My husband Darwin loves horror movies. I don’t. However, I drag Darwin kicking and screaming into super-hero movies, so in return I put up with the occasional horror show. Marriage forces both of us into dreadful compromises.
When I learned the TV show American Horror Story was featuring Lady Gaga this season, however, I thought, “Way cool!” Darwin could watch horror, and I could see Lady Gaga, and we’d both win. Plus–Kathy Bates! I set the DVR to record the show, and when a few episodes had stacked up, Darwin and I settled in to watch.
Aaaand we didn’t like it. Didn’t even get through the first episode.
The fish-eye lens (meant to mimic a hotel peephole, I suppose) gets annoying really fast. And every protagonist-type character acts like an utter idiot. The two super girly tourists in the opener have a hundred chances to escape, but take none of them, and in fact, do nothing but whine and scream. A police detective arrives to investigate an emergency call with no backup, even though we see him work with an entire team just one scene earlier. All the victims give in without fighting. This horror trope I loathe more than any other, and this show has it over and over and over. No one ever fights back? No one manages to get away? Really?
Yeah, I know the storyline is meant to be outrageously Gothic, but style gets in the way of story. Many of the shots were so darkly lit, you couldn’t see what was going on, and then when we shift to the vampire child playroom, with the outdated video games, the change is so jarring, it jolts us out of the story and shouts, “Look! We’re on a set! Isn’t the design cool?”
Even Lady Gaga’s outrageous sense of style couldn’t save it.
Darwin agreed with me. We shut it off and deleted the recording.
Ah well. There’s always Supergirl.
–Steven Harper Piziks