‘American Horror Story’ is more than a typical horror series

Jordan Boyer, Photo Editor

Recently “American Horror Story” has aired the season premiere for “Apocalypse,” and all the hype for this new season is well deserved.  AHS is in my opinion one of the most interesting television shows that is currently being broadcasted on cable today.

AHS is an anthology series that was created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. It has been airing on FX since 2011. Since AHS is an anthology series, each season tells a different story. Starting from the first season to the most recent season are “Murder House,” “Asylum,” “Coven,” “Freak Show,” “Hotel,” “Roanoke,” “Cult,” and currently “Apocalypse.”

Throughout the years the show has evolved from a normal horror show to go onto tackling new themes/aspects such as psychological horror, political commentary and references to real life events and people.

“Murder House” is the story that started it all. While it is a usual haunted house story, the story stood out amongst the others because of the great cast of characters and an overarching mystery in the storyline.

“Asylum” kept the supernatural/paranormal aspects at a minimum and introduced the psychological horror aspects to the show. The story mainly followed the characters Kit Walker (Evan Peters) and Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson). Walker was falsely convicted for a series of murders and was portrayed in the media as the serial killer “Bloody Face,” while Winters was a journalist who was held captive in the asylum for trying to expose the dark secrets about the said asylum. Seeing these two innocent people being psychologically and physically tortured, displays the true terror of what psychological horror really is.

The next two seasons are “Coven” and “Freakshow.” I am not going to go into detail about these seasons because there is not much to discuss about new developments in the series. They are great seasons, but they kept the previous aspects the show had and developed them a little more.

The next season is “Hotel,” certainly the most edgy season so far. One thing that “Hotel” did well was the references to real life people and events. AHS has done this before in previous seasons, but “Hotel’s” whole plot was based off real life occurrences. Hence the name the story follows a hotel named the Hotel Cortez, which was designed and built by a character named James March (Evan Peters). March is a serial killer who designed the hotel to fit his sick ambition for murder. There were floors with no escape, a basement designed to hide the bodies of his victims and so on.

March is loosely based off the real life serial killer H.H Holmes. Holmes was a serial killer who lived in Chicago in the late 1800s. He designed a murder hotel to lure in unsuspecting victims, and he was eventually arrested for his crimes and executed.

The season also features other famous serial killers such as John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer. This instance among other references make the story very interesting to watch because while the story is fictional, there are real life characters presented to help the development of the storytelling.

Now onto “Roanoke,” AHS’s unfortunate failure among many successes. The creators tried something new, and it ended up failing. This shows that trying something new with a story is not always a good thing. This article is on the development and evolution of the show, but these developments for “Roanoke” failed miserably.

However, this failure brought a massive success with the next season “Cult.” “Cult” follows the story of a cult that has basically taken over a whole town. The leader of the cult is a character named Kai Anderson (Evan Peters). Anderson has very real and disturbing similarities to Donald Trump and his rise to power during the 2018 election. Anderson was inspired by Trump’s election, and he is shown celebrating after the election results are shown on TV, and he started to form his cult and gain political power. Anderson’s rise to power mirrors Trump’s rise to power, and the show is really disturbing because of this aspect. Basically, the show is drawing parallels with Trump’s followers and the cult Anderson creates.

This amazing show has gone from the classic haunted house trope to so much more, and it keeps the viewers and fans interested. “Apocalypse” will more than likely develop the show significantly, and some fans are saying that this season has the potential to being one of the best seasons. I can not wait to see what “Apocalypse” does for the series.

Jordan Boyer is a senior history major, he can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].