‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ lacks in storytelling, excels in scare factor

Randi Mattox


The new season of the FX horror anthology “American Horror Story” premiered early this month under the subtitle “Hotel.” AHS creators are bringing viewers a new style of horror this season that is proving to be one of the scariest yet.


“AHS: Hotel” is about the mysterious Hotel Cortez in Los Angeles, California. A homicide detective becomes intrigued by Hotel Cortez and begins investigating the strange happenings. This season of AHS features two murderous characters, the Ten Commandments Killer and the Addition Demon.

Although AHS lost Jessica Lange this season, fans were given the surprise of a new cast member who perfectly fits the criteria of an AHS star, Lady Gaga. Gaga plays “The Countess,” the owner of Hotel Cortez. It is no surprise that Gaga embodies the character with perfect detail and originality.

The scare factor in “AHS: Hotel” is a lot darker than previous seasons. It is definitely segmented to a specific audience that enjoys a more sinister style of horror. This probably isn’t the show for you if you scare easily, but true AHS fans will love experiencing a new and unique type of horror.

AHS creator Ryan Murphy stated earlier this year that “AHS: Hotel” would feature characters from previous seasons, and possibly tie together the various stories. This seems like an impossible task. But if that goal is successfully achieved, “AHS: Hotel” could become the best season yet.

One downfall to “AHS: Hotel” is the storytelling. So far, it seems like the desire to create an original take on a classic horror staple, a hotel, is taking away from the creator’s ability to effectively tell the story. It is difficult at times to see past the elaborate set design and shocking images to find a cohesive and easy-to-understand plot. The basic premise of the story is there, but the intriguing details and the storytelling characteristics that AHS is known for are lacking so far. However, the season has just begun. And if we have learned anything from past AHS seasons, we know that the episodes are just going to get better.

Collegian Reporter Randi Mattox can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @randimattox.