Our Political Horror Story Meets “American Horror Story”


Photo courtesy of FX/via AHScult.com


This season of “American Horror Story” (AHS) started out different than any other— with real life footage of an actual, modern day event. This made it clear that this season will be taking place in the present day as opposed to the past settings of many earlier seasons. It is obvious that this season is going to be politically driven—he opening scene was comprised of reactions to this past presidential election— which is something that will hit close to home for many viewers. Perhaps too close?

With the portrayal of strong racism alongside that of brutal murders by clowns (because why not?), AHS pits the traditional convention of fear that we see in horror movies against the implicit fear that underlies the world of politics— especially in today’s political climate. This parallel is definitely a creative and original one that creator Ryan Murphy deserves credit for. But it is worth noting that some of the more risque content may spark controversy for the horror series.

Evan Peters, an extremely popular recurring actor in AHS, is introduced in this episode as an avid Trump supporter. However, Peters’ character also happens to be a sociopathic bigot — and the most frightening character so far (debatably more than Twisty the Clown). With this apparent evil being linked to a supporter of our current president, Murphy leaves himself open for the scrutiny of viewers who do back Trump in real life. And on the other side of the spectrum, Peters’ characters use of racial slurs along with blatant racist and fearful behavior might be triggering to some viewers who have been affected by these things in their own lives.

As for this first episode, you can’t help but appreciate the risks Murphy was willing to take. Aside from the possible controversy Peters’ character might create, the unnerving sense of fear and creepiness he elicits in the audience keeps up with the typical discomfort and unease of the show that AHS fans hold so dear. Reintroducing Twisty the Clown is definitely going to open the door for more questions as to how all of the seasons are linked (hopefully this season will provide some answers). And for the day one fans: the overwhelming effects of Sarah Paulson’s character’s supposed “insanity” is certainly a heartwarming allusion to Season 2’s “Asylum.”

So far, Murphy has started the season with risk, potential for controversy, and a whole lot of fear. Welcome back, “American Horror Story.”


Photo courtesy of FX/via AHScult.com