I know I've never admitted this fact on here before, but Halloween is my favorite holiday. It's the one holiday that I truly look forward to every year. The moment October 1st hits the calendar, out comes my box of decorations, and I get to work on getting my home ready for the holiday. I also spend all of the month of October getting into the swing of the season by watching horror films.
That's right...I am a fan of horror films...more specifically, supernatural/paranormal horror. If it deals with ghosts, demons, vampires or the like, then I will see it. Granted, it might take a while since there's quite a few of those films out there, but I'll get there eventually. Slasher films on the other hand, I stay away from for the simple fact that instead of scaring me, they tend to anger me (the Friday the 13th franchise excels at this) or fill me with such a visceral sense of revulsion that I can barely keep myself from becoming physically ill (the remake of The Hills Have Eyes is a perfect example of this). With very few exceptions (don't get me started on the train wreck that was Paranormal Activity), supernatural horror doesn't make me angry but rather appeals to me in some morbid sort of way.
All of that being said, imagine my excitement when FX decided to air American Horror Story. Finally...something truly different. Instead of another reality show that didn't need to be made, a reboot of a classic, or something that was an obvious rip-off of something else, American Horror Story (which will from now own be referred to as AHS) actually seemed like an original idea that I simply couldn't wait to sink my teeth into. Not to mention, it appealed to that morbid side of me that loves seeing people being terrified and tormented by forces that lie beyond the realm of mortal understanding. Suffice to say, when I was finally able to sit down and watch the first episode last night, I was more than just a little excited.
However, that excitement began to gradually peter out after the opening scene and then began turning into annoyance before finally shifting into full-blown anger.
Every show introduces questions that will come into play and be answered later on in the series. That's not what I took anger with because every television show does that. They have to. How else would they keep viewers coming back for more? It's the classic maneuver designed to get viewers hooked and thereby reel them in. Not to mention, it becomes a game between the viewers and the writers--the viewers trying to figure out the answers on their own only to be thrown for a loop when the great reveal finally occurs. The questions are gradually answered over the course of the episodes, though there's always at least one question that remains unanswered until nearly the end of a season and it is that question that drives the main plot of the show forward. Does AHS not follow this formula?
They go overkill with it.
AHS introduces far too many unanswered questions (WHO was in the zentai suit? WHAT the FRAK is going on with the maid? WHAT is the neighbor's deal? WHAT is living in the basement? WHO is the creepy, psycho boy and WHAT is his connection to the house? just to list a few...) within the course of the first episode, and instead of wanting me to come back for more, it made me feel beyond confused as well as angry that I was left hanging upon so many different limbs and branches.
Certain occurrences had me yelling at the television. Before you say anything, no, it wasn't the classic "BEHIND YOU!" or "DON'T GO IN THERE!" (phrases I actually did scream out during my recent (and not to mention first) viewing of John Carpenter's The Thing). Rather, what I yelled out was more akin to "YOU DESERVE TO GET EATEN BY WHATEVER'S IN THE BASEMENT!", "WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!" and "CHANGE THE FRAKKING LOCKS!" (which was shouted out in response to the female leading getting pissy about her creepy next door neighbors constantly walking into her house without invitation).
Then there's the fact that episode was just so disjointed. Don't get me wrong, I don't have issues with scenes being shown out of order (I happen to LOVE the Kill Bill movies), but never before have I so felt like I missed something...which I knew I hadn't because I was watching the train wreck of an episode unfold in front of me in the hopes of making sense of the debacle. The movement between scenes was choppy with little to no lead-in, and I was constantly left with a feeling of "What just happened?"
Then there's the matter of the characters...
With the exception of the mother and the daughter, I didn't find any of the other characters likable in the least. In fact, I'm hoping the father gets eaten or meets with some other unpleasant end though I won't be watching to find out. That's right...AHS pissed me off so much that I won't even tune in for the sadistic pleasure of watching the dad (who happens to be a psychiatrist) go crazier and crazier.
AHS had the great potential to be a truly different and addicting show the likes of which we have never seen before, but instead it felt like a lazy attempt at taking equal parts of Amityville Horror, The Shining, Texas Chainsaw Massacre as well as a healthy dose of teenage angst and then throwing them all together into one show.
Suffice to say, I felt beyond let down by this show, and I won't be watching it again. Congratulations FX for harshing my Halloween buzz...