1st freaky promo for del Toro's new FX vamp horror series The Strain

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Dec 3, 2013, 9:51 AM EST

After scoring a hit with American Horror Story, FX is doubling down on freaky with Guillermo del Toro’s vampire horror series The Strain — and here’s our first bizarre peek.

A strange, found-footage-style promo showed up in the latest episode of The Walking Dead, showing off a bunch of rats scaring people and assembling in different areas. The footage was held together with the minuscule tagline text “HE IS HERE.”

The clip was, honestly, pretty weird and confusing — but now we know what it’s all about. The footage was the first viral promo for The Strain, based on the book trilogy of the same name by del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The network has ordered an initial 13-episode season, with Carlton Cuse (Lost) signed on as showrunner.

The story is a dark, gritty twist on the vampire genre, focusing on a CDC doctor who gets caught up in an ancient evil while investigating some mysterious deaths on an airplane. The series will star Corey Stoll, Sean Astin, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Mia Maestro and Jonathan Hyde.

Here’s the synopsis for the book trilogy, which does a good job of setting the stakes:

A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.

In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing…

So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city--a city that includes his wife and son--before it is too late.

The series is expected to debut in July 2014. Will you be watching?

(Via JoBlo)