• Sun, Aug 14 2011

‘American Horror Story’ Looks Creepy-Awesome

I’m not sure how many of you out there in Crushland realized this (I didn’t, until now), but you know Glee, that delightful television show featuring peppy, singing high schoolers? Well, it was created by Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy, the same folks who made Nip/Tuck, that horrifying and yet somehow fascinating show about morally questionable people and plastic surgery. Correct me if I’m wrong, but those two shows seem rather like they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, no? Maybe they felt they needed to do something lighter after six seasons of surgery. But after a couple of seasons of joy and song, it looks like Falchuk’s and Murphy’s pendulum is swinging back in the other direction again, because their next project is a little thing called American Horror Story. And if the sneak peaks that have been surfacing lately are anything to go by, it’s going to be AWESOME.

American Horror Story has a simple enough premise: The Harmon family moves from Los Angeles to Boston in an attempt to start over after a series of as-yet-unspecified domestic issues; trouble is, the house they move into turns out to be haunted. Lest this seem too simple, however, Murphy has remarked that the show is less about horror and more about marriage and infidelity– sounds about right coming from the Nip/Tuck guys. This also gives me hope that it’ll have some good substance to it; like good sci-fi, good horror uses its supernatural nature to reflect and comment on real-life issues. And hopefully, it’ll scare the pants off you while it’s doing it.

American Horror Story’s pilot was screened last week, and reactions seem to be good so far; Sci Fi Mafia reports that some viewers were so freaked out that they had to be escorted to their cars afterwards. Naturally, there were some complaints, though, including the fact that the pilot has no fewer than eight (eight!) cliffhangers. Murphy, however, has acknowledged this, explaining, “[We] felt that we had an obligation to explain a lot of things that were set up. By the third episode those mysteries are settled and the audience can be along for the ride.” While it’s not ideal to have to stick through three somewhat confusing set-up episodes before getting to the meat of the thing, it’s also by no means unheard of; plus, Sci Fi Mafia also notes that the elaborate set-up will likely include a plausible explanation for why a bunch of people would choose to STAY in a house once they figured out it was haunted, rather than get the hell out immediately.

Intrigued? Me too (said the girl who writes a feature called Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren’t). Creepy shows can be hard to pull off– for every Twilight Zone, there’s a Harper’s Island– but this one has promise. The promos have been interesting, too; a series of videos set to a music-box version of “Tainted Love,” each video allegedly contains a “clue” about a detail of the show. Figure out what the the clues mean? Play along on Twitter using #ahsfx. Here are the clues that are available so far:

You can reach this post's author, Lucia Peters, on twitter.
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