You can thank NBC and Jonathan Rhys Meyers for that one.
6. Sexy-Heroine-Saving-the-World Vampire
Kate Beckinsale has already played Selene, the kickass vampire in the Underworld film series three times. There's really not much more you can add to this one.
7. Incredibly Scary Vampires
For those of you who haven't met him, let me introduce you to Nosferatu. He is absolutely the stuff nightmares are made of. If that's not scary enough, Chris Sarandon in Fright Night, Willem Dafoe in Shadow of the Vampire, and Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula have you covered.
8. Incredibly Scary Little Girl Vampire
Chloe Moretz has that down pat as Abby in Let Me In (and so did the girl who starred in the original film, Let the Right One In).
9. Terrifying Zombie-Vampire Hybrids
Apparently, when we try to make zombies and vampires realistic, they turn out to sort of be the same thing. Just ask I Am Legend.
10. Lovesick, Yet Vicious Vampires
The Vampire Diaries is all over this, as its spinoff series The Originals — and even they know they need to diversify with other horror staples like werewolves and witches.
That doesn't really leave much of a void for del Toro's "new" vampires, now does it?