Warning: Spoilers follow!
On The Strain this week, we see the vampire hunters Abe, Eph, Jim and Nora join forces with rat-killer/badass New Yorker Fet (Kevin Durand). Also, although many viewers may have a personal vendetta against the betrayer Jim, the tragic scene of his death was undoubtedly emotional.
Fet brings a light sense of humour we haven’t seen before in The Strain with this episode,titled “Creatures of the Night”, delivering some great one-liners. Even within the horror genre, an element of complementary comic relief can make the series slightly more amusing amidst usually grim overtones.
The epidemic is at full-on panic stage as pretty much everyone is now aware of the disasters that face them when encountering an infected. Abe and the gang meet Fet while looting for a UV light, that when directed at the vampires would simulate sunlight and burn their skin. This seems a good idea, but surely only useful short term.
When Abe, Jim, Nora, Eph and now Fet are trapped in the gas station (petrol station in the UK), they meet a few new people, some even directly involved in the vampire apocalypse. For example rock chick, mega-hacker Dutch Velders (Ruta Gedmintas) is there, and starts to regret making all the computers in New York break down. This scene (when the infected attack) really builds up tension, using every imaginable technique possible in creating a horror show.
The traumatising use of dramatic music, jerky editing and disjointed camera shots have the viewer’s hearts thumping back and forth. The special effects department have brought even more gore than ever with a serious amount of lifelike heads rolling around the place, but I particularly liked the use of an off-colour grey/red blood, reminding the audience there is no element of human biology left.
The makeup in this episode was also particularly disgusting when Eph pulls a worm out of a small cut on Jim’s now infected face -‘’I need tweezers, a knife and hydrogen peroxide’’. It made my skin crawl (pun most definitely intended) and eventually leads to a turning Jim’s death at the hands of Fet.
This was a bit of a shock to be honest, and showed the series’ courage to kill off one of the main characters (even if it is Jim). Much of this shock is felt through the brilliant acting of Mía Maestro as Nora in her connection to the situation, which was enough to bring a tear to any eye.
Meanwhile, Abe gives his team (and the viewers) little snippets of knowledge about the infected, slowly revealing more and more about them. This week he states “in one month they will be fully mature”, which means they are getting smarter and surely will lead to more trouble. I was particularly interested in the mention of ‘the chosen ones’ – the hierarchy of the infected (one of which is Eichorst) – and this opens up a few questions about who is chosen and why.
Luckily they escape by majestically blowing up the gas station, but now they have to deal with the vendetta the Master has against them, and being honest, they don’t stand much of a chance…
While “Creatures of the Night” was good, not much really happens except for Jim’s death due to the stagnant setting. We’re still awaiting more about the Master and the mysterious cloaked figures from last week’s “For Services Rendered”; a wait which will hopefully be satisfied next week.
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