American Horror Story (FX) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review
A family moves into their new home to build up their lives again after a traumatic event. Little do they know their home will not give them the rest they’re searching for.
American Horror Story is a new FX show created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. It aired on Wednesday the 5th of October at 10/9c. The main characters are played by Dylan McDermott (The Practice), Connie Britton (Spin City, Friday Night Lights and A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Taissa Farmiga. The promotion for this series was quite strange, with short little movies showing a seemingly random item. However, after having watched the first episode, it makes sense they chose this type of promotion. It fits the atmosphere of the show completely.
The episode starts with two little boys going into an abandoned house. A little girl with Down syndrome tells them they will die in there, but they ignore her. She was right, though; they will never make it out. When they go exploring in the basement, after trashing the rest of the house, something kills them.
More than thirty years later the Harmon family moves into this house. The family consists of mother Vivien (Connie Britton), father Ben (Dylan McDermott), who is a psychiatrist, and daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga). Following a miscarriage, Ben cheated on his wife with one of his students. To overcome the drama in their life, Ben and Vivien decide to move to a new house. Even though the previous owners died in this house (according to the realtor they died of a murder-suicide), they take it. The house is big enough for Ben to have his psychiatrists office at home, and he has his patients come over. Violet starts some sort of friendship with one of them, Tate, an adolescent boy who has fantasies about killing everyone in his school.
At first, the family doesn’t notice the strange things that happen in the house. They don’t realize that Ben sees the old maid as an attractive young woman, nor do they realize that there is something living in the basement. However, they do notice the neighbor’s daughter with Down syndrome, Adelaide (Jamie Brewer), who just can’t stay out of the house, and they blame her for things that seem to happen because of the ghosts of the little boys that died in the basement, like kitchen cabinets opening on their own.
All of the weirdness inside the house seems to be originating from the basement. It was the basement where the little boys died, and supposedly the basement was also the location where the previous owners died. So when Violet tells Tate she is being bullied by a girl at school and he comes up with a way to stop her that involves luring the girl down to the basement, you know something is going to go wrong. Tate is waiting for the girls in the basement when Violet and her bully come down. Violet flips the light switch so the lights flash on and off, and Tate starts to laugh maniacally while rocking back and forth in this chair to scare the girl. However, there is something else in the room, something that looks like an old person with huge claws and sharp teeth. This something jumps at the girl and claws her face open. The girl runs away in terror, and Violet is hysterical. Tate however seems not to have noticed. This is just one of the many weird things that happen in this first episode.
American Horror Story Preview
The storyline is similar to that of a horror movie, but chopped into bits and altered slightly to form episodes for a series. At first I was skeptical about this, after all; the strength of most horror movies lies in the continuous horror and in a series this isn’t possible. But somehow they managed to create a series out of it, probably by giving it the Lost effect: a lot of mysteries and questions that go unsolved. You cannot help but want to see more, just so you’ll know the answer to these questions.
This series seems to be off to a promising start. There are a lot of mysteries in this first episode, but somehow they’ve managed to keep it interesting. I’m very curious as to what is going on in this house, so I will definitely be watching the rest of the series.
What did you think about 'American Horror Story'?
- Cable - Ratings, Cancellations and Renewals 2012-13
See how American Horror Story and other cable shows are doing in the ratings!
- Upcoming Sci-Fi TV Series: Fall 2011
Read reviews and see previews of upcoming Sci-Fi TV series for the Fall 2011 season.