While Halloween used to mean the coming of yet another installment of the Saw franchise, over the past 4 years, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have laid claim to the title. American Horror Story has become one of the biggest horror shows on the airwaves; its anthology format keeps it fresh and enables it to draw in a new audience every season, while maintaining fans from seasons past. I am a huge fan of the series. That being said, there are a lot of things that I dislike about it. The first season was a gargantuan flop despite its stellar kick off. The second season is where my heart lies; it’s why I continue to love the series. The third season was fun and entertaining, but by far the weakest link in the series. I have been excited about the season premiere of Freak Show, and on Wednesday, it finally came. In a grandiose hour and a half long premiere, we were introduced to the troupe of “monsters”, as Jessica Lange‘s Elsa lovingly calls them, that will comprise this season’s core cast and I can already tell that we are in for a hell of a season. One that promises to be the most terrifying and traumatizing yet. Title: Monsters Among Us (S4:E1) Director: Ryan Murphy Writer: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk Starring: Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Francis Conroy, John Carroll Lynch Network: FX Runtime: 90 minutes Set in rural Florida in September of 1953, a German expat named Elsa Mars has relocated her traveling “Cabinet of Curiosities” outside of the small hamlet Jupiter. It is the last of a dying breed, the American freak show. Desperate for the survival of herself and her troupe she seeks out Bette and Dot Tattler, who happen to be the subject of the town’s latest scandal: their mother was murdered and they were discovered hiding in the house. That doesn’t sound so scandalous, but here’s the kicker: they are Siamese twins. One body, two heads. Elsa convinces them to join her troupe where they become the headline act. While the town suffers from a string of heinous murders committed by an unknown homicidal clown named Twisty, they turn their attention to Elsa’s monsters in the belief that their presence in town is more than mere coincidence. One thing is made very apparent in this premiere, in that it seems that Murphy has really hit his stride with American Horror Story. The cinematography, score, special effects are all beautifully executed. Coven felt very rushed to me. While it was entertaining, it felt rather thrown together with no panache or grandeur. The premiere of Freak Show made up for the entirety of last season in 90 minutes. You can definitely see that this show has become a hot commodity for FX as this episode genuinely felt like an event. Not to mention the glorious return of Pepper from Asylum. Bette and Dot Tattler (played by Sarah Paulson) seem to be the point of focus in this season. I feel as if this show goes in evens and odds. Seasons One and Three take place in modern day, while Seasons Two and Four are period pieces with Paulson at the center of attention. Special effects aside, her portrayal of the “Siamese Sisters” is pretty damn solid, considering she was able to capture two completely different performances (quite literally) in one body. I feel as if Murphy and Falchuk are grooming her to take over the AHS mantle, should Lange decide to actually leave after this season. Speaking of which, the biggest surprise for me was Lange’s performance. I don’t know if she’s simply honing it in at this point, but I didn’t feel as if Elsa Mars is as genuine a character as she could be. Yes, she’s charming, but her faltering German accent and repeated homages to characters past (Peppermint Angel, Ala Lana Banana) kept taking me out of the moment. I can’t help but feel she’s beginning to combine the three characters she’s already played to create this one. Yet, this is the premiere episode; we’ve got twelve more to see what Lange is going to do with her. I’ll keep the faith. Now, I want to focus on one more point before I ramble on forever, which seems to be the hottest topic of all from this premiere. That of John Carroll Lynch‘s performance as Twisty the Clown. Clowns have never terrified me the way they appear to terrify 99.9% of society; however I will agree that he takes American Horror Story to a more terrifying place than it’s ever been. The Infantata, Murder Face and Papa Legba all appear to have been leading up to Twisty. A filthy man in a tattered clown costume, mangled mask that obscures the lower half of his face and never speaks, he appears to be a clown in pursuit of an audience. His introduction in the first ten minutes of the episode is one of the most suspenseful, dark and brutal moments I have ever seen on television and while I don’t have a fear of clowns, I found myself scared of him. While it starts as an innocent attempt to entertain a young woman at a picnic, it escalates into a nightmare that would scare the shit out of Zodiac himself. Overall I am very excited about this season of American Horror Story. From the beautifully composed soundtrack to the eye candy that was the cinematography, this promises to be an amazing season. I’m also excited that it appears to be going in a direction so far from its predecessors, in that the supernatural overtones seem to be nonexistent. It looks like this will be a season focusing on the monstrosities of mankind, their desires for fame and notoriety, not of the aether. Aside from the rather… interesting (?) performance of Life on Mars? I was all about this episode and am already counting down the days to next Wednesday. I shared my piece, now you share yours! What did you think of the season premiere of Freak Show? Keep it spooky! Rg Lovecraft Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.