6 items from 2015
A long-standing cultural paranoia has come to pass amid The Strain’s strigoi siege: A popular goth-rocker is, in fact, an evil demon seeking to insidiously infect the minds and hearts of his followers. That would be the show’s ostensible Marilyn Manson stand-in, Bolivar, whom the Master has selected as his latest vessel. During a showdown with Quinlan, the newly rejuvenated lord of darkness explains that he selected Gabe on account of his loyalty. Although it’d suffice perfectly fine if Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan kept Bolivar around purely to achieve the aforementioned satire. Either way, the Master 2.0 looks pretty badass, so it’s an upgrade for both him and the host. (We will miss you, Robert Maillet.)At the Throggs Neck warehouse that’s currently doubling as a feeler nursery, the Master and Eichhorst find themselves staring down Setrakian and Quinlan several yards away. It’s »
- Kenny Herzog
Having failed to defeat The Master, Ephraim and his team retreat to Red Hook and begin fortifying their position…
Guillermo Del Toro directs the opening ten minutes of season two with skill, precision and delicacy. Coming across as part Grimm faery tale, part moral fable. We are treated to high-end storytelling, which adds breadth and backstory before dropping us back into present day Manhattan. Where a split second flashback to last season’s finale, aids the unfamiliar in catching up on The Strain as it hits the ground running.
Once more David Bradley’s Abraham Setrakian stands out from the crowd. Like an ailing Van Helsing circa nineteen seventy something, he piles conviction into a performance which never drifts into caricature. Kevin Durand’s Vasilly Fet meanwhile shows similar skill, playing quietly confident and unfazed without a false note. Just »
- Gary Collinson
At the end of The Strain's first season, Setrakian and the gang suffered a devastating defeat when their tactical assault drove The Master into direct sunlight, and yet he lived on, fleeing back into the underground. For Season 2, The Strain travels back in time with its opening sequence, a prologue directed by Guillermo Del Toro that is packed with narrative seeds that have already begun to sprout by the episode's end. The prologue picks up in a 1932 Romanian village where a childhood Abraham Setrakian begs his grandmother to tell him the tale of Yusef Sardu...even if it's a scary one. The scene travels back even further in time where we pick up with Sardu (Robert Maillet), a benevolent Polish nobleman who suffered from Giganticism. Yusef was content with his lot in life, a jovial childlike “gentle giant”, but his brother was shamed by his condition and organized a »
- Haleigh Foutch
The smartest move FX’s vampire horror series The Strain makes in its return is opening its first episode with Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley), and a little history. Setrakian is the show’s most heroic character, a strigoi-slaying badass with a sword cane and inestimable amounts of knowledge, and The Strain is at its best when it’s able to show off its effects and its action sequences. So the choice to kick off Season 2 with a look back at the mythology and chaos that created The Master (Robert Maillet) is the perfect way to reorient viewers with the world, and get everyone excited about the season to come. From there, though, things are a little less certain. In between the completely gross aesthetics of the strigoi (their appearance, their habit of vomiting out worms, their blood-sucking projectile tongues, etc) and the nicely edited scenes of heads being chopped off »
- Allison Keene
FX has announced that season two of The Strain will kick off this summer. There will be 13 episodes.
On The Strain, a team of disease control experts are called in to investigate when a plane lands in New York with 200 corpses on board. They soon discover that a viral outbreak has begun that could overtake humanity. The first season's large cast included Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Mía Maestro, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Miguel Gomez, Natalie Brown, Jack Kesy, Sean Astin, and Robert Maillet. (more…) »
6 items from 2015
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