A Horror Story, American Style

A while ago, I decided that I wanted to watch American Horror Story. It’s been around for about a year now, but I never really watched it. If you know me well, you know that until this year, I watched very few movies. It’s not that I didn’t like watching movies, it’s the fact that I always had something better that I wanted to do with my time.

But because I’ve been watching a lot of movies this year (a mixture between wanting something to do to relax me after a long week at school and taking classes that made me more aware of media around me), I’ve begun to dig around for movies and t.v. shows that I’ve always meant to watch but never did.

American Horror Story is one of those shows. I knew it was going to have a dark, creepy feel to it, but I didn’t expect the Pilot episode to have quite the intensity that it presented. From what I understand of the first episode, there is this little old mansion in Los Angeles (I don’t know if it’s on the outskirts or in the thick of it, but there you have it) that has had several owners, none of them lasting long. We get a hint of what happens to some of the people who dare go into the building, but we aren’t giving the full story. It then fast forewords to present day when a couple and their daughter purchase the house in order to start a new life. The wife had had a miscarriage and had caught the husband having sex with a teenager, but still decides to move across the country with her husband in order to have a second chance. The girl, feeling on the outskirts as her parents’ marriage disintegrates, begins to cut herself and smoke.

As the episode goes on, you begin to realize that things aren’t what they seem in this new home of theirs. Strange things begin to happen. The neighbor’s mentally ill daughter is able to magically get into the house even when the doors are locked, the maid seems like an old lady to the wife and daughter but a young, sexy woman to the husband, a strange half-burnt man that follows the husband around, strange clown-like figures and psychotic boys.

By the time the episode ended an hour later, I was shell shocked. So many things kept jumping out at me, keeping me on my toes, tense and ready for the next strange event to happen. I think that was the producers and directors’ intent. Put you in a strange, emotional overload so that everything seems to be a downward spiral into insanity. They want you to feel confused as if you were right in the middle of the show with them, wondering what in the world has just happened. It’s almost like a Stephen King novel, where everything isn’t what it seems, that the oddities keep building and building until insanity breaks through and challenges you to question what is real and what is fiction.

I’m interested in seeing the rest of season 1. I want to know who all these myriad of characters are and why they’re here. More importantly, is the new family coming out of it alive? Less sane, perhaps, but alive and doing well? From the last line of “Don’t make me kill you again,” I don’t think life is going to get much better for this American family. I’ll just have to tune into the next episode and sink back down into the next American Horror Story.

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