Ryan Murphy, you and me need to have a talk. I’m not saying I’m ready to break up with you or anything, not yet, but you are going to have to make some changes fast.
If you haven’t seen last night’s presentation of American Horror Story — which I almost do not even want to bless with the title, American Horror Story — you really didn’t miss that much. The episode still has fans questioning the theme, there were no opening credits and most of us watching were left scratching our heads.
First, the good. The cast, as always, is amazing. I thought the addition of Adina Porter to be just a wonderful choice, as she is a talented, yet underused, actress and we all know the Twitter world was all abuzz about the appearance of Cuba Gooding Jr. on the show. Murphy’s casting is always part of the fun of American Horror Story and he didn’t disappoint this season with his new additions.
Now for the rest. So, this season did not open up with credits, but with a car commercial. Fans have still yet to see the new credits for this year. Perhaps to continue the guessing game about the exact theme of the season. This season was “inspired by true events” and presented like one of those re-enacted ghost stories you might see on the Syfy channel. Oddly enough, the cast re-enacting the events are noticeably older than the people who are actually being interviewed. This format makes the entire production seem cheaper than all previous seasons. The back and forth from the people being interviewed to the re-enacters seems like a fresh idea, but became exhausting fairly quickly. If I wanted to watch this format, I could go catch an episode of the Syfy channel’s Paranormal Witness.
This season is basically about an urban mixed-race couple who, due to some unfortunate events, decide they need a break from urban life and move out to the country. Way out to the country. Like, no neighbors and the nearest grocery store is probably miles away, country. It’s a I-don’t-have-cell-phone-service set up. They then buy what looks to be a haunted mansion that needs considerable repairs, forcing the traveling salesman husband to be gone even more than usual, leaving the wife all alone for extended periods of time. After a few incidents they chalk up to be their hillbilly neighbors who wanted to buy the house but were outbid by them, the husband asks his ex-cop painkiller-addicted sister to stay with his wife while he is out of town. (Whew! Right?) The two are not exactly friends, argue and then the Blair Witch shows up for some damn reason.
That’s right, the freaking Blair Witch. The ladies hear a noise and find little Blair Witch folk art all over the house and later outside. I seriously yelled, “Really!” at my television last night. I mean, it’s not bad enough that the hokey level was at about 10, oh no… Murphy also needed to add in a touch of plagiarism? I find that with the New Blair Witch movie opening this weekend, this was rather in bad taste. But hey… perhaps it was simply an homage. Whatever.
I can see how someone who isn’t a horror movie fan might actually enjoy this season more than the previous seasons, but that isn’t who I am. I need blood, guts and a splashy first episode. I’m not here to see American Crime Story, I’m here for American Horror Story. I haven’t completely given up on this season, not yet. I am, however, concerned about it. I haven’t seen anything frightening yet and even the set up seems tired, like it’s trying just a bit too hard and still coming up short. American Horror Story is certainly going to have to up the ante a bit to keep the attention of its most-fevered fans. That said, we all know how AHS is. It will take you one way just to go another, so I do have hope… and Murphy, back away from the Blair Witch folk art stuff as fast as you can. I’ll give this episode a 2 1/2 out of five stars, primarily for the amazing cast and their ability to pull of the most pathetic attempt at… “horror.”
American Horror Story Airs on Wednesday nights at 9pm Central on FX.