American Horror Story has been one of the most popular series on television for the past 10 years. Now entering its 10th season, the FX series continues to create new nightmares by shocking its audience into terror. American Horror Story: Double Feature premiered this week on FX and on FX on Hulu.
The anthology series tells a brand new story each season, with most of the same cast returning to play different roles each time out. This new two-layered season seems to revolve around both aliens and vampires, though the first two episodes only focused on the latter.
In this new season, the Gardner family has decided to escape New York City in favor of a quiet beach town in Massachusetts. Harry Gardner (Finn Wittrock) is a writer and needs to find a peaceful place to work, while his wife Doris (Lily Rabe) was hired to redecorate the house in which they’re temporarily living. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out that there is something strange going on in this town however and this dream escape quickly become a nightmare.
In fact, “it doesn’t take long” is quite an understatement. The first episode plays more like the first half of a two-hour feature film as opposed to just the first part of a six to 10-episode series. Things move very quickly through both of the first two episodes to the point where you have to wonder what will be left for the remainder of this season.
As for the story itself, it is largely clichė, filled with horror tropes from start to finish. This isn’t terribly unexpected when you get into a series that focuses on vampires. With so many existing stories already, it’s difficult to create one that’s entirely original. However, the show also bombards viewers with constant eye roll-worthy moments of characters behaving in ways no people would ever behave, and other horror tropes of the sort. I’m just saying, if you were just attacked by a strange man in a trench coat with razor sharp teeth, you probably don’t leave your daughter with a baby sitter you don’t know so you can enjoy a night on the town the next day.
Over the course of its nine previous seasons, most of the horror from American Horror Story has come simply from grotesque and disturbing imagery. While this new season hasn’t pushed the envelope too far in its early episodes, it does seem to be following that same formula and the door is certainly open for it to be quite gory and, to put it simply, gross, in the future.
There otherwise really isn’t much in the way of horror in the early going here. The vampires are mostly generic, though there is a twist to them that leads into what this story is really about. There is certainly more to this season than what’s on the surface but it’s not going to deliver genuine terror. That will likely and unfortunately continue to simply come from gore.
This new season is really carried by the cast. With so many of them having worked together for so long, it’s clear they have developed a strong chemistry of the years. Even when their dialogue sounds like its coming from someone who is pitching a horror movie on the spot, they deliver it passion and keep you interested in their story. They may not be relatable, because what happening around them is so ridiculous and their reactions are so absurd, but they are certainly entertaining in their deliveries.
The other stand out of this series is, and has always been, the music. On top of one of the most memorable themes on television, the original score from composer Mac Quayle is the perfect compliment to the uneasy eeriness of this show. The soundtrack is icing on the cake, occasionally briefly bringing the audience back into the real world before they too slip into vampirism.
You can watch new episodes of American Horror Story: Double Feature Wednesdays at 10 PM on FX or the next day on FX on Hulu.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”