Monday, September 14, 2015

Blood, Sex, and Jessica Lange: The Beauty of American Horror Story

Scariest nun Meryl Streep in Doubt
I know I’m way late coming into this, but I really only binge watch shows these days because my weekends are loads of fun spent spooning my dog and streaming Netflix. I don’t watch shows one by one on TV like some chump. And since Netflix started streaming American Horror Story, I finally had something beside Lost re-runs or desperately trying to pay attention to the turd waffle that is TURN. I love to be scared ergo I avoided shows like that because I’m thinking; ‘how terrifying could it be, it’s on television?’ turns out VERY. I’m a full on addict and on the third season. Yay! My life is awesome!
I was always intrigued by the series considering it stars so many reputable actors including a number of Oscar winners; Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Gabourey Sidibe, Joseph Fiennes, Frances Conroy, I mean how bad could it be if the biggest names in Hollywood are flocking to it like a moth to a flame?
The premise is awesome. Making a show like this, you have to ask yourself, how do we keep this consistently terrifying in a TV format? We’re not Alfred Hitchcock. So here’s what the creators did; every season takes place in a different place and time and under different circumstances recycling the main cast into new roles. It’s bizarre but it totally works. Every season has a subtitle. The first one is ‘Murder House’ which takes place in a heavily haunted house in Los Angeles that an unassuming family moves into.
Don't mess with the Lange. She's a witch.
The second season is subtitled; ‘Asylum’, the third is ‘Coven’, you get the idea. Asylum takes place in the 60’s, while Coven is set in New Orleans, but what’s consistent (perhaps the only consistency) are the actors even though every season they play different characters.
Let’s move on to what we find scary. Me personally? I hate blood and guts, that’s not at all frightening to me, it’s gross more than anything else. I love suspense. Dark corners, unexplained noises, moving shadows…you get the idea. American Horror Story utilizes both. It is not for those with a weak stomach. It’s pretty damn gory. It’s also surprisingly very blatantly sexual. It doesn’t shy away from any extremities. There are severed heads, buckets of blood, naked men, a lot of simulated sex…basically everything that you wouldn’t expect to see on TV.

Another regular on the show is fabulous actress Sarah Paulson. I heard in Freakshow she has two heads. I don't know why or how, I just want to see it damn it. My god, what have I turned into?

Of all the bright spots and innovation of this series, I’ll have to give the gold medal to Jessica Lange on this one. She’s absolutely fabulous and this completely resurrected her career. She’s played a controlling Southern Belle, a lunatic nun, the head of a witches’ coven, and she’s unbelievable. She’s so frightening and enticing at the same time. Having her front and center every season was a very smart move. Also, at this point we know that basically every kind of story has already been told, to the point where we find ‘found footage’ horror movies actually interesting…ugh. Ergo, the show strives to be as outlandish as possible. It’s hard to believe in its campiness but it’s delicious. I’m more titillated than terrified and can watch it with the lights off…as I said my dog is usually there. Dear Netflix, please start streaming the 4th season; American Horror Story: Freak Show so I can get caught up for the 5th season. I only have like 2 weeks before it’s premiere and I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with Lady Gaga.

Below, trailer for Hotel...

Below, trailer for Coven, the season I'm currently on and my favorite so far. 

No comments: