American Horror Story Review by Nadim S.

American Horror Story 4.01: Monsters Among Us

American Horror Story 4.01: Monsters Among Us

Written By:
Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk
Directed By:
Ryan Murphy

American Horror Story has proved to be one of the most terrifying and delightful surprises of the past few years. The show's unique ability of resetting itself every season with a brand new premise affords it an unlimited amount of potential. The first season, Murder House, hooked me with its unique brand of craziness, but it was the subsequent seasons (Asylum and Coven) that truly allowed the show to soar to great heights. Freak Show sees Ryan Murphy and his writing team tackle a circus troupe in 1952, and it's a world that's brimming with oddities and darkness.

As always, Jessica Lange is phenomenal, and the fact that this might be her final season on the show makes it all the more bittersweet. I don't exactly want to picture the series without its complex and terrifically talented lead actress, but Lange's portrayal of Elsa Mars, the manager of Fraulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities, is already a homerun. The premiere paints a layered picture of an aging starlet still vying for breakout success, and it's made all the more captivating with the final reveal of her amputation and prosthetic legs. Lange is electric in every single one of her scenes, and I absolutely can't wait to learn more about her backstory in the coming episodes.

Even more so than Lange, Sarah Paulson deserves major props for her astounding turn as conjoined twins Better and Dot. Although the CGI used to bring the two to life is extremely distracting, Paulson marvelously differentiates the twins with every look and line delivery. In addition, I love the split screen effect which further contrasts their perspectives. Now that Lange has won the Emmy twice, I have a feeling it's Paulson's time to shine this season.

We're introduced to the rest of the cast in small doses, and Evan Peters' turn as Jimmy leaves the most impact, particularly with his murder of a pesky detective and his subsequent urging of the freaks to chop the corpse to pieces. However, the premiere's greatest achievement is most certainly the introduction of Twisty the Clown. I can't express how terrifying this character is, and that's made all the more impressive seeing as how his initial introduction is made in broad frickin' daylight. In addition, his torture of his victims (through performances) is all the more unsettling and creepy. Please writers, give Twisty as much screentime as possible this season. I"m already dreading his scenes.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Twisty the Clown is one of the most terrifying creations in recent memory
  • Sarah Paulson steps up as Better and Dot
The Bad:
  • Is this really Lange's final season?

Nadim S. is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. For more commentary from Nadim, go to You can follow him on twitter at @nadsreviews.

American Horror Story by - 10/14/2014 10:57 AM146 views

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