Friday, July 25, 2014

Round Two: The Strain

The Strain: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Box” (B)

I’ll start off by noting that people biting into other people’s necks without warning and snakes crawling out of dead kids’ mouths to attack their parents is not my cup of tea. But like “The X-Files,” the horror here is presented in a very literal way. Nothing jumps out to scare you, but what’s going on is truly terrifying. The structure of the plot is actually quite competent, offering up just the right amount of nonsense to mix with serious stuff. I’m very pleased with the score, which helps to set and sustain the mood, ensuring that this thriller doesn’t let up, constantly keeping its viewers at the edge of their seats even if someone isn’t about to be brutally murdered by an unspeakable entity. While Ephram is busy trying to make sure that he doesn’t lose custody and still remains his son’s dad, he’s not quite focused enough on the work at hand, though his baffled reaction to a phone call from a father reporting that his dead daughter came home was understandable. We got a much more direct look than I expected at the Master, and even got to hear him talk. I guess it is important to have a physical, literal villain, and we can expect more of that going forward, especially with Gabriel’s unexpected act of vampirism. I finally recognized Leslie Hope of “24” fame with long hair as Dr. Luss, who really should consider the offer of staying under quarantine given her visions. Kevin Durand is a perfect fit to play Vasiliy Fet, the all-too-eager health inspector who sure knows how to hold a dead rat for maximum effectiveness.

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