After months of mysterious (and brilliant) teasers, American Horror Story finally premiered last night, and unfortunately, there were no screaming spiders. Only dead pigs, racist hillbillies, and Marcia Clarke and O.J. Simpson having sex. Classic Ryan Murphy. This season’s subtitle is My Roanoke Nightmare, a historical nod to the lost colony of Roanoke Island, but that’s not what anyone was talking about afterwards. They were too busy noticing the similarities between American Horror Story and The Blair Witch Project.
In AHS: My Roanoke Nightmare, a young married couple Shelby and Matt (Lily Rabe and Andre Holland in “real life,” Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. in the dramatic reenactment) leave the big city and move to a creepy old house in North Carolina. Things, as they are wont to do, immediately get spooky. Men with torches try to drown Shelby, she gets locked in the basement with her sister-in-law, and bundles of human-shaped twigs are scattered throughout the house and the woods. That got everyone thinking the same thing (it didn’t help that FX ran a promo for Blair Witch during the episode).
Twig-men will always be compared to The Blair Witch Project, but especially in the same week that a new (and unfortunately lackluster) Blair Witch movie is coming out. AHS also didn’t do itself any favors by showing shaky found footage that was filmed in the woods. Although neither The Blair Witch Project nor Blair Witch includes pig-monsters. Or do they…? (They don’t.)