American Horror Story Review

Going into the pilot episode of American Horror Story, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d seen a few commercials and decided to give it a try.  The result… Well… I’m still not sure. Which I don’t think is entirely a good thing or a bad thing. So here’s a short recap of the first part of the episode to give you a general idea.

Alright, the show begins in 1978 with the Weasley twins a set of twin red-headed boys going into the house. A young girl with Down Syndrome is standing in the yard of the house. She tells the boys they’re going to die if they go inside but they tell her to shut up and that they’ve got baseball bats. Fair enough.

The twins go on a rampage through the abandoned house, breaking everything in sight. They end up in the basement where they discover shelves filled with body parts of people and babies. One of the twins gets freaked and starts to leave but when his brother doesn’t follow and he hears a strange noise he goes back. He finds his brother, bloody and dying. A strange monster lunges and the boys are (presumably) killed just as the girl predicted.

FLASH: Now we’re in modern times, a woman, Vivienne, is at her Ob/Gyn who is suggesting she take hormones, she’s not so sure about this but she just wants her body to go back to normal after a horrible miscarriage some months earlier. Her doctor asks her ‘What are you afraid of?’ (hinthintnudgenudge fear is important). She heads home and hears strange noises where she discovers her husband having an affair with one of his students.

FLASH: The family is in the car heading off and away. They’re leaving Boston to start a new life and forget the troubles of Boston. We meet the couple’s daughter Violet, who proves to be just a ray of hormonal sarcastic teenage fun. They go to tour an old Victorian style home that is just a steal pricewise only to learn it’s so cheap because the last owners (implied gay couple) died in a murder/suicide. Violet loves this detail and with her approval the house is bought.

From here things progress into madness. There’s a great story here, the shattered family at their weakest moment being confronted by an evil force, but I think the entire show viewed like a trailer. It had all kinds of very interesting snippets but nothing was fleshed out. I understand this is the first episode but horror really needs well developed characters and I think the family is weakly established.

Now, I was a little insulted by this film which bragged about being so smart and sexy. I felt like a smart, interesting was thrown out the window in favor of flashes of flesh, blood and weird shit. The story became totally secondary for the visuals and I felt that the main characters really suffered for that. I really didn’t care about the family, and their problems, I never got a chance to become invested in them because OMG LOOK AT THIS WEIRD THING OVER THERE AND BLOOD AND A GIMP SUIT AND THE MAID IS HOT BUT NOW SHE’S OLD AND THEN THERE’S THIS BURNED UP DUDE AND SOME NEIGHBORS AND THIS PAITENT THAT WANTS TO BONE THE DAUGHTER AND THIS THING IN THE BASEMENT AND OMG FIRE AND OMG NAKED MAN BUTT! Really, give me some credit. Horror is not really built very well by a lack of cohesion. Yes disjointed stories can and do work, but the disjointing has to work and I don’t feel like this did.

Maybe it was titled American Horror Story because it represents the American’s ability to focus, Okay… horror show…oh that was gross… oh Hot maid, yeah! Oh, who was that? Wait, where are they? Whoa, who was that? Hey hot maid again! Dude, naked man butt? Can they show that on TV? Dude, a gimp suit? Did they borrow that from Pulp fiction? Oh, old creepy maid! OH, she’s pregnant? It’s probably a gimp demon baby.  And so on and so forth.

Right  now I feel like I am getting 800 pieces of a puzzle thrown at me through a snow blower. They’re falling and flying everywhere and I can’t grab a hold of one long enough to see what it connects to. But I want to. And that is what is so frustrating. I feel like there are good bones to American Horror Story but they are being covered up with so much other crap and trying to make it edgy. American Horror Story? Here’s a hint. That’s not scary.

Will I be tuning in next week? Yes. I’m curious, and I’m rooting for this show. I want it to succeed.

You can watch the trailer for American Horror Story here: 

American Horror Story plays on Wednesdays at 10pm on FX. 

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3 Comments »

  1. Draven Ames Said:

    I feel about the same way you do. The whole show had promise, but there was so much weird stuff thrown around. It was hard to understand the whole old lady, young lady routine. The whole thing has a very Twin Peaks feel, but we are coming back for more. We are hoping it can get better. It has promise.

    ~Draven

    • Yes, I will be watching again on Wednesday because I really want to like it and I think the potential is there for something incredible. Right now it’s just buried under piles of other stuff.

  2. Hey, came across your blog through Draven Ames blog. I watched this show last night and I too really don’t know what to think about it. It was…weird. But I love the concept. I decided to give it three episodes (I hear we get the back stories of the maid and the crazy neighbor in ep 3 which I’m interested to hear). But like Draven said, it does have an interesting Twin Peaks feel.

    Glad I stopped by. I always like finding new blogs to follow. Let us bloggers know if there are any other interesting shows to check out.

    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/


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