Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / The Strain (TV series)

Go To

  • Compared to more romanticized depictions of vampires in fiction, the vampires in this show are portrayed more on the lines of Eldritch Abominations with their proboscis-like appendages they use to kill their victims and copious amounts of Body Horror.
  • Special regard to the Master himself, who is strong enough to crush a man's skull in a single blow and speaks in a truly demonic voice, all the while keeping his face hidden under a cloak.
  • Advertisement:
  • Special mentions should go to the virus itself and how it works. Basically, you can become a vampire two ways: You either are attacked and bitten by a vampire, which results in a potentially painful, slow transformation, or you are come into contact with one of the lovely little parasitic worms that transmit the virus. The worm will quickly and painfully bite its way through your skin, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. In either case, there is absolutely nothing you can do to cure yourself or anyone else of the virus once they are infected.
  • The brutal death of Peter Bishop in the first episode at the hands of the Master. He gets the blood drained out of him, his neck snapped, and then has his head literally smashed in by the Master with just a few slams of his palm. The next episode opens up with the discovery of his body and a lingering shot of the wreckage of brain and blood that was his skull.
  • Advertisement:
  • The death of Ephraim's mortician friend, Dr. Bennett. While performing autopsies on the seemingly dead airline passengers and noting all the abnormalities in their bodies, he notices one of their hearts begins beating... while outside of its chest. He inspects closer and is attacked by worms inside the heart, one of them succeeding in burrowing under his skin. He manages to get it out only to immediately be Eaten Alive by the revived, dissected airline passengers. All the while "Sweet Caroline" plays in the background.
  • Eichhorst's true face is immensely disturbing.
    • The Master's face is even worse than Eichhorst's (for some anyway).
  • Gabriel Bolivar's genitalia falling off.
  • The autopsy of the vampirized Captain Doyle Redfern combines this with Nausea Fuel.
  • Eichhorst's method of feeding. He keeps a guy chained up in a room, and when he wants a snack... He just winches the chain in (while his victim is screaming, moaning and pleading to "Just kill me already!") until the guy's head is basically on a chopping block, then drinks his blood while stroking the guy's forehead. Brr.
  • Advertisement:
  • Eph and Nora's impromptu surgery on Jim's face - and it's even more awful when they realize it didn't work.
  • The Master crushing Abe's hands in a flashback.
  • Eichhorst being turned. The Master slowly slices his arm open with a fingernail while Eichhorst screams in pain, and then inserts a very long worm into the cut.
  • How Kelly is turned. Eye Scream and Squick aplenty. In the middle of fighting off an infected Matt - with the blades from a blender, no less, she's attacked by one of his worms which wriggles into her eye. We're next treated to a lovely lingering shot of the worm making itself at home. After turning, she promptly goes and eats her friend and her friend's young son.
    • The scene where she meets a fellow vampire in the alley is supremely creepy, mainly because of the inhuman movements the other chap makes while turning his head.
  • The scenes of Abe, Eph, Nora and Fet crawling through a tiny, tight tunnel in the vampires' lair. It's even worse with Fet because he gets stuck while vampires are crawling up after him.
  • In a more mundane variation of terror, there's Setrakian's Unstoppable Rage after the Master escapes from his grasp. It can be genuinely disturbing to see the calm and collected old man explode into homicidal rage, shouting and screaming incoherent threats as he smashes the Master's coffin apart in rage.
  • Any time UV light and someone infected are put together. Not only do we get all the Squick of seeing a worm crawling under their skin, but there's almost always dozens.
  • How the Ancients feed: Basically, it consists of a naked man being chained up in the middle of their chamber. Not only do the Ancients feed on him with their stingers, they slash him with their claws. What's particularly horrifying about this scene is that Setrakian and Gus, both of whom are badass vampire killers, have to watch from the sidelines, completely powerless to intervene.
  • How horrifyingly hideous as the Master already was, the sunlight induced damage is even worse.
    • The flashback to the Master taking Yusef Sardu's body as his own. The process involves biting him with his stinger, forcing him to eat coffin dirt with vampire worms in it, and then vomiting thousands of them into his face.
  • Eichhorst greeting a group of blind children and their (also blind) teacher, and luring them inside the factory to be converted into Feelers. Particularly chilling when one remembers that Eichhorst used to be in charge of a Nazi death camp, so luring defenseless children to their doom is nothing new to him.
    • Eichhorst introducing vamp!Kelly to the Feelers, as she is to be their new guardian. She proceeds to examine them tenderly... And then suddenly and brutally snaps the necks of those who were not blind from birth. Remember, these are child vampires, so it's extra horrific.
      • Not to mention how fast the little buggers move. You thought the full grown vamps were scary? Oh, just you wait. At least one review website has called them "The Creepiest Things On TV".
  • The massacre outside the New York Federal Reserve in "Silver Angel" is actually pretty terrifying.
  • Fet and the vampire in the wall. Gah! Especially when he kills it and you get a nice long close-up of its face peering through the hole.
  • Vaun's apparent death by burning, as Palmer uses UV lights to herd him and his team into a pit in the floor completely surrounded by the same lights. He can only scream at Gus to run, as he knows he can't escape. The scenes of the vampires writhing in agony makes it that much worse.
  • Eichhorst's attempt to rape and eat Dutch.
  • The blood factory seen in the Season 2 finale. It's not even in action yet, but the meat hooks, cages, and floor drains give a pretty terrifying glimpse of what's to come.
  • The Season 3 premiere gives us Navy SEALs descending into the tunnels under New York. At first they have little problem, but then they're attacked by the Master via Hell Is That Noise
    • In the same episode Gus feeding his infected and turned mother with his own blood. Crosses directly into Tear Jerker territory.
  • The suicide bomber strigoi blowing themselves up and spreading their worms everywhere in 3x04.
  • The Season 3 finale, "The Fall", ends with the Master's nuke destroying the Statue of Liberty, the resulting cloud of dust and ash blocking out the sun. The last shot of the season is hordes of strigoi, now unhindered by the light, swarming the streets of the city. Even worse? Zach was the one to detonate it out of spite at his father.
  • Season 4 is full of chilling Holocaust imagery, people gradually trained to live with fewer and fewer rights and comforts, until they are reduced to caged lifestock and drained in industrial quantities, while the number of collaborators temporarily benefiting from the system are gradually fed into it, step by step.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: