American Horror Story

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 05, 2011 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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  • Haunted house. Broken family. Creepy people and ghosts. Scary events. You know the deal. In Ryan Murphy's new horror-mystery series, American Horror Story, we venture into a world full of disturbed concepts and shattering psychological realities.


    A horror venture from the mind and creators of Glee should be full of ridiculous crap, but it wasn't. At least not fully. Were there obvious flaws? Of course, but that doesn't mean it wasn't thoroughly entertaining and very intriguing. You'll find it pretty darkly spectacular as well, especially if you enjoyed the S&M ridden ads. One thing is for sure: This series premiere was creepy!

    Beginning with an old, yet extravagant home in California, the Harmon family moves on in with some of their own demons; however, they're nothing compared to whatever mysteries lie ahead for them to discover. After finding her husband cheating on her, Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) and her family head off to said home with some repairing in mind. After this move from Boston to California, the family seems to think it is simply okay to purchase a home that was the scene of a murder-suicide and God knows what else. Still, that is the least of their problems...for now. The couple can't even remain intimate, and their daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga) is far from a bottle of sunshine, as a secret cutter neglected teen who quickly bonds with her father's (Ben Harmon, portrayed by Dylan McDermott) first California psycho patient, Tate Langdon (Evan Peters), who is, so far, my favorite character next to Vivien.

    More intriguing characters come in the form of a young woman afflicted with Down-Syndrome (Adelaide) portrayed by Jamie Brewer, Frances Conroy playing an older version of housekeeper (Moira), as well as a younger sexier version of said housekeeper portrayed by Alexandra Breckenridge, the great Jessica Lange portraying the nosy, creepy, passive-aggressive neighbor, Constance, and True Blood's very own Denis O'Hare as the creepy burn victim, Larry Harvey whom we meet briefly. All of which play a huge part in the ongoing tensions between the family.

    As for how the story plays out in the premiere itself, I was particularly surprised. A great deal of things happen in the premiere alone. It is refreshing to see a horror-mystery series on television that is not afraid to push some boundaries and sometimes makes you think about yourself and certain situations. The series is more of a play on one's psychological state. And no one in this series has any semblance of stability. What emotions and general human activities give us a good look into one's psychological being? Sex, love, anger, rage, self-affliction, masochism, violence, greed, desire and the big one: FEAR. Our three main characters give us a peek into their minds, telling us all of what we need to know for now. Even the viewer, may find him or herself questioning whether or not what they see in the series is real. What is just in their minds? And why would they stay in that house? The question is easily answered if you pay close attention. Each character makes a small statement of being sort of awkwardly comforted to the house in a strange sense. There's a reason Moira insisted the house has a personality. It's sadistically charming, isn't it?

    Within the first half of the premiere, everything is exquisitely established. However the second half, things begin to deteriorate a bit becoming a blur, and not particularly for the better. More so built on a few not so subtle horror clichés, but nothing is perfect. Other than that, a pretty abrupt ending (with a little twist), and a few moments of choppy editing, I found the premiere spectacularly entertaining, nearly perfect. Dare I say that I loved it? I would. Even after viewing it twice, it stays with you. Playing on your worst fears. The show is definitely one of the more exciting premieres of the fall season.

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