I first heard about this beauty of a TV show from a friend. She knew how much I love horror and she told me it was a “must-watch”. She told me it was kind of more disturbing than scary though- I had no idea just how bloody disturbing it would be (see what I did thar? Yeah, lame, I know) .
So the first season, titled American Horror Story: Murder House, centers around a family who’ve moved in to a house with a dark past. The family consists of Ben Harmon, a psychiatrist, Vivien, his wife, and their angsty, depressed, teenage daughter Violet. As the season goes on, you see the family meet the house’s past inhabitants (yes, in the form of vengeful ghosts). Equally as creepy as the house’s former tenants, though, are the neighbours, who sporadically show up unannounced at their house. One of the neighbours is the alcoholic, Constance Langdon, who’s played by the former golden girl, Jessica Lange.
Long Story Short: a lot of messed up s*** happens in the house whilst the Harmons are there, but the series also takes you through all the messed up s*** that happened before the Harmons got there. The origins of the haunted house unravel over the 12 episodes of the season, and despite all the gore and horror, there is a happy ending.
In case there’s any confusion (which there was with me), this is an anthology series. So the second season has a completely different setting, with different characters, despite some of the actors being carried over from the first season. There is no relation between the story-line in the second season and the story line in the first season. The second season, titled American Horror Story: Asylum, is set in an, you guessed it, asylum. The mental institution is run by the church, and when a journalist, Lana Winters, comes in to write an exposé on the gross abuse of human rights within the institution, all sorts of devilish things begin to happen. If you think One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was bad, try multiplying the mistreatment of patients by 100. Jessica Lange plays Sister Jude, who runs the mental institution. Whilst she didn’t do much for me in the first series, she absolutely blows me away with her performance in this series.
Long Story Short: Lana Winters goes inside to write an exposé, encounters a whole bunch of messed up s***, including a serial killer with SERIOUS mummy issues, and a former Nazi doctor doing ghastly experiments on patients. A lot of people die, and just when you think all hope is lost, the series surprises you. Oh, and just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, there’s aliens involved too.
The third series is currently airing, and it’s titled American Horrror Story: Coven. Yep, you guessed it again, it’s about witches. But honestly, the first episode of this series was possibly the most messed up thing I’ve seen in this series to date. If that poster looks seductive to you, well then I guess it did its job in portraying the feel of the entire series. It’s sexual, but in a not-quite-right way.
Long Story Short: I’m not sure if I like this season yet, but it’s kind of got me hooked. So far, in two episodes, we’ve seen rape, torture, and lots of bloody murder. It has successfully held on to my attention, and I’m anxious to see what happens next. Also, my favourite actors from the first two series are in it (Jessica Lange, the guy who plays Tate in the first series, the chick who plays Violet in the first series, the chick who plays Lana Winters in the second series, and the chick who plays the quiet nun girl in the second series).
Anyway, hopefully I’ve sparked some sort of curiosity in you to watch this series. I can assure you the series goes much deeper than just gore and bloodshed. It delves in to the darker side of human nature and perhaps that’s why so many find it unsettling to watch. It’s like looking in to a mirror and seeing the worst possible side of yourself.