by Faith-Ashleigh Wong
If the pilot is anything to go by, be prepared to sleep with the lights on for the next three months. The brainchild of Ryan Murphy – yes, the man who brought us Glee – American Horror Story is truly a refreshing spin and impressive revival of the horror genre.
It's hard to believe that the person behind the fun and uplifting musical series can also go to dark and disturbing places and create a series that will scare the bejeezers out of you. Ryan Murphy wanted to do something completely opposite from Glee and he has done exactly that with American Horror Story.
Meet the Harmon family. They have moved from Boston to Los Angeles in the hopes of leaving a very traumatizing past behind. Personally, I wouldn't think moving to a creepy old Victorian manor from the 1920s was the answer. No matter the price. And especially after the real estate agent has told you that the previous owners died in a murder/suicide.
I thought this pilot was exceptionally written, perfectly paced and masterfully executed. Loved the accompanying soundtrack! Many creepy and ominous things happen that will steadily build a sense of unease and fear at what is to come. Everyone has a secret and everything is not what it seems.
"The House" is creepy and has an undeniable feeling of foreboding attached to it – it is your classic haunted house. The family dog already pegged the basement as housing something threatening and we later catch glimpses of this when Violet's prank on a school bully goes horribly wrong. Not to mention the attic with the creepy rubber suit which later comes to life and visits Vivien.
It's clear the Harmons are not superstitious. But surely they must have sensed something was very off-kilter when additional unwanted guests come to visit – and I'm not talking about the ghostly kind! We meet Moira, the shape-shifting "Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde" housekeeper and Constance, a nosy neighbour with no sense of personal space and social boundaries. They both seem to know each other (unsurprising) and following Constance's warning to Moira – I want to know more!
Constance's daughter Addie has a weird pull to the house, possibly because she can see the ghosts that lurk within it. I highly doubt she will heed to Vivien's instruction to stay away from the house and something tells me her mischievous antics with her ghostly friends are only just getting started.
Then there's Ben's first patient, the troubled, sadistic and yet- to-be-determined-if-psychotic, Tate Langdon. He befriends Violet but we soon see that he, too, has some connection to the evil forces in the house. Later Ben confronts the man that had been lurking around the house and we learn he is Larry Harvey, a previous resident who survived the house but not without leaving unscathed, hence the disfigured face.
His message is simple: he and the family have to get out of the house. How many more signs could you possibly need to convince you that there is something very wrong with this house?!
American Horror Story is not for the faint of heart. But if you can sit through it, it's well worth the watch as it is horror at its best. Scares aside, there is an element of mystery and intrigue that keeps you captivated and wanting more – even if you kind of dread it too! Watch at your own peril...