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  • AHS Hotel

    First ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ trailer is short by stylish

    After releasing a set of creepy teaser videos, FX has dropped the first trailer for American Horror Story: Hotel, the latest iteration of Ryan Murphy’s twisted AHS anthology series. Unfortunately, the trailer isn’t much longer than the previous teasers, running a brief 30 seconds long. As they do with every season, FX has turned out […] More

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    Glee: A Study in Imperfection, Optimism, and Hope

    Glee is, above all, a completely unique pop artifact. When it burst onto the television and music scenes in 2009, it seemed like a truly terrible idea. Television musicals had been attempted before, of course, but never successfully, and it seemed as though Glee was just riding the waves of successful Disney Channel products like High […] More

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    American Horror Story, Ep. 4.08: “Blood Bath” picks up the pace

    After the somewhat languid pacing of American Horror Story: Freak Show in the season’s first half, this week’s aptly titled episode “Blood Bath” kicks things into another gear. Though Twisty’s death felt unexpected and climactic (despite occurring only five episodes into the season), the clown’s untimely departure now appears relatively inconsequential compared to this week’s events.

    The cold open hints at the episode’s overall trajectory. As Gloria sits on a couch recounting Dandy’s troubled childhood, the viewer gets a stronger sense of just how twisted her son is. While the show always made it clear that he was far from a normal child, the images of him preparing to cut a young girl’s hair off and the discussion of him murdering a cat leave no doubt about his problems. As I’ve talked about extensively in earlier reviews, subtlety has never been Freak Show’s aesthetic goal, but Murphy goes out of his way in the scene to emphasize Dandy’s depravity. Though it feels a bit over the top, it does jibe with the episode’s bloody conclusion. More

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    American Horror Story, Ep. 4.02: “Massacres and Matinees” proves the fun of camp

    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. More

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    American Horror Story, Ep. 4.01: “Monsters Among Us” fascinating, repulsive, and oddly touching

    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. More

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    Watch the trailer for old school slasher ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’ remake

    From Blumhouse Pictures and American Horror Story producer Ryan Murphy comes the trailer for the long gestating re-imagining of 1976’s cult classic The Town That Dreaded Sundown. The pseudo-remake/sequel hybrid is directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who are both frequent collaborators on Murphy’s Glee and AHS. The new version of The Town […] More

  • The Normal Heart

    ‘The Normal Heart’ hits all the right notes

    When it comes to gripping and powerful films, HBO knows what they’re doing. Though they are TV movies, they actually feel like big Hollywood productions and often times, they are. Big name stars, expert directors, and brilliant screenplays are what comprise an HBO film these days and this is fortunate for the viewer because they are in for truly quality films. The extremely sobering The Normal Heart continues this trend of excellent filmmaking and the results are just divine. More

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