Fans, new and old, waited with bated breath as the season premiere of the coveted “American Horror Story” reared its cloaked head to audiences around the world. The award-winning series known for pushing the envelope generated even more buzz earlier this year when co-creator’s Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk kept the theme for season six a very well hidden secret. September 14 finally arrived to impatient fans and left them gasping for air as the ionic theme song wrapped around their brains.
The theme for this season was revealed to be “My Roanoke Nightmare.” The theme called for connections to an actual location in the United States. Alarm-bells are currently going off. The location being the Roanoke Colony established in North Carolina in the late 16th century. Some awfully creepy things happened in dear, dear Roanoke. Three years after the last supplies from England arrived, the colonists in all of Roanoke disappeared with no evidence to suggest why. Making it the perfect backdrop for Murphy’s and Falchuk’s dark, twisted fantasy to thrive in.
This season marks a new turning point for storytelling in the now 10 episode long series. Giving audiences major TLC’s “A Haunting” vibes, the series offers interviews and reenactments of a couple’s experience in their new home, centered directly in the heart of Roanoke’s countryside, directly telling audiences the story was based off a true story. Whether or not it is truthful or for effect, it still sent shivers up our spines. What a charming life to start living, right? Not exactly.
The season premier includes veteran actors of the show like Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson and Angela Bassest, but it also introduces the new additions of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Andre Holland.
The premiere starts off relatively slow in the first 30 minutes with Murphy and Falchuk setting up important, yet sluggish exposition. It can be said that the first episode knocks reenacting shows out of the water indefinitely. Step off TLC. In addition, the narration cuts off prime scenes of interaction between characters where past seasons have displayed them with ease. Only after the 30 minute mark does the show get into a familiar mode of horror with gut-retching sounds of pigs and screams, hailing teeth and disappearing violent mobs. You know. The usually stuff.
The action causes the plot to move forward. By this point it is obvious that Paulson’s character is the only one taking the actions seriously. Paulson leaves the home in a fit of rage and gets into a very quick and harmless car accident. It soon becomes clear that they are not leaving their stunning, vicious home.
Paulson also gets the first jump scare of the series. And guess who it is? It is Kathy Bates as a very, very colonial woman who is just fine after getting hit by a truck. After Paulson gets lost in the woods, more and more of our favorite actors are introduced with a colonial version Wes Bentley and a super crazy Denis O’Hare with half of his head chopped off. The gangs all here, mostly.
Even Peters and Lady Gaga were nowhere to be seen in the first episode, but have no fear, fellow Roanoke citizens will be making their grand entrance soon enough.
All in all, this season of “American Horror Story” started off bland but ended with a true horror cliffhanger in true suspense fashion. It undoubtedly made audiences hungry for the next chapter while leaving them with questions aching to be answered.
While this season might stray away from the familiar formula people have come to expect from the series, the reinvention is clever and needed to track in new fans and give older ones more interest.
Murphy and Falchuk did not disappoint. The series is already leading to various plot lines, complex characters and the knowledge that not everything is fiction which should make everyone flinch a little bit more.
“American Horror Story: Roanoke” will release a new episode every Wednesday on FX starting at 10 p.m. Stay scared, my friends.