Give ‘American Horror Story’ a chance


From left: Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton), Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) and Violet Harmon (Taissa Famiga) star in American Horror Story.

By Aurora Schnorr

When I first saw the commercials for American Horror Story, I’ll admit, I was unimpressed.

I just wanted It’s Always Sunny to come on and to forget about the weird show FX was advertising. The trailers were abstract and confusing at best. But I figured I would give it a chance, and I’m starting to be glad that I did.

Other than The Walking Dead (which I haven’t seen), American Horror Story is the only show on television that has branded itself “horror.” The show is your basic haunted house story. After Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) has a miscarriage and catches her husband, Ben, cheating on her, the family moves to Los Angeles. Unaware that the house is on L.A.’s haunted tour, the Harmons and their daughter, Violet, move into “Murder House.”

The show got off to a slow start. When it comes to visual appeal, American Horror Story even beats out Dexter. The composition, color and lighting are just insane. Every shot could stand on it’s own as a photograph – a really amazing photograph.

And the sound design is perfect. Despite all of the crazy things that happen – the sudden movements and unnatural noises – the sound never once comes off cheesy. When the plot moved slowly, the quality of the production kept me coming back.

The show is the brainchild of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, who also came up with Nip/Tuck and Glee. For Glee fans out there, I’m sure it’s hard to imagine anything other than high school drama and Katy Perry covers coming from this duo, but for Nip/Tuck fans, I only have two words: The Carver.

The Carver was a serial rapist introduced on Nip/Tuck in season two and is still, to date, one of the most terrifying figures I have ever seen on television. So, I knew Murphy and Falchuk could do horror, but the Carver was only around through season three and didn’t even appear in that many episodes. Is it possible to sustain consistent horror through a television series? Now that the plot has picked up, and I’m actually invested in the characters of American Horror Story, my only worry is the sustainability of the show. How many episodes does it take before this horror story becomes another TV tragedy like the final seasons of Nip/Tuck? I know that Murphy and Falchuk have it in them, but will they be able to keep this up?

The list of crazy stuff on American Horror Story so far has included: home invasions, basement abortions, a reanimation of a Frankenstein-like baby, a school shooting, about a trillion murders, a miscarriage and countless acts of ghost-on-human sexy time.

I’m not really sure what could possibly come next for the show, but Evan Peters, who plays Tate, said in an interview with People Magazine, “It only gets worse.”