Did you guys happen to catch this strange ad during Sunday’s mid-season finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead? Or did you just fast-forward through it later that night on DVR like I did? In any case, I wouldn’t have known what to make of it at the time, but luckily the guys at Uproxx were on their A-game. They surmised that the commercial was the first ever promo for FX’s upcoming series The Strain, adapted from the bestselling horror trilogy written by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro.
Taking a found footage approach—one that I certainly hope doesn’t transfer over into the show itself—the promo features a slew of potentially infected rodents disrupting the lunch of a group of cafe diners. The reason why you don’t hear any overwhelmingly piercing screams in the background is because I wasn’t one of the patrons. If I was there I’d make a sound only dogs could hear.
Everything goes black for a second as the teeny-tiny message “He is here” can be seen in the middle of the screen. The “he” in question presumably refers to The Master, one of the seven original vampires, also called Ancients. The titular strain is a vampiric outbreak that takes over New York City, and you know what New York City is most famous for, besides pizza, the Empire State Building, and Times Square: rats. Loads of rats carrying loads of filthy diseases, and they’re just itching to get all up inside your pant leg and bite the shit out of your thighs. I’ll now be having horrible nightmares.
The second half of the clip follows another group of vermin in the middle of some random official building, like a courthouse or something. What gets me is just like in the first part, people only start screaming as the rat crowd starts dissipating, which means that no one gave a shit whenever all this beasts initially got together in the middle of the floor. Smart people working in that building. In any case, this is one hell of a creepy first look at a project that promises to provide plenty of chills. FX gave a full series order a couple of weeks ago.
The Strain stars Corey Stall as CDC employee Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, who teams up with a Holocaust survivor and pawnshop owner to investigate the outbreak of bloodsuckers. The rest of the cast includes Miz Maestro, Kevin Durand, Franz Capra, Sean Astin, Robert Maillet, Ben Hyland, Jonathan Hyde, and Richard Sammel. We’ll be waiting a while to see all these guys in action, though, as The Strain isn’t set to premiere until July 2014.
If you haven’t read the novels yet, take a peek at this here book trailer.