American Horror Story: a television show that allows you to enjoy classic horror movie elements from the comfort of your couch. This show has brought its audience everything from murdering twins to aliens, while maintaining its status as an anthology horror series.
Each season is its own miniseries, and can stand on its own from the others. However, you wouldn’t want to miss a single episode of this spine-tingling show that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Here is a breakdown of each season, ranked from worst to best.
#6 Season 5: Hotel
No season of American Horror Story is truly awful, but Season 5: Hotel is the show’s least impressive season. While it did have interesting elements – The Ten Commandments Killer had pretty interesting motives for becoming and continuing to be a serial killer – this season included the dreaded member of supernatural lore: vampires.
With the recent popularity of vampirism (Twilight, Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Hemlock Grove, etc.) this creature of the night has become overdone and cumbersome to any plot. After the image we’ve created of vampires in our minds, they are no longer scary, but sexy and the things that teenage girls dream about.
For this reason, having this season of American Horror Story center around the Countess and various other vampires was unimpressive, and lacked creativity.
#5 Season 4: Freak Show
While this season is a personal pleasure, many believe it is where the series started to tank a little bit. Keep in mind, however, that it would be hard to completely tank, as each season is set apart from the rest. This season of American Horror Story centers around a freak show, struggling to survive in an era where freak shows were becoming obsolete.
The main argument that this season was a bit lackluster is that it wasn’t scary, but sad. We catch a glimpse of the lives of these circus entertainers, the malformed and the demented. However, instead of being frightened or unnerved, we feel sympathy for the characters and the plight they have to endure.
An argument could be made that this season demonstrates the show’s ability to create a variety of stories, each one drawing on different parts of our humanity. Despite this, it still ranks at the bottom of the series.
#4 Season 3: Coven
No one can deny the draw of witches, especially sassy witches in charge. American Horror Story takes us to New Orleans, the land of mystic and voodoo, and introduces characters from all walks of life. The fight to become a supreme creates a battlefield in this colonial mansion, but there are certain elements that leave a little to be desired.
The key item is that they bring zombies into the picture, but they are less ‘Walking Dead’ and more ‘Shawn of the Dead.’ (I.E. not very scary) Beyond that, in the world of the supernatural, witches are pretty spectacular beings, capable of manipulating the very earth we stand on. With this in mind, the witches we see in Coven are not only a little less than what we had in mind, but they’re also not tapping into the true ‘powers that be’.
This season, while having a lot of potential and a great story line, falls a little short on the grand scale.
#3 Season 6: Roanoke
This latest season is ranked high for a reason. After three seasons of not-so-scary environments, and slightly stagnant story lines, this season of American Horror Story brings everything to the table. Roanoke, a very mysterious and scary place in itself, is the location that holds this season’s characters in its grasp.
We are shown what happens during the blood moon on these lands, and just how terrifying demented backwoods hillbillies can be. This season incorporates a lot of elements, while trying out a new style to its presentation. Everything is viewed through a ‘dramatic retelling’, and the actual characters are presenting us the story as if being interviewed on television.
At the end, we’re all left wondering: What parts were the creations of the production team and which parts were the true affects of the blood moon?
#2 Season 1:Murder House
Season one of American Horror Story definitely started this legacy off with a bang. Murder House begins with the typical story of a husband and wife, with a teenage daughter in tow, who are trying to run away from their past of adulteration and lies. Planning on a fresh start, they definitely get a rude awakening when creepy things start to happen in the house.
Violet, who suffers from extreme depression, starts to fall in love with a ghost. The maid seduces Ben, who looks like a bombshell to him, but is actually around the ripe old age of 70. Then there’s Vivien, who gets raped, unknowingly, because she thought it was her husband.
In this whirlwind of a season, we’re left with a lot of interesting stories – including the original owner of the house, back in the 1920’s – but we’re also left with a pretty huge plot twist that will have you yearning for more in season two.
#1 Season 2: Asylum
The second season of American Horror Story, according to many, is the best and most terrifying of them all. Centered on an insane asylum, we’re pushed back to 1964 and all of the surreal things that happened in these four walls. We are introduced to the main characters, and given backstories as to why they’re all forced to reside in the asylum. There are reasons ranging from alien abduction to demonic possession.
What makes this season truly interesting is the different ethic and psychological issues it brings to light. Is a parent responsible if their child becomes a serial killer? Should young men and women be sterilized if they can’t take responsibility for their actions? Should every living creature deserve equal rights and respect? Whatever your opinion is about any of these matters, the mere fact that they’re brought up and challenged makes this season truly one of a kind.
If we’re talking about American Horror Story as a whole, one of the most interesting aspects is that most of the seasons are loosely based on true stories. Asylum is referencing many asylums in the 50s and 60s that were ruled under less than ethical morals. Coven references witches in New Orleans, which is one of the top locations for voodoo practitioners in the world.
Freak Show discusses the issues and obstacles that many freak shows faced around this time, when they fading away from the public eye. Hotel is loosely based on the hotel H.H. Holmes built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which he used to torture and dispose of his victims. Roanoke talks about the colony of Roanoke, and the word etched into the tree: Croatoan.
Whether you’re interested in the ties with history, or being scared out of your wits, this series is definitely a binge-worthy investment.