Last year, when Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story debuted, I gave it a scathing review, writing:
How deep into Ryan Murphy’s ass must FX be to air this cocked-up, senseless, sh*tty wet-dream nightmare of camp and stomach-pit revulsion? American Horror Show is beyond the pale, over the brick wall, and swimming in hallucinogenic condom spunk. It’s Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest ratcheted it up to 13; it’s Nic Cage in Wicker Man yelling, “Not the bees! Not the bees!” for 45 minutes; it’s every horror-movie convention known to man crammed into Ryan Murphy’s gut and puked back on to the television screen and combined with a$$ shots, masturbation sequences, and a gimp.
I stand by that review, only now all of those things that I initially disliked about American Horror Story are exactly why I watch. It is Amityville crossed with David Lynch, and it borrows from every horror movie trope in the book, but it’s good television.
The problem with Ryan Murphy has always been he overdevelops plot-lines, throws everything into a story as rapidly as possible, and after 12 episodes, there’s nowhere left to go (see Nip/Tuck, Glee). It works out well, then, that American Horror Story is now considered a mini-series, and each season is a reset: Different story, different characters, different setting. This year, it’s an insane asylum in 1962. We haven’t gotten any new footage from the show yet, but the promos so far are gleefully creepy.
Check out these five 10-second spots. Which do you think is the creepiest? Bonus points if you can identity the horror movies from which the imagery is lifted.