American Horror Story: A Review

American Horror Story is one of the most renowned television horror anthologies to date. However, not everyone has time to sift through all the reviews online or watch the series beginning to end. If you’re interested in checking out the show, here’s a summary of the highs and lows of the series. 

The television series, American Horror Story, first premiered in 2011, with one of its most iconic seasons, “Murder House.” This season follows a family who moves into a house in California known for its killer-riddled history. This part of the show is well loved because of its characters, unpredictable plot, and real-life references. A large  issue with this season is its idolization of extremely toxic relationships, which are regularly displayed. Overall, my rating of the season is a 9.5/10.

The show’s sophomore season, “Asylum,” is also a fan favorite. This season focuses on a group of people wrongfully placed in an asylum. They must find a way to escape, while supernatural and questionable occurrences happen throughout the facility’s grounds. This season is definitely one of my favorites. The acting was amazing and the plot was interesting the entire way through. Some of the scenes are extremely disturbing, though, so proceed with caution. Despite these aspects, I still rate the season 10/10.

American Horror Story’s third season, “Coven,” marks the end of what many would consider the golden age of the franchise. This season follows a school of young witches as they learn how to utilize their skills and face the horrors of New Orleans. Aesthetically, Coven is the most well-put-together season. The plot is not quite as strong as the others, but it remains incredibly engaging. This season earned an 8/10 in my opinion. 

The fourth season “Freak Show” helps demonstrate when the creators got caught up in the popularity and lost touch with the audience, causing them to crash and burn temporarily. This season’s plot focuses on a circus of so-called freaks as the business struggles to survive. Some people really enjoyed this season, but it felt uncomfortable and I could not continue watching. Even the camera angles created an eerie feeling. For these reasons, this season is only a 4/10.

Season five, “Hotel” also missed the mark heavily. The season concerns a struggling cop and his stay in a creepy hotel where things just can’t seem to go right. This season was flat out boring. The show focused too heavily on aesthetics and showcasing Lady Gaga to actually use her talents properly. The episodes dragged on forever, thus this season gets a 6/10. 

The final installment of this flop era is the sixth season, “Roanoke” which centers around a couple who move into a new house in the style of a mockumentary. The concept for the season was rather strong, but there were some elements that caused me to stop watching. At one point in the season, a child is kidnapped, and it’s heavily pushed that she might die. This alone made me feel upset enough to turn it off. In theory, this season earns a 7/10 for creativity, but because of how disturbed it made me feel, it has earned a mere 5/10

The franchise’s seventh season, “Cult” is the beginning of a redemption arc for the show. The season concentrates on a neighborhood and the chaos that is induced within it after the 2016 election. The episodes were very slow-moving at first, but took a dramatic turn for the better, and it wound up being one of my favorite seasons.This season is rated a solid 8.5/10. 

“Apocalypse” American Horror Story’s eighth season, combines plots from “Murder House” and “Coven” as well as elements from “Hotel”. The storyline focuses on the onset of the apocalypse in a world of magic and the supernatural. This season really stood out to me, so much so that I’ve rewatched it three or four times now. Returning to the show’s roots seemed very beneficial all around. This season earns a solid 9.5/10.

The ninth season “1984” establishes that there’s still hope for the show. The season follows a group of camp counselors at a summer camp still recovering from a massacre only 14 years prior. This season performed beyond all expectations I held for it. Though the season was gory, it seemed to be an homage to Friday the 13th, and seeing classic horror influences in the show was refreshing. This is another major favorite for me, and it most certainly earned its score of 10/10.

 The tenth season of AHS premiered in August of 2021. The season is divided into two parts (hence the name “Double-Feature”). The second half of the season has received fairly poor reviews compared to previous seasons but the first half was taken rather well by the audience. 

Overall, American Horror Story has had many well-respected seasons, as well as several less-appreciated ones. Though I have not loved every season, I still highly recommend the show to anyone curious about it. It’s a great show for those quiet summer nights.

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