Review: American Horror Story

Carina Leggio, A&E Editor

The hype for the new show American Horror Story on Fox immediately caught my attention for a few reasons. The trailer for the show alone is creepy, to say the least, and sets up the show as taking place in a traditional haunted house with some sort of mystery behind it.

It seems simple enough, until I saw the print advertisements for the show and learned that a new level of spine-chilling imagery is achievable. The print ads feature a pregnant woman elevated a few inches above the floor, belly-up with an eerie arch in her back, and a man covered completely in skin-tight black leather emerging from the ceiling in an inverted position. Also, as a huge fan of Glee, seeing that American Horror Story was from the same creators was really interesting to me, since the show is pretty much the exact opposite of the popular teen musical-comedy.

After watching the pilot for the show, let’s just say it is definitely not a show for the faint-hearted. I’m not usually a huge fan of horror movies, but I enjoyed the episode. However, I definitely do not recommend this series to those who don’t handle suspicion of paranormal activity very well.

Generally, the show is about a family that moves into a blatantly haunted house equipped with a shape-shifting, ghost maid, a suspicious, thieving neighbor, and a homicidal burn victim that tends to hang around and peek in through the houses’ windows. Though this may seem like a classic horror movie, but there’s a minor difference that makes a major impact on the show. Usually, the audience waits until the last scene of the movie to even see a glimpse of the “monster.” American Horror Story dares to show the many elements of fear in the first scene alone; eliminating anticipation and terror, and introducing true constant horror.

I still fight the urge to yell at the characters for going into their basement and for continuing to live in that house in general, but that is what makes up a great horror series in itself. I’ve resolved to DVR the show and watch it only during daylight hours, but they haven’t completely scared me away yet. In fact, I feel more intrigued by the show rather than scared by it, which shows high quality writing. This horror series does not scare away its viewers but lures them in instead, much like the haunted house on the show.

Grade: B+