American Horror Story has captured audiences since it started in 2011. It was a show that wasn’t afraid to push boundaries and 5 years later it still leaves us asking ‘Is there a line they won’t cross?’
Even if you haven’t watched AHS – you will have definitely heard about the television show that just doesn’t know when to stop. For those of you that are fans, you’ll already know that there’s so many reasons to love this horrifying TV Show and with it’s long awaited return drawing closer, there’s no better time to celebrate AHS’ greatest traits.
7 Reasons to Love American Horror Story.
1 – Anthology
One of the main aspects of AHS that makes it stand out from other TV Shows is its Anthology structure. This means that each series is more of a collection of different stories, than a follow on TV Series.
It means that you have a whole story beginning to end in just 12 episodes. Although you come to love the characters in every season, AHS has always reminded me of school plays in that you still see the same faces again each year, just taking on different roles.
2 – Links in Each Season
Although each season of AHS are seperate stories, you will every so often find a link from a previous season. For example, the first real connection was Pepper in Season 2, Asylum. We first see Pepper as a patient commited to Briarcliff Manor but we later learn in Season 4, Freak Show, that Pepper was in fact a former performer with Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities. This connection, as well as others, such as Queenie, our human Voodoo doll from Season 3’s Coven checking into the Hotel Cortez in the most recent Season 5 Hotel, prove to the audience that all of these strange settings with monsters, ghosts, killers, freaks, witches and so much more actually all exist among each other.
3 – Cameos
One of my personal favourite aspects of American Horror Story are the famous faces that pop up every so often. There’s nothing I love more than a cameo from any of my favourite actors and AHS spoils me when it comes to this.
Throughout the years we have seen appearances from Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, Stevie Nicks played herself really well in Coven and How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris made a dazzling appearance in Freak Show. This is just to name a few. There were even some cameo performances who landed themselves supporting and lead roles in future seasons.
4 – The History in AHS.
I was never interested in history when I was at school but if American Horror Story had been on the curriculum back then, I would have found myself leaving with a lot more knowledge than I did. AHS not only has an array of origional charachters but they also have an impressive display of charachters based on real life people.
For example, Elizabeth Short from Murder House was based on the real life aspiring actress of the same name, who was brutally murdered and cut up into pieces in 1947. This story, as well as Kit and Alma walker from Asylum, based on Barney and Betty Hill, the first couple to claim they had been abducted by aliens in 1961 and Madame Delphine LaLaurie, played by Kathy Bates in Coven, who tourtured and killed slaves in her ‘Chamber of horrors’ in the 1800’s, are just a few of the charachters based on true events.
With plenty of horror and gore for days, Ryan Murphy brings us plenty of drama as well as history in the best possible way. If you’re watching an episode of AHS and you’re thinking ‘Oh, as if this would ever happen,’ Google it – because it probably did.
5 – Recurring Actors
As I said earlier, American Horror Story always reminds me of seeing a school production in that the same faces show up every year. AHS always manages to pull together a fantastic ensable cast and actress’ Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe as well as actor Evan Peters are the longest running cast members in the show, as they have appeared in every season. My personal favourite, Jessica Lange has appeared in 4 out of the 5 seasons alongside Denis O’Hare and their are others such as Kathy Bates who have appeared in 3 or less seasons so far.
What I love about the show is, although you’re likely to see the same actors each year, they may not be taking on a lead role as they did in previous seasons. Again, like a stage production, the parts are handed out fairly, giving everyone a chance to shine. For example, Evan Peters has appeared in every season of the show so far and in the first 2 seasons, Murder House and Asylum, we recognised him as our main protagonist – and our eye candy, only to have him appear a year later in Coven as a small supporting role.
6 – Music
The theme tune to the show itself always gives me chills. As soon as it starts playing I’m instantly scared. I absolutely love the theme tune, although it’s hardly a tune at all. The piece is by Cesar Davila Irizarry and Charlie Clouser and it was created specifically for the show.
As well as the opening theme, AHS always does well with it’s soundtrack, merging old classics and fresh pop hits into each season. Any fan of Fleetwood Mac would love Coven, as the whole season has a running Fleetwood Mac theme following Lily Rabe’s witchy charachter, Misty Day, even leading up to an appearance from Stevie Nicks herself, singing Seven Wonders.
By far though, the music guys have really outdone themselves when it came to the soundtrack for Hotel. Using up-beat pop hits in the scariest of settings worked wonders and made for an exciting watch. A stand out scene would be Matt Bomer’s bloodthirsty Donovan dancing to Hotline Bling in Hotel.
7 – The Dante’s Inferno
I’m not going to sit here an make out that I’ve read the whole of Dante’s Inferno, because I haven’t but I do know enough about it to believe this amazing theory.
There are many theories about the logistics of AHS and my favourite one is that each season of the show is connected to the first part of the Dante Alighieri poem Divine Comedy, Dante’s Inferno. During this section of the poem, Dante is travelling through the ‘9 circles of hell’ which, to be exact, are Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud and Treachery.
These are just some examples that hold a strong case for this theory.
Murder House – Lust
Everyone trapped inside the Murder House is their due to their desires, or lust. Ben cheated, Larry had an affair, Patrick cheated, and so on.
Asylum – Fraud
Asylum focuses on lies, deception and pretty much every charachter is pretending to be something they’re not. Lana lied to get herself in the Asylum in the first place, everyone thought Kit was lying about the aliens abducting his wife and Oliver turned out to be the biggest liar of them all. Lots of fraud in Asylum.
Coven – Treachery
Everyone in this season are going behind eachothers backs. Hank, Fiona, Delphine and every witch in that house are stabbing each other in the back.
Freak Show – Greed
Freak Show focuses on fame, fortune and money. Their isn’t a charachter in this season that isn’t greedy for something. Everyone wants something off someone. Whether it’s their own clown to play with, or just a normal life.
Hotel – Gluttony
This season focuses on the 10 Commandments Killer, who of course kills those who break one of the 10 commandments. That’s our main focus already, but the hotel itself is full of people who are just fighting their own addictions. Whether it’s blood, sex, violence, drugs or alcohol, everyone is indulging in the things they love most.
Of course, it’s just a theory that Ryan has connected the entire show to Dante’s Inferno, but it’s a theory I like to believe. I think it’s clever and it makes me more excited to see what theme they’ll use next. If the theory is correct it also means we have another 4 seasons left to come before they could possibly end the show for good.
So that’s it, my 7 reasons to love American Horror Story. If you’re as excited as me for the return of the new season, then don’t forget to tune into FX on Wednesday 14th September.