Monday, November 7, 2011

The Strain

So, I just finished reading The Strain by Guillermo del Toro (I love saying that name). This book is about a virus that turns people into vampires. And not the Stephanie Meyer kind, either. These bad guys definitely fall into the Stoker category. It's dark, with a few heroes up against an insurmountable task. It's scary, it's creepy, it's gross, and it's... good. Like Dracula, this story does not distract you with romance, or even comic relief. It's pure horror. It combines our fear of monsters, contagious diseases, and parasitic worms. Yes, that right. Parasitic worms. The vampires even have a snake-like appendage that comes out of their jaws to suck the blood. Oh, and if that's not foul enough for you, they shit out this white goo as they feed. I bet that would send Bella running into Jacob's arms faster than a silver bullet.

I like horror stories. The horror genre is total escapism. Even in fantasy and science fiction, you still deal with social, political, and personal issues. In horror, it's just about survival. Kill them before they kill you. Simple solutions. Maybe not always easy, but simple. We have a problem: vampires, zombies, body snatchers, what-have-you. We have a solution: kill them. Lately it seems none of our problems are simple. And our enemies aren't simple either. They are Wall Street, Republicans (or capital L Liberals, if you will), insurance companies, your neighbor with the stupid yappy dog that barks all hours of the night. This past year, people have even been so low as to suggest TEACHERS are our enemy. Jeepers. What can we do? Have we become that spoiled?

Maybe a good zombie infestation would snap Americans out of this nonsense. It's not like we are using our brains much, anyway.