TV | Boxset Essentials – American Horror Story

Many people have probably recoiled in disgust at the thought of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck making a celebration of all things horror, especially after the all-singing, all-dancing spectacle that is Glee. However, American Horror Story is a shimmering, blood-soaked diamond amongst what seems to be the new Golden Age of television, and thankfully, it couldn’t be any further away from Glee if it tried (apart from a fabulous musical number in the second season). Exploring themes such as oppression, power and isolation amongst the savageness and terror, this show is such a unique take on the horror genre as a whole.

American Horror Story is an anthology series, using the same actors and new additions in completely different scenarios which up to now have been a haunted house, a mental asylum and a coven of witches. The complete changes in each season keep the content fresh, and revitalise these over-done concepts through astounding acting, strong character development and unique interpretations of them. Jessica Lange’s Emmy award-winning performances steal the show, playing powerful and occasionally venomous female leads to perfection, whose complexities shine through as each season progresses. The undeniably diverse Lily Rabe is also incredible, playing the suicidal 20’s housewife Nora Montgomery, the timid and eventual incarnate of Satan Sister Mary Eunice, and the eccentric witch Misty Day, who of course is obsessed with Stevie Nicks…

Of course, the most important element of the series is the horror. To name just a few, there are serial killers, cannibals, Nazi doctors, possessions, the devil, the angel of death and even aliens in the second series alone. It gushes with references to every horror classics, making it an absolute treat for any lovers of the genre.

With the welcoming addition of astonishing actors such as Kathy Bates, Gabourey Sidibe and a confirmed cameo by Stevie Nicks, as well as the announcement of a fourth season, it seems that American Horror Story’s impeccable entertainment value won’t be fading any time soon.

David Robinson

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