It finally arrived — a horror series worthy of the genre “horror”. It’s been a long time since I could say a television horror series had serious potential. American Horror Story is just that — full of potential. But the horrors this show brings might well be too much for the average public viewer.
First the good. From the creator of the phenomenon that brought the arts-in-high-school back into the spotlight (as it should be) comes a imagery-fest horror series that is filled with disturbing flashes of horrific goodness the likes of which television hasn’t seen in some time. It’s part six-feet-under (minus the funeral home), part Marylin Manson video, and part seduction.
But don’t think this nothing more than a jerky edits and flashes of horrific images. There’s story there, there’s depth, and there is plenty of intrigue. What do we have?
- A house with a reputation for making killers out of normal people.
- A maid who appears to some to be an older woman and to others a sex-bomb red-head.
- A neighbor who knows far more than she’s letting on.
- A psychiatrist father who possibly has an addiction to sex.
- A client of the father who wants to kill people.
- A daughter of the father who might be interested in the crazy client.
- A bondage rubber suit that seems to enjoy making appearances.
And much, much more. And all of that in just the first hour. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Let’s face it … is the general public, that public addicted to reality TV and other “train wreck television”, ready for something like this? It’s fear. It’s disturbing. It shows a darker underbelly to the human condition most might not be ready or willing to even admit exists. This is the stuff your neighbor hides from view, not the stuff the blue and khaki army chats about at the water cooler.
This. Is. Fear. And, unlike sex, fear does not sell. Trust me, I’m a horror writer — fear is a hard commodity to pimp. I’m not saying there are fans out there. There are. Those fans are the best fans in the world. When a horror fan likes something, a horror fan LIKES something. Horror fans (and I’m one of them) should have a special button on Facebook — the “Obsess” button.
So what I see happening is the average public will turn out the nightmarish images of American Horror Story and the horror fans will stick to it like a fat man to a bucket o’ chicken.
I’ll be one of those fans — with the show until the (probably) pre-mature end.
If you’re a fan of frights, you need to do yourself a favor and check out American Horror Story.