Sunday, 12 October 2014

13 of the best moments from American Horror Story

American Horror Story - brought to you by the makers of Glee, would you believe - has shocked, horrified and induced feelings of WTF-ery like nothing else on television that I can remember. There are definitely 'better' shows to watch, but there aren't many that are as entertaining and out there as American Horror Story is, week after week. The show has absolutely no limits when it comes to shocking its audience, but it's also filled with a roster of amazing actors such as Jessica Lange, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates and Gabourey Sidibe.

So with Hallowe'en just around the corner, and the first episode of the new series (American Horror Story: Freak Show) aired earlier this week, here are 13 (obviously) of American Horror Story's most terrifying, emotional and down right fabulous moments.

1. Gazebo Coverup (Season 1, Episode 3)
In what could be the bloodiest future episode of DIY SOS ever, father of the house Ben builds a gazebo over the corpses of his mistress Hayden - killed by burn victim and peeping tom neighbour Larry with a shovel to the back of the head - and ghostly housekeeper Moira.

2. School Shooter (Season 1, Episode 5)
Tate might be a ghost, but he seems pretty relatable. Until this episode, that is. Ghost-Tate takes Violet on a date to the beach, but the pair are besieged by a group of bloody and disfigured teenagers, and they flee. Violet consequently discovers that those teenagers were ghosts who were murdered by Tate when he committed a school shooting. Tate is forced to deal with the consequences as his victims demand to know why he killed them, and admit his guilt. Yikes.

3. Teen Suicide (Season 1, Episodes 6 and 10)
Teenage Violet attempts to commit suicide. Her ghost-boyfriend (it's a complicated relationship...) drags her into the bathtub and forces her to vomit up her suicide pills. At least, that's what we're led to believe - it turns out that Violet actually died, and Tate hid her body in the house's basement. And we get to see her maggot- and fly-infested corpse.

4. Violet's Birth (Season 1, Episode 11)
This is such a gut-wrenching moment. First of all, we have to deal with the unthinkable for many television series (although, American Horror Story and Game of Thrones are putting an end to this...): the death of the supposed leading character. We are taken back to Violet's birth: Violet's ghosts watches her mother die during her own childbirth, and then comforts her in the afterlife. 

5. Lana vs. Bloody Face (Season 2, Episode 5)
I think this was quite possibly one of the scariest, hide-behind-the-cushion moments of American Horror Story. Lana Winters eventually manages to escape the Briarcliff Asylum with the help of psychiatrist Dr Thredson, who takes her to his home. Slowly, she realises that his furniture is actually made out of skin and that he is the serial killer Bloody Face. She ends up trapped in his basement of horror, where he has been abusing Lana's girlfriend.

6. Serial Killer Santa (Season 2, Episode 9)
You'll find no festive cheer with this Father Christmas. Leigh is a patient at the Briarcliff asylum; in his backstory, we find out that he murders a family in their own home, whilst wearing his Father Christmas uniform (he'd been working as one of those shopping centre Father Christmases). He then attempts to kill Frank the security guard and torture Sister Jude; he manages to drown the Monsignor and nail him to the cross.

7. The Name Game (Season 2, Episode 10)
Briarcliff's Sister Jude becomes imprisoned in her own asylum and goes insane from the shock therapy she is forced to receive. In what turns out to be the creepiest bit of light relief, ever, she acts out her own musical fantasy with the help of the asylum's new juke box. Everyone joins in with her hallucinated all-singing-all-dancing musical turn - and American Horror Story steps a little too far into Glee territory for my liking.

8. Death by Fire (Season 2, Episode 10)
Scientist Dr Arden - a former Nazi whose sadistic 'experiments' on Briarcliff's inmates have left them wandering around the grounds of the asylum, mutilated - chooses to burn himself to death in the furnace, hogging the cremation of the dead Sister Mary Eunice. Does he kill himself because he can't bear to live without his lover, or because he can't bear to live with the horrific things that he's done? Who cares - so long as he's dead.

9. Lana vs. Bloody Face part 2 (Season 2, Episode 13)
The ending of the second series is just the most brutal but perfect way of tying up all the madness that has gone before. Lana Winters, the journalist who was incarcerated in the Briarcliff Asylum after going there to report on it, realises that her son by the serial killer Bloody Face has come to find her and kill her. She manipulates him emotionally until he gives her his gun and turns it back onto him, shooting him mercilessly.

10. Dixieland (Season 3, Episode 9)
Delphine LaLaurie, a racist serial killer from the 19th century, is granted immortality and buried alive to atone for her sins for all eternity. In modern times, she is awoken and chopped into pieces. Young witch Queenie forces Delphine's disembodied talking head watch hours upon hours of television shows about the American civil rights movement to learn about intolerance. Delphine proceeds to loudly sing 'Dixieland' to avoid listening to real-life mini-series Roots. 

11. Second Sight (Season 3, Episode 12)
Cordelia is pretty nice, dedicated to her work as headmistress of the Academy in American Horror Story: Coven, but she's not exactly a powerful witch. However, when the pals of voodoo queen Marie Laveau blind her by throwing acid in her face, Cordelia discovers the power of second sight - only to lose the powers again when she gets her sight back. So she does what any rational witch would do and repeatedly stabs herself in the eyes with a pair of secateurs until she gouges them out and makes herself blind again.

12. Stevie Nicks (Season 3, Episode 13)
In what turns out to be an even more bizarre turn of events than the dance-along in season 2, Stevie Nicks makes an appearance, as herself, in season 3. It's the moment of truth for the young witches: they have to attempt to perform the Seven Wonders to find out which of them is the Supreme, the most powerful of all witches. Stevie Nicks comes along and badly lip synchs her song Seven Wonders, wishes the girls good luck and disappears again. 

13. Death by Fire part 2 (Season 3, Episode 13)
If you ask me, the character of Myrtle Snow was appallingly underused in American Horror Story: Coven. Her iconic red frizzy hair, cat-eye glasses and passion for fashion made her one of my favourite characters by far. In the final episode of the season she is burned at the stake as retribution for killing her fellow witches; and when asked if she has any last words, she screams out 'BALENCIAGAAAAAAAA' as she burns to death. Amazing.

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