(Contains plot spoilers)
A refreshing horror series has finally hit our screens and American Horror Story really delivers a fantastic weird, strange, intriguing and totally on the edge of your seat story, you’ll be hooked on just the first episode, I can assure you! The series focusses on the Harmon family consisting of Ben, a psychiatrist, his wife Vivien, and their daughter Violet! They have moved fromBoston toLos Angeles to have a new start, following Vivien having a miscarriage, leading to a breakdown on Ben and Vivien’s marriage, and subsequently, Ben having an affair with one of his students!!!! They moved into a big house that has been restored, and unaware to them, has been unofficially named the ‘Murder House’ after various murders had taken place over many decades, many of whom still reside in the house!!! Creepy or what!!
The series so far has been a total success, with a second series already being announced!!!
So, on with the first review. Episode 1, named simply ‘Pilot’ being the pilot episode kicks off with its first scene set in 1978. A little girl, who has down syndrome, is seen staring at the big house, and as two unruly brothers, messing around and doing what little boys do best, approach the house and the little girl aptly gives them a warning that they will die if they enter the house. Obviously, they don’t listen to her and enter the house, smashing it up. During this time, they make their way down to the basement and come across specimen jars where body parts have been contained and preserved. One of the boys gets spooked and as they both begin to leave, one of the boys realises his brother is no longer behind him. He goes back and finds him lying on the floor dying, at which point a figure quickly approaches the other brother who screams and the scene ends!!! Phew! What a start!!
Now in the present day, the episode recaps the Harmons’ past, putting their move to this house into context. Vivien is understandably having some trust issues with her cheating husband, Ben. They quickly meet the neighbours, firstlyAdelaide(who has Down syndrome!!!!) who just wanders into the house whenever she pleases, and then Constance, her mother, a strange character who is very reserved but unnerving, and totally commands the screen when she is present! Vivien begins to learn a little about the house’s past through Constance, but also through redecorating and coming across strange murals, hideous in nature but for some reason Vivien finds them intriguing.
Ben is now seeing patients at the house, and one of the patients is a very angry, mixed up boy called Tate. Violet, who is suffering from depression, self harms and starts getting bullied on her first day at school, quickly begins a relationship with Tate. Opening up to Tate about the girl bullies at schools, Tate tries to help and they lure the main bully into the house, take her down to the basement, but Tate goes to far and in the midst of madness, a creature appears through flashing lights, and attacks the bully. Violet, unsure of what she has just seen, freaks out and tells Tate to leave!
Meanwhile, the old housekeeper, Moira, randomly appears and insists that she is rehired, and Vivien agrees! However, when Vivien sees her, she sees an old woman but when Ben sees her, he sees a young, very beautiful, sexy looking maid, dressed very seductively in a naughty maid’s outfit with suspenders and all!!! This, to me, gets funnier as the series moves on!!! Things become a little clearer in the episode at the end when Constance comes across Moria, and during their tense conversation Constance threatens her by saying “Don’t make me kill you again”!!!!!!!!
Ben gets approached by a man called Larry, burned along the left hand side of his face and body! It turns out that he used to live in that house, and says he has just been released from prison after burning his whole family to death after hearing voices in his head. He warns Ben that he needs to move his family out of the house before it’s too late. All of a sudden Ben loses it a little bit when he gets back home, and with what looks like him beginning to set the house alight, Constance suddenly appears and stops him in his tracks!!
Ben and Vivien, after arguing over their problems, and Vivien trying to forgive Ben for what he did, eventually make love! Earlier in the episode, they came across a full length leather gimp suit in the attic and later in the evening, Vivien thinks that Ben is wearing the suit as she believes he wants round 2!! Although, it’s quite clear that its not Ben, and is really quite gross to watch!!! And low and behold, towards the end of the episode, she finds out that’s she’s pregnant!!!
This haunting episode had me totally hooked straight away!! It’s got everything from weirdness, sex, terror, ugliness, intriguing behaviour, and pretty much everything that’s wrong and totally captivating!! Brilliant!!
By Kirsty Wavish