AHS Hotel: Devil’s Night (S5E4)

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2013

Heather:

I don’t even know where to start with this episode. For all the problems AHS has, at least it’s never boring. This episode, though, was actually boring. With very little exception, I just could not bring myself to care about the murder party. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The episode opens with what I still think is some of the best spooky ambient electronic music, I’ve heard. A random guy waltzes into the hotel and right up to the desk, rings the bell and signs in. Liz Taylor comes to the desk and is sort of awe struck by the guy, who we find out is Richard Ramirez. Or, more accurate, the ghost of Richard Ramirez (which the audience might not realize until Ramirez states he died in 2013). Ramirez explains that he has a standing reservation for Devil’s Night (the night before Halloween) and Liz Taylor shows him up to his room. Liz mentions that “the master” left a couple of treats on the pillow and we can guess what that means. This is the Cortez, after all.

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AHS Hotel: Chutes and Ladders (S5E2) Recap

You are not an artist you just have big emotions

Heather:

This week’s episode of AHS was chock-full of plot reveals, character introductions, horror and sex so let’s dig right in.

It starts with a synthesized beating heart as Sally looks out a window in a room at the Cortez. She looks back toward the bed and we see that the mattress has been cut open and stitched back together (like the mattress in the first episode). Fingers are sticking out of the stitching and it’s fairly obvious who’s they are. She walks over to finish her work and, of course, it’s poor Gabriel in the mattress. His head isn’t sewn in yet so she bends down and it looks like she’s going to kiss him. But instead she just breathes into his face and he takes this big gasping breath. She tells him something about how he can’t cheat death then she kisses him. She’s quite melancholy as she’s doing all this, on the verge of tears. I assume it’s more self pity than empathy for Gabriel because then pushes his face down into the mattress to finish sewing him in.

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AHS Hotel: Checking In (S5E1) Recap

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Athena:

Hello and welcome to the inaugural post on our brand new TV recapping blog! We’ve previously recapped various episodes of Hannibal and Outlander on my personal blog, and we thought it was about time to combine forces. What better way to start than analyzing one of the most absurd(ly entertaining) shows on right now?

I want to begin by saying that I love American Horror Story. Despite all it’s flaws and wild inconsistencies, I’m so here for a boundary pushing horror series that prioritizes female characters (even if it also fails them sometimes). It’s an experiment. It’s a show that really tries. AHS is definitely a significant part of the horror renaissance that’s been happening on television in the last 10 years. Without a doubt it helped popularize the anthology format that we’re seeing more and more of.  I love the gore, I love the bizarre characters, I love the mystery and the unpredictable storylines even though these sometimes fizzle out.

In case anyone is curious: Murder House is my personal favourite season. Some of it is the novelty and charm of the first season. But everything about it just drew me right in. It’s my favourite to rewatch for sure. However I think Asylum was the best season. It was consistent, scary, and probably the most successful for a variety of reasons. So they both hold a special place in my heart. Which one was your favourite?

Because of it’s track record critics have been hard on this premiere and reluctant to become invested. But I thought they really knocked it out of the park with this one. This opener is full of cliches, tropes, on the nose references, and homages. I think AHS actually does an excellent job of working these to feed that horror craving. It gave me what I was looking for, what I hoped for, and some things I didn’t expect. However to enjoy AHS you really have to expect it to be AHS and not like the horror version of a prestige drama like Mad Men. I think people have lofty expectations for this series and tend to let themselves down. It’s one of those shows where you just have to chill out and enjoy the ride. (Not to say it doesn’t deserve criticism or we shouldn’t strive for better. I just think it’s okay for it to be what it is.)

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