The fourth season of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show” debuted October 8th on FX, and in the premiere episode we got everything from a lonely clown (with a penchant for balloon animals and bludgeoning randy teens to death), a two-headed woman, an assortment of oddities, a Marlene Dietrich-channeling Jessica Lange, and a look at decline of the Carny Trade in 1950’s America.
We’ll have to wait and see how this year measures up to the previous incarnations (“Murder House,” “Asylum,” and “Coven”) – but so far, so batshit crazy.
So we thought we’d take a look back at some of the highlights from the show thus far. Writing up a “best of” (which is personal preference and not a definitive list) “American Horror Story” compilation is no easy feat. Below are 10 of the best (well, my favorite) scenes from the series’ first three chapters.
Introducing Jessica Lange
The backbone of “AHS” has always been Jessica Lange. Even though her character in “Murder House” – the morally-bankrupt, Southern glamour-puss Constance – was only ever intended as a bit player in the first season, she literally stole the show (and scored her first Emmy win) with her fading glamour, homicidal tendencies and caustic wit.
“AHS’s” first instalment (and subsequent seasons) perhaps wouldn’t have been the hit it was, had it not been for Lange’s warped presence throughout the first season. Her performance anchored “AHS,” counteracting the showrunners’ creative schizophrenia and the occasionally off-putting weirdness on display.
Home Invasion – Home Invasion
Echoing Last House on the Left and Funny Games, a trio of incompetent would-be-killers/home invaders show up with plans to dispatch the current residents of “Murder House,” drawn by the house’s homicidal history. “AHS’s” inaugural year threw in everything but the kitchen sink (and then some), and not all of it stuck. But fans have grown to love how the show lifts elements from traditional horror film scenarios and inventively twists a tried and tested terror trope into something new and a little subversive.
Up until now, people tuning in weren’t exactly sure if the things lurking in the house were benign (not all of them were) so when the spectral residents lend a hand to the mother/daughter (Connie Britton and Taissa Farmiga) duo and band together to turn the tables on the murderous miscreants, it was one of the first legitimate surprises on the show.
Birth of the Antichrist – Birth
In addition to the home invasions, a cheating husband who makes really bad real estate related choices, a moody (and very dead) daughter and bitchy Baby Jane-like neighbors – the long-suffering Vivian Harmon was also the victim of an unexpected pregnancy – by a dead teenage serial killer!
And the birth of her demonic spawn ranks as one of the most insane pregnancy-themed horror sequences to ever unfold on mainstream television!