Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

American Horror Story: Halloween, Part 1

"It's just a feeling I get... darkness."

I think the biggest hurdle this show has to overcome relates to the Harmon's and the fact that they're still living in that goddamn house! I may be stupid for seeking some realism in a show about gay ghosts and Frankenstein babies, but it's so ridiculously silly that this family is still sticking around despite being assaulted and weirded out by literally everyone that stumbles into their lives every week. Characters exhibiting irrational and clueless behavior is a trope of the horror genre, but it sure is making the family at the center of this show so easy to point and laugh at.

Once again, it's the mythology that's raising the bar. At first I was only annoyed by the on-the-nose hyper-sexuality of Pat and Chad ('power-bottoms', 'twinks' -- nobody talks like that, show); but Zachary Quinto eventually managed to stumble into something quietly moving. Like Vivien, he's trapped in a marriage that's slowly decomposing, married to a man who can't go a day without boning somebody else. Quinto also struck that perfect tone where he seems aware of how campy and nuts this show is, something that Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott should probably look into.

I'm pretty bummed about Addie's death. Her story this week could have easily spiraled into crass and offensive territory, but I ended up liking her desire to just be considered beautiful for one night of the year. Sure, Constance made her wear a big latex rubber mask to achieve that, but it was a story that finally reflected how close the two of them are. Constance sends a lot of animosity and bitterness her way, but she really does love her. There was something so sad about Constance dragging Adelaide's body closer to the house (presumably to keep her spirit alive as a ghost?).

The most affecting moment, just like last week, came from Frances Conroy's Moira. While Jessica Lange is all about the campiness, Conroy is delivering the show's only truly moving performance, and it's Moira that is quickly becoming the heart of the show. The scene with her mother was beautifully performed, and I loved how the story utilized the whole 'dead will walk the earth' angle. It's another example of the schizophrenia in the Ryan Murphy wheelhouse, but so far I'm not finding the radical swings in tone entirely jarring. Based on Glee and Popular, that'll probably hit sometime in season two. But for now, American Horror Story is entirely winning me over.


- Was Patrick grabbing Ben's crotch somehow related to how Ben sees Moira? It's like both ghosts are cursed to be forever seen as over-the-top representations of their baser instincts: Patrick a big gay sex freak and Moira a seductive mistress.

- Rubber Man returns! He's mightily creepy. Anybody pick up this week's Entertainment Weekly yet? I simultaneously squeed and shuddered when it appeared in my mail-box.

- I'm enjoying these flashbacks to Charles and Nora Montgomery, in all their gothic Lovecraftian glory. Sewing up baby parts? Major ick, but horror awesomeness at its finest.

- Chad: It's not your house. You know it. We know it. And the house knows it. Frankly, you don't deserve it.

Previously posted at Unwelcome Commentary.


  1. Teddy Sears grabbing Dylan McDermott's crotch – WOW!!! WHOOSH!!! I'm so jealous!!!

    I loved Addie. I thought they would ultimately make her the "heart" of show. I do hope Constance got her to the house's ground in time for her spirit to return.

    Watching each episode is like watching THE SHINING for the first time over and over.

    The end left me a little dizzy.

    Rubber Man is one of THE creepiest "monsters" to come along in a lloonnnnggggg time.

    I saw that EW cover. I loved it!!! I have it right here. :)

  2. The scenes involving Jessica Lange and Jamie Brewer were electric: some of things that Jessica was saying to the actress' character were especially awful, yet Jamie managed to rise to the occasion commendably. I do hope that Addie somehow manages to stick around. Their final scene was compelling and a little bit heart-wrenching.

  3. I still can't wrap my mind around this show, but I agree completely, Max, about Zachary Quinto. I'd never much liked him before, but he did a great job here.

  4. This show continues to keep my attention. I may be addicted, so I hope it doesn't get cancelled anytime soon.

    I'm pegging Rubber Man, Chad (Zachary Quinto is one of the those quirky actors I can see in any role), and Nora as the bad guys with their own agendas for the house (I also doubt a character as freaky as Charles Montgomery is just dead and buried). I guess you can add Hayden to that too. But Rubber Man is still the most menacing. Is their a method to his mad plans of killing gays, kidnapping girls, and planting his seed in housewives (when they were doing the ultrasound I wound up thinking the baby would be a gimp too).

    Constance, Moira, and Tate seem to be reluctantly looking after the house. Though there is clearly something messed up with all three of them, they are still managing to become more endearing as time goes on.

    Don't know how Harvey plays into all of this, all I know is that Denis O'Hare scaring children on Halloween is very fitting and made my night.

    What frustrates me about the Harmons is that they seem to be blindly shutting their eyes to all of the strangeness in their own house. I especially love how Ben literally shuts the door on Hayden's ghost, like that'll make her go away. Luckily they are all portrayed very well.

    Can't wait till part 2

  5. Supposedly Addie really is gone, which is disappointing. But I'm guessing they'll have to show her in flashbacks at least, to show how she wound up in the house and hadn't aged at all.

    I agree about the Harmons being a little blind to everything. Like the fact a nurse dropped dead (she's dead, right?) at the sight of their ultrasound. It's so silly, but somehow it works.

    And I'm guessing Rubber Man does have an agenda, but I'm not sure if the random killings have anything to do with it. Maybe he was looking all this time for the perfect resident to impregnate.

    I really hope the writers manage to pull together all these ideas...

  6. This show is just mind boggling to me. Can't really make up my mind what I think of it all. I don't really like where it's going story-wise, but I am amazed of all the good actors in it. All the Jessica Lange scenes are simply eletric. And Kate Mara, Frances Conroy are brilliant too. And then suddenly Teddy Sears and Zachary Quinto comes in and adds to an already great cast. (Hope to see them again).

    Every episode makes me feel a bit exhausted - in a good way - and I can't explain why.

  7. I still can't wrap my mind around this show, but I agree completely, Max, about Zachary Quinto. I'd never much liked him before, but he did a great job here.

    When Sylar decided to come out, he REALLY came out!

  8. I think Luke (Morris Chestnut) is the phantom in the rubber suit.

    There, I said it!


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.