As far as movie violence, gore, and degradation go, I have a rather high tolerance. It takes something pretty spectacular and out of the ordinary to really make me cringe—most of The Human Centipede just made me laugh. That tongue scene in the Evil Dead reboot is rough to watch, but the one thing that always, without fail, makes my skin crawl and elicits a tormented “gaaahh!” is eye trauma. Something about watching bad things happen to eyeballs—from the razor blade in Un chien andalou to the wood splinter in Zombi—strikes a particularly unsettling chord. If you have similar aversions, you may want to skip this new teaser for Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain because it will most likely give you the heebie-jeebies.
This video, aptly called “Pupil,” may only be eleven seconds long, but damn if it isn’t creepy. When your TV show is about a plague that turns everyone on the island of Manhattan into an approximation of bloodthirsty vampires, creepy is probably the exact effect you’re going for.
Earlier promos for the upcoming FX horror show have focused on an eclipse, and if you’re paying attention to the pupil before that nasty clear worm burrows into it, you’ll notice that you can see such a celestial event reflected back at you. I have no idea how an eclipse is going to figure into the action of The Strain, but if this much time has been spent on the subject, you can bet it will play a prominent role.
Based on the series of books by del Toro and writing partner Chuck Hogan, The Strain tells the story of an outbreak in New York that has all of the “hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism.” That’s never good. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of a Centers for Disease Control Canary Team, and his crew get called up to investigate, and hopefully eradiate, the disease before it spreads and really gets out of control.
All of the pieces, as well as all the eerie promotion we’ve seen, makes The Strain look like an exciting horror thriller that we can’t wait to get our grubby little mitts on. There’s still some time to go before FX debuts the series in July, but that sounds less and less far away every day.
Carlton Cuse (Lost) will be the showrunner on the 13-episode series, and beyond Stoll, the cast features Sean Astin, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Mia Maestro, Jonathan Hyde, and Francis Capra. The Strain will premiere at the ATX Television Festival in June, but we don’t know exactly when it will drop for the rest of us, but we’ll keep you posted. As soon as we know anything, we’ll let you know.