Tuesday, 3 January 2012

REVIEW: American Horror Story Season 1

What happens when you take something amazing and really fuck it up? You get the first season of American Horror Story that's what.

When I began watching this, everything was in place. It had a lot of weird, freaky stuff, it mixed all those primal fears needed for a good horror; sexuality, physicality, commitment, family and the classic idea of 'home'. It was a melting pot of anything that has worked within the horror genre and it really felt like they were onto something.

However, as the series progressed it got worse and worse to the point where it was painful to watch. The main reason why is that it turned itself into a drama and slowly became void of anything scary as they constantly gave you backstory and explanations. Why did all these weird things happen? Don't leave it up to your mind to imagine what horrible things happened, leave FX and AMC to spell it out for you. They humanise absolutely everyone and everything and explain any 'secrets' of the house right away. For someone to explain constantly throughout the series why dead people come back is despairing. Also a lot of things don't make sense. Why are the ghosts all so bloody human? They have a chat, move around, argue, have a laugh and all sorts, yet what are they then doing when they are not swanning about? Want to know what's lurking in the shadows? Oh it's a scorned woman who is a bit upset and not very scary. It beggars belief, and not because it's supernatural.

I don't know why they decided to take it in the direction it went in, perhaps it's because all the Glee writers really had were ideas, and all they know how to write about is 'relationships', they lost the core to what made the series interesting, it went from a horror to a normal drama pretty quickly and without much respect for it's original viewers.

Saying that, it does have it's moments and it's worth watching the pilot at least just for enjoyment value. Jessica Lainge does a remarkable turn as the neighbour and is perhaps the true protagonist of the series, the sexy young maid is probably the hottest thing I've ever seen on TV and the title sequence is an admirable example of framing and sound. I just can't comprehend how it could fail so much to the point where I doubt I will watch the second series at all. The final episode was even stolen straight from Beetlejuice!

If you're a true horror fan and feel you can sit through the pain of the latter part of the series, then it might be worth a go, however if you're looking to sink your teeth into a new series then move on. It's a disappointment and is a good example of how writers lose their way, or perhaps how a studio never knows what they are doing. Whatever might be the case, something must have happened for it to go so wrong and so, well, boring. I can only hope they remember why they made this series in the first place and try and concentrate on the evil weirdness rather than the 'poor souls' trapped in a house because I don't care about whiny kids, mums missing their babies, the 'other' woman, the lovelorn freak or any of that stuff - I want to see some proper fucked up shit and until then, this can go straight to Hell. Literally.

Rating: 5/10

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