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The online journal of Vermont filmmaker, Bill Simmon.

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Get your vampire on

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 by billsimmon in apocalypse now, Emily, horror, vampires! | 0 Comments

I just finished reading The Strain, the first book in a new horror trilogy by Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro and co-writer Chuck Hogan. This series was made specifically for Emily — it’s an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic vampire/plague story featuring an epidemiologist as the lead character. It’s basically Emily crack cocaine (she just started it last night).

It’s a far from perfect piece of fiction. The writing is a bit heavy handed. For example, everything that happens in the book — solar eclipse, rat infestation, sunset, bad cell coverage — is dripping with ominous portent and is somehow a metaphor for death. Also, there really aren’t any good female characters — the one woman on the vamp-killing team not only spends most of her time supporting the main character (with whom she has some romantic confusion, natch), she actually stays home taking care of his son while the fight with the Big Bad happens!

Still, as the pages kept turning, I found myself drawn in. The book is basically set up — the first act, as the infestation takes hold. The Big Bad is pretty great and the way vampirism works in this world is well-thought out.

There isn’t anything earth-shatteringly new here, but it’s pretty great popcorn fiction and no doubt destined for the big screen, so check it out if vampires and pandemics are your bag.

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