Toward the end of Hotel’s second episode, Iris (Kathy Bates) fills in John (Wes Bentley) about the history of the hotel’s creator, James Patrick March (Evan Peters), who built the Hotel Cortez as a “monument to excess and opulence, where he could satisfy his own peculiar appetites”. This is presumably and fittingly a comparison to series creator Ryan Murphy, and co-creator Brad Falchuk.
Ryan Murphy’s horror-comedy anthology series on Fox, Scream Queens, has cast its first two major leads. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Emma Roberts and Jamie Lee Curtis have been cast, but details on their characters are currently being kept under wraps. Roberts has had experience working in the genre on Murphy’s American Horror Story and …
American Horror Story: Freak Show has been making campy nods towards a variety of horror cliches throughout the season’s first three episodes, and “Edward Mordrake (Part Two)” points towards a new subset of the genre—torture porn. Even the most gruesome moments of the previous episodes carry a comic, winking touch to them that keeps them light (without allowing for a few chills). However, in “(Part Two),” the humor is replaced by a noticeably sadistic streak that’s neither as fun nor as scary as the previous tone.
Despite having a premise that would appear to push the high camp of this season even further, “Edward Mordrake (Part 1)” features some of the most touching and genuinely emotional moments seen in the season thus far. Though the elements of camp are certainly still present, “Mordrake” sees the season moving into more emotionally resonant territory.
It may be more true in horror than in any other genre that certain subgenres ebb and flow in popularity over time. Vampires were hot in the mid-’90s when you had Interview with the Vampire, From Dusk Till Dawn, Blade and the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Then, vampires sat out of popular discourse for the next ten years or so, until the double whammy of Twilight and True Blood hitting in 2008, causing a tidal wave of vampiric fiction from the arty (Only Lovers Left Alive, Byzantium) to the schlocky (Dracula Untold, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter) that hasn’t slowed down since.
Despite the somewhat stately pace of the season premiere “Monsters Among Us,” the sheer inanity of the action happening onscreen created an off-the-wall vibe. Whether it was the special talents afforded by Jimmy’s syndactyly, Ethel’s beard and bizarre accent, or Elsa singing a song that wasn’t released until 20 years after the show’s setting, Murphy and Falchuk made it clear that, in true “freak show” fashion, spectacle would be given precedent over logic. In this week’s episode, “Massacres and Matinees,” the bonkers factor is raised a notch, as is the fun.
The fourth season of American Horror Story starts off with a stunning cold open amidst a quaint farmhouse. After stumbling upon a gruesome crime scene, a milkman makes an even more shocking discovery in a rural home. It’s difficult to remember an episode of AHS in which the camera work is so effective as it is here. “Monsters Among Us,” directed by show creator Ryan Murphy, prefers to keep things hidden off-screen, and rather than show the audience what it is, we instead get a series of gasps, startling sound effects and a series shots that are framed to hide the dark mystery. “Monsters Among Us” keeps viewers guessing until after the spectacular opening credits before it pulls the curtain up on conjoined twins Dot and Bette Tattler. Ever playful, Murphy’s visuals are also concealing, and yet telling.
The digital age has changed television dramatically within the past two decades. With the advent of cable channels, home video media, dish on demand and the internet, the average TV viewer has a variety of venues to access television programs. With all these ways to access television shows, the viewing audience has become more aware …
For the second year running and for its final season, Breaking Bad won Outstanding Drama Series at the 66th Annual Emmy Awards. It virtually swept the awards in an especially stacked year, also picking up awards for Best Actor Bryan Cranston, Best Supporting Actress Anna Gunn, Best Supporting Actor Aaron Paul, and Best Writing for …
As Joseph Heller wrote in Catch-22, “Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.” The Strain is difficult to categorize. The cynical part of me thinks it was born mediocre and I’ve just been expecting too much from it. Perhaps this was always where we would end up, with Holocaust flashbacks and a sense that this isn’t what we signed up for.
We live in a burgeoning era of horror television. American Horror Story will begin its fourth season in the fall, and The Walking Dead will start its fifth. Penny Dreadful just finished an excellent debut season, and Netflix’s Hemlock Grove just put up its second season. True Blood, Supernatural, Bates Motel, Sleepy Hollow, Grimm. And of course, the most horrifying show currently on television, Hannibal. Horror is all over our TV screens, but if there’s one person who deserves their shot at it (presuming David Lynch isn’t interested), it’s Guillermo del Toro.
It wasn’t a big surprise that Stevie Nicks would kick off the final episode of American Horror Story: Coven, since Ryan Murphy had reported that the White Witch would appear in two episodes this season. The images of Nicks spinning through Miss Robichaux’s Academy while lip-syncing to her Fleetwood Mac hit “Seven Wonders”, left me realizing something important: Coven may be the weakest of American Horror Story’s first three seasons, but this season boasts the best cast – and I’m actually going to miss most of Coven’s characters. With Douglas Petrie helming the script and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon directing, tonight’s episode, appropriately titled “The Seven Wonders”, is a strong finish to an uneven but always entertaining season. The reveal of the next Supreme comes not without a price, as some witches die this time around, and never to return.
American Horror Story, Season 3, Episode 11: “Go To Hell” Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Written by Jessica Sharzer Airs Wednesdays at 10:00 PM on FX “Go to Hell,” the penultimate episode of Coven, ramps up the action, piles on the blood, closes off a few story-lines, and says goodbye to a few characters in a manner …
American Horror Story, Season 3, Episode 11: “Protect The Coven” Directed by Bradley Buecker Written by Jennifer Salt Airs Wednesdays at 10:00 PM on FX With only two episodes left in American Horror Story season three, I fear it is little too late, to elevate Coven past the quality of the Asylum and Murder House. …
American Horror Story, Season 3, Episode 10: “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks” Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Written by James Wong Airs Wednesdays at 10:00 PM on FX American Horror Story: Coven makes a solid return for the second half of their season, featuring not one, but two guest stars. After nine instalments of …
17. American Horror Story (FX- tie) With the climactic final four episodes of Asylum and the entertaining first nine of Coven, American Horror Story has had a diverse year, to say the least. Asylum wrapped up its exploration of health care, religion, and power and Coven dove in head-first with looks at gender roles, aging, …
American Horror Story, Ep.3.08: “The Sacred Taking” – disappointing, although the actresses work their own magic
American Horror Story: Coven returns from its brief Thanksgiving hiatus with “The Sacred Taking,” a disappointing instalment lacking in the urgency and pace of previous episodes.
American Horror Story, Ep.3.07: “The Dead” stumbles over vexing questions of race and gender politics
It only took seven episodes, but American Horror Story: Coven finally injects a bit of three-way necrophilia. New alliances are formed and bonds are broken, as opposing forces and clashing personalities collide. “The Dead” movies the plot forward with some interesting twists, but in the end, it leaves us with a few troubling questions.
Danny Huston guest stars on the sixth episode of American Horror Story: Coven, as an axe-wielding killer whose spirit is released from the dead by Zoe after communicating with him using a Ouija board. Much like Asylum, Coven is cramming in as much as they can in terms of plotting.
“Burn, Witch, Burn! deals with the fallout of last weeks climax which saw Cordelia blinded, when assaulted at a nightclub by a hooded assailant who threw sulphuric acid in her face. Meanwhile, Marie Leveau’s army of dead storm Miss Robichaux’s Academy. The fifth installment of Coven is immersed in the guilt of cruel mothers. LaLaurie is forced to come to terms with the pain and suffering she inflicted on her own daughters who rise from their graves, and Fiona feels responsible for Delia’s attack. On top of all this, two witches display new unexpected powers as Zoe manages to break Laveau’s spell and defeat her zombie army with only a few words, and Delia receives a startling clairvoyant vision of her husband’s murderous and cheating ways.
If there’s one week in which a series entitled American Horror Story simply has to deliver the goods, it’s the one containing All Hallow’s Eve. In that respect, “Fearful Pranks Ensue” falls a little short, particularly if one expected it to step up the freakiness and/or gore quotient. Actually, as it turns out, it belongs to a entirely different sort of tradition: the time-honored transitional episode. Only in its closing moments does it threaten to take its genre elements to the next level of nutty.
The best decision show-runners Ryan Muprhy and Brad Falchuk ever made, was to write each season of American Horror Story as a self-contained miniseries. In following a different set of characters and settings, and a storyline with its own beginning, middle, and end, American Horror Story continues to reinvent itself each and every year. Unlike AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead, which is still chasing its own tail, Coven’s revival of classic horror tropes mixed with campy erotic-horror excess seems fresh, even when familiar.
Just two episodes in and this season of American Horror Story is already a wicked melange of body horror, black magic and female empowerment. Two major themes prominent so far, are that of resurrection and science versus magic. But Coven is essentially a story about a group of women desperately trying to remain relevant in an ever changing world.