By Emma Buchman
My relationship with “American Horror Story” has been a sordid affair. For most of my life I have been horrified of anything horror, be it hokey, scary, or just plain disturbing. AHS obviously fits two out of three of these categories, so I have been hesitant to watch it since the first season aired in October 2011. However, through our strained relationship I have come to love this show, perhaps not for the reasons that I should.
One of the perks of “American Horror Story” is that the show has the chance to completely revamp itself every season. It’s almost a different show every time. Each season takes on the biggest names in horror. The first season, entitled “American Horror Story: Murder House,” follows a family who lives in a house haunted by all of the spirits that had lived and died there. Season two was called “Asylum” and took place in an asylum in 1964, where ethics were poor and Buffalo Bill-type serial killers abundant. The third season, “Coven,” followed the story of the last real coven of witches in the US, their struggle for survival, and their pension for dark magic.
However, there is one key element that links each season to the previous one: the investigation of what people find not only scary and intimidating, but also uncomfortable or unknown.
Any Dracula impersonator or ghoulish figure can elicit fear; true terror comes from that feeling of being completely at the mercy of whatever is challenging you, including your own discomfort. That is what AHS does best. They take a situation and find the most terrifying outcome to it. Then they make it even more terrifying. However, what brings the show to an even higher caliber is the writing. Creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk create a plot to fit the madness of the show. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that both men were also the creators of the TV show “Glee.”
While the show is fun to watch for horror and thriller fans, it does take some unpleasant turns (the technical kind.) Sophomore Erin Bloodgood has been following the show since it began, and sums up some of its main problems. She said, “They don’t resolve all of the things they set up in the beginning of each season. The second season was just so unresolved. There’s aliens; where do the aliens come from? Oh, well doesn’t matter. The evil doctor guy? What about him? Oh well, let’s just kill him. The only thing that resolved itself was the Dr. Threadson/Lana storyline.”
It is also apparent that Murphy and Falchuk step on their own toes when it comes to scaring their audience. Bloodgood said, “…the problem with American Horror Story is that they have so much potential and they get too focused on their weird camera angles and the ‘wow’ factor; like, ‘What can we do to make people gasp?’”
The latest season, called “Freak Show,” premiered on Oct. 8. This is the first season that I have followed as it came on the air, and I am already obsessed. Everything comes together so coherently; from the music to the actors, to the horrific homicidal clown.
Bloodgood is also enjoying the new season. She said, “I think it’s kind of odd like the other seasons. It has a lot of potential.”
I am, for once, very open to differing opinions on this matter. I encourage you to watch the show for yourself and to either agree or disagree with me as you please. Just know that Edward Mordrake is on my side.