Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week of Reel Whorror!: Who Wants a Clean House?! - Day 7

Happy Halloween Stargazers! As you may have noticed it's Day 7 of the Week of Reel Whorror!, but the last post was only Day 5. Make no attempts to adjust your PC. That post, much like the Freelings' home, and my grandiose plans and good intentions has imploded, never to be seen in our realm. Not one to dwell over spilt milk, or in houses of evil, I am moving on to wrap this domicile-centric endeavor with the premier of a show worth watching, whether it's Halloween or not.

American Horror Story, Season 1

Premiered: 10.05.11
Channel: FX

Full Price

I had my misgivings with the first season of American Horror Story right from the start. It seemed they were trying to cram too many different types of horror into one seemingly innocuous Los Angeles home. I usually give a show three episodes, and by Murder House, the only things that kept me from moving on was Jessica Lange's wonderfully bigoted and hate-filled performance, the promise of yet another delightfully twisted character portrayed by True Blood's Denis O'Hare, and the undeniable allure of seeing Alexandra Breckenridge slinking around in a naughty maid's outfit. Let me tell you just how thankful I am for those three things, especially the latter.

Somehow I made it to the episode Piggy Piggy due to the continued promise of fun guest appearances like Eric Stonestreet, Alessandra Torresani, and Mena Suvari. It was with that sixth episode I realized the show would only last six more episodes, and decided to see where this strange mesh of horror cliches and sadistic characters would lead.

Boy am I glad I decided to maintain residence with the Harmon's a little longer. Each episode got a little darker, the acting of Taissa Farmiga, Evan Peters and Connie Britton had drawn me in. Lange was getting nastier and more mesmerizing with every episode, and I found myself calculating all the possibilities of where it would lead.

AHS hit the final turn with Smoldering Children and turned everything on its head. Even me, with my vast years of television and movie watching was thrown for a loop. I found myself wishing I had waited to watch AHS on DVD; not because it had grown dull, but so I could immediately jump into the next episode. Instead I had to wait and wait for two more whole weeks for the ever darkening conclusion.

In the end, I was mostly satisfied and a little disturbed by it all. I fretted the second season would return for more of the same in the dreary home, particularly when I heard Jessica Lange and Evan Peters, among others, would be returning. I was relieved to hear the setting had changed to an asylum for season 2, though I was concerned it would be more of the same monsters lurking in dark corners. Two episodes in and I am already floored by Lange's Sister Jude, and while the walls are coated with tons more horror cliches, I can't wait to see how they flow together.

If you've not seen Season 1 of American Horror Story, do what I did not give myself the opportunity to do; rent or buy the DVD and plow through the episodes one after another. Unlike going to live in the Murder House, you won't regret it.

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