Monday, 9 March 2015

american horror story season 1

i don't watch much tv, but i like horror and something about the one-off story per season nature of american horror story appealed to me, so i gave it a go.

season one, also referred to as murder house, is about a family who move into a new home to recover from tragedy, except the house they move into is haunted. because it's tv and the producers need to sustain a season this isn't a single tragedy house but rather everyone who ever lived in the house died a tragic death, and anyone who dies there comes back to haunt it.

there are many things about american horror story i really enjoyed, particularly the performances. much has been written about jessica lange's standout turn as slightly deranged neighbour, constance, but i thought the real stars were connie britton and dylan mcdermott. their performances as a couple struggling to save their marriage whilst also dealing with ghosts and possible mental breakdown was understated and compelling throughout the series. which is good, because i wasn't all that into the story as a whole.

the thing is, ghosts stop being scary when they're hanging out chatting about stuff as if they're basically human. there are rules about what the ghosts can and can't do but they're always a bit sketchy and by the end of the series there's a ghost in every room. they don't really do much haunting; they mostly just have a bit of a whinge.

that said, there were some cool twists and the baby in the basement was fucking terrifying. i also loved that there were so many female characters in the show and it was refreshing to see women of a variety of ages getting so much screen time.

i suppose i just wanted more traditional horror film type stuff. you know, trying to figure out what the ghosts want, getting it wrong, realising how truly fucked you are. really, i suppose i'm not that into the hanging out and talking type of ghost, i prefer the m.r. james once you've seen it you're fucked type of ghost, also seen in the best j-horrors. this was all a bit casper.

still, i really love the concept and i'm already enjoying season two much more. i was actually afraid to turn the lights off after one episode in season two, but more on that later.

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