American Horror Story Pilot.
It starts out well enough, with a flashback to 1978. A scene where two shit-talking ginger kids get cut up in the basement of the scary house on the block, after ignoring the warnings of a cute young Down’s Syndrome girl…
Then we cut to present day, and follow through with a pretty standard haunted house movie set-up. Husband and wife are going through marital stress, and decided to have a fresh start by buying a Victorian Mansion for 1/4 of what it should cost. The previous tenants died in a murder-suicide. The dog barks at the basement door. There is a creepy demon mural painted underneath the peeling wallpaper. The misfit teenage daughter who likes to cut herself says, “We’ll take it.”
It is all well-done, but very generic. They try to spruce it up a bit with some quick edits and pointless jump-cuts. Then more weird shit starts to happen. They find a genuine gimp-suit in the attic. The Down’s Syndrome girl shows up, much less cute full-grown, and starts creeping out the mom. Jessica Lange appears as the southern belle neighbor, and starts shop-lifting. We meet “Taint” (!), a problematic kid going to counseling for his Columbine fantasies. A weird burnt-face guy is peeping in the windows. A housekeeper shows up that says she has worked for the house for years, but whenever Dad looks at her he sees a smokin’ hot young red-head in a sexy maid outfit.
It is like they are throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. I guess that is why it is so vaguely-named. The “American” part means ripping off everything you can think of, and stirring it into a big, slightly offensive pot. I mean they even rip off Tarantino, the notorious cinematic thief, in at least one spot.
Despite all of this, the show still works. The strained relationship between Mom and Dad is believable and relatable. He wants so badly to be forgiven, and she rejects him at every turn. The scene where Dylan McDermot masturbates into his own tears reminded me of my usual Friday night plans.
Lots of creepy things are going on all the time, like when the gimp-suit comes to “life” and gives Mom the high hard one while dad is holding his hand over an open flame, hypnotized. The “scaring the bully” scene was well-done with some creepy images, although it almost gave me a seizure with the strobe effect and quick editing.
Hopefully, future episodes will tone it down a little bit, and try to develop the interesting main characters and make this generic horror story a little more unique. Either way, I am looking forward to the next episode.
Grade : B
Faithfully submitted by Darth Biscuits.