I’m a baby when it comes to scary movies. Not even buttery popcorn or giggly friends can coerce me into a showing of Paranormal Activity 3 or Saw VII. However, when I heard of the new horror TV series, American Horror Story, I figured I could handle it in the comfort of my living room with the occasional commercial break. The show airs at 10 every Wednesday night, so I stayed up past my bed time to watch the show’s premeire.
Unfortunately, American Horror Story scared the crap out of me while simultaneously addicting me. The show tells the story of a family who, recovering from a failed pregnancy and affair, moves into a very creepy house in California.
Because of family turmoil, they rush into moving, failing to realize the house’s haunting past. It is only after settling in that the family learns of the many homicides and suicides that previously took place in the house, leaving it infested with ghosts and other scary creatures. The show follows the relatable family as they encounter the chilling experiences the house hands them. Along with the “present day” scenes, the show utilizes flashbacks to recap the house’s haunted history.
A seemingly simple story line leaves room for excellently well-developed characters, each surrounded with a mysterious background. I anxiously look forward to learning the back story of many characters in particular, such as the omnipresent maid who appears as an old hag to fellow females, but a sexy young woman to men. Another character who catches my eye (but scares me nonetheless) is the girl with Down Syndrome who lives next door, telling whoever enters the house that “they’re gonna die in there.” Unfortunately, most of the people she warns fail to heed her warning, and eventually face their death in the house’s poorly lit basement.
The most alluring aspect of the show is the air of mystery that it presents. Every week, the show opens up new promising story lines, while providing just the right amount of closure on previously unanswered questions. This method keeps me guessing on what will happen next without leaving me entirely lost in a web of confusing ghost stories.
Interestingly, the show utilizes cheerful and upbeat music during solemn and fearsome moments. However, the incompatibility of the music does not take away from the show’s frightening effect, but rather enhances it. By making peppy songs into chilling hymns, the show presents a paradox that leaves viewers hooked.
American Horror Story promises a thrilling (and in my case, terrifying) viewing experience and is definitely worth a screening. Just make sure to attend the little girls room before viewing the show in order to avoid any pants-wetting.