these vampires don't sparkle. not even a little bit. and if they're playing baseball, it's probably with your head.
Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan breathe new, fetid, life into the vampires of our nightmares. i don't want to give away the specifics, but these vampires Are. Completely. Terrifying. Del Toro is a pro at bringing the supernatural into vivid, eery, disturbing life (i'm thinking particularly of Pan's Labyrinth, although the Hellboys give most comic-based horror movies a run for their money), and THE STRAIN retains all his cinematic genius. i haven't read any Chuck Hogan, so i'm not sure where his influence comes in -- i assume that the literary style (sparse, action-centric, and fast-paced, the book reads like a really well-done book-based-on-the-movie) is his, but that is really an assumption. no lightweight first installment, THE STRAIN does more than set the stage for the trilogy: it could have been a trilogy all on its own. at times predictable in plot, and with characters you'll want to periodically yell at, it's far from perfect, but it's a great addition to the horror genre and a much needed antidote to the saccharine and sexy vampire novels of late.