We delve into the world of FX’s smash supernatural hit American Horror Story. Check out the review below.
Stars: Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Taissa Farmiga and Zachary Quinto.
Created by: Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk
Directed by: Various
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
For a show to be what is known as a “cult classic” it has to have various aspects that appeal to many yet are loved by a core group. It also has to make certain “regular” folks cringe and those who enjoy it cheer. American Horror Story does just that in its first season.
The basic premise for the show goes like this: A troubled family moves across the United States, and ends up settling into a historically-rich manor in California. Unbeknownst to them, however, the home is haunted, and has an incredibly violent history.
Simple right? Now so much. American Horror Story grabs you by the throat from the first episode and never lets go. It introduces us to the Harmon family who(to put it nicely) have a very violent/adulteress past as well.
Generally, the show itself is more of a drama than straight forward horror romp. Even though the name illecits fear and wonder from its viewers, I personally was never scared to say the least. Those less familiar with the horror genre and all of its classics may feel differently, though. Many, for this very reason, gave up on the show early on and never let it fester in their minds the way it has with others who stuck with it.
Of course, there’s more to a good show than well-developed characters and riveting dialogue, though American Horror Story has both in large abundance .On top of all of that, quality actors are required to perform each script, and the members of the show’s large cast did an impressive job of bringing their on-screen personas to TV. Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott were incredibly believable as the troubled Harmon couple, yet on many occasions their delivery was not heartfelt and some emotions were a bit over the top.
Those who supported them in the cast helped to create an engaging but confined world, wherein the past could wreak havoc on the present and nothing was as it seemed. The always-great Frances Conroy ( Six Feet Under) is an absolute standout as the older half of a dual aged, overly sexual maid. Evan Peters is just as engaging as a conflicted teenage character. He delivers a bit of a Kurt Cobain type angst throughout the show. I have to say the show uses Peters to harken back to real life tragedies such as the Columbine shooting and this makes his character one you love to hate. However, they’re not the only quality performances in the cast. Jessica Lange who plays the doting, and sometimes down right evil next door neighbor to the Harmons, Constance, really makes one’s skin crawl at times. There is no doubt this character is one of Lange’s best roles and her Emmy award proves just that. One shinning gem of her performance is her characters final monologue and is a sight to see.
American Horror Story is an interesting ride from start to finish. The depth of this show is expansive and makes the viewer eager for the next episode every time. In Fact, I watched this entire set in just a few days because of how immersed I was in its content. You never knew what new spirit would be brought into play and interact with the family in the house or for that matter, how the family would deal with said spirit.
Now available on Blu-ray, American Horror Story: The Complete First Season presents the show’s twelve-episode debut arc in amazingly crisp high definition. When the screen is black for some interior scenes, you could almost literally be lost in their darkness like an abyss.There is a bit of background noise that gets in the way of the show but this could possibly be due to the way it was filmed.
Complementing this package’s visual presentation is an impressive-sounding DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, that is tough to find anything wrong with. All of the show’s loud scenes were both vibrant and boisterous, while all of its quieter scenes were hushed and silent. There’s a large spectrum of sound to be found within this gem of a series and the Blu-Ray accentuates that perfectly.
This three-disc package includes the following extras:
- Pilot episode commentary with co-creator Ryan Murphy
- The Murder House Presented by Eternal Darkness Tours of Hollywood
- Behind the Fright: The Making of American Horror Story
- Out of the Shadows: Meet the House Ghosts
- Overture to Horror: Creating the Title Sequence
- On the Set of American Horror Story: Season One
Combined, the mentioned extras offer over sixty minutes of extra footage and really makes the show even more in depth than what the episodes provide by themselves. This release has a great mock tour of The Murder House and is the highlight of the sets additional features in my opinion. One must sit threw all of the special features to really understand how well each accentuates the disk as a whole.
American Horror Story season one is a must have for horror fans and fans of drama in general. Whether you believe in such things or not…this set will haunt you to the core and you might just like it. It comes very highly recommend by us.
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