Black rubber suits, teenage ghost, strange pregnancy and the Anti Christ. The first season of American Horror Story delivered a sick, demented story and Season 2 will not disappoint.
Nunsploitation, aliens, asylums and Bloody Face are the depraved stories waiting for us in season 2. Major changes were made for the second season. AHS is not a series, but more of an anthology. The setting moves from LA to a Massachusetts mental hospital. A handful of actors return from the previous season portraying different characters, but with performances mimicking the same intensity as the first season. This season also marks the acting debut of Adam Levine.
There were a lot of shockers in the premiere episode, none bigger than the revelation that gas was once .30 Cents per gallon.
In the first season, we are shown events that occurred in the past then flash-forward to the present. In this season, we are shown events that occurred in present day and sent back to the past.
Like it is customary in the horror genre, there is hot couple, who have sex, then die. In the first episode there is no expectation.
The damned couple takes shape in the form of Leo and Teresa, a newly wed couple who are on their honey moon visiting various haunted sites. Their destination brings them to Briarcliff manor, a now abandoned former psychiatric ward. As any good looking couple would do, they have sex on a patients table. In the middle of their tryst, Teresa hears a noise from within the halls of Briarcliff and like one does goes to investigate. While Leo tries to look behind a closed door, and Teresa performs fellatio, he gets his arm torn off. Left bleeding, Teresa runs for help, only to find the doors locked. What does a sane person do when they are trapped inside a hellhole? Run aimlessly through the halls. Whilst running, she bumps into what is presumed to be bloody face? Or is it? A copy cat?
Taken back to 1964, Briarcliff manor is no more fun now than it is in the present. The sanitarium is run by Monsignor Timothy O’Hara and Sister Jude. The latter is played by the returning Jessica Lange. Sister Jude is a lustful nun, who has her eyes set on Monsignor Timothy. In one of the best scenes of the episode, Sister Jude is seen rubbing perfume on her chest, revealing a red negligee. During dinner with the Monsignor, she fantasized about him, taking off her habit and straddling him. (Sister! I should have paid more attention in church.)
The new residents of Briarcliff are Kit and Lana. Asking too many questions is always a mistake in the horror genre, and this is proven true for Lana. A reporter who tries to get the inside scoop on Bloody Face, she tries to infiltrate the asylum. When she ran into Sister Mary Eunice outside (feeding?) the asylum, she follows her in, and convinces her to snoop around. This proves to be a bad idea as she is knocked unconscious by someone (or something?). She is later committed to the asylum, by her partner. Kit is a gas station attendant who is secretly married. Ryan didn’t give the viewer’s time to digest the new story, but rather he sent us head first into an alien abduction. Alien experimentation, (anal probing?) and the death of his wife were the result of the encounter. Naturally he is sent to the sanitarium because everyone knows that aliens do not exist. Do they?
Rounding out the characters are the doctors, Dr. Arthur Arden and Dr. Oliver Thredson. Dr. Thredson doesn’t appear until the second episode, but we are introduced to Dr. Arden. A doctor keen on torture, he presumably runs experiments on patients. These same experiments are the reason why many of his patients die. (Or does he kill them?) He might also be responsible for the creatures (people?) living in the woods outside of Briarcliff.
This brings us to Bloody Face, a killer who constructs a mask from his victims flesh, hair and teeth. Kit is said to be Bloody Face, but is he really behind those murders. It is unclear what happened to his wife. Is he capable of killing other woman in this fashion? During Dr. Ardens examination of Kit he found what’s best described as a chip buried in Kit’s neck. A tracking device? Was he controlled by other forces, making him kill those women? The device sprouted legs, so could it contain a virus, a plague?
This season of AHS brings to light many social taboos of the time including interracial love, Homosexuality and therapy to “cure her of her demons”. Ryan and Brad filled season 1 with whatever madness came to mind, the second season seems more controlled, with an actual story to tell. Whatever our opinions are of AHS, it already knows what it wants to be, with canings, throwing of bodily excrement’s, undesired surgeries and some of the best lines of the night.
The first episode set the ground work to what proves to be a great season.
Best line from Jessica Lange: “All monsters are human”.