Fear, Infection and the Aftermath: Del Toro’s The Strain and Its Violent Vampires
Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain Trilogy offers an explicit commentary on the events of 9/11 and their aftermath. By examining it closely, Wilkins unpacks a specific cross-cultural approach to the events of 9/11, through del Toro’s non-US and Hogan’s US background. This allows for a wider discussion of how 9/11 is presented in culture, and particularly, literature. Taking into account discussions of the 9/11 literature genre, this chapter positions the texts both alongside, and outside of, the traditional 9/11 narrative, arguing that its use of the vampire as monstrous subverts, but the presentation of faith and authority conforms with other 9/11 texts. Wilkins illuminates the arguments made through a discussion of apocalypse and spirituality, concluding that The Strain correlates with a particular recent shift away from traditional forms of religion, and to a more individualised approach to faith. This is ultimately reflected in the presentation of the vampires throughout the preceding chapters of the book and within the text examined in this chapter.