Tag Archives: american horror story

american horror story recapping: murder house

The House: 1983

“I’ve loved you since I was 16.”

 Young Moira is doing her usual maid duties when the man of the house propositions her. Although their conversation makes it clear they’ve been intimate before, Young Moira has no interest in a repeat performance. The husband isn’t familiar with ‘no means no’ and during the struggle, neither party hears that the wife is slowly approaching…clutching a gun. The wife enters the room and we see that it’s a young Constance (compliments of Benjamin Button CGI). She shoots Moira in the eye and then kills her husband. But somehow Moira survived…

The House: Now

“Don’t make me feel like I’m crazy.”

In one of the show’s more seamless transitions we’re ‘back’ in the same room, except Ben and Vivien are having the argument. Although it initially sounds like they’re arguing about the Hayden situation, we learn that he’s been hiding another lie: they’re relatively broke. Vivien tells Ben that if she finds out he’s lied about anything else, they’re done. Oh Vivien, you have no idea!

She’s not anxious; she’s angry and ready to get the hell out of that house. A quick call to the realtor reveals what we all knew…the house isn’t exactly a hot commodity in the housing market. After a few threatening words exchanged between Vivien and the realtor, as well as a shot at Obama, it’s agreed that they’ll try to sell the house. Very, very unlikely.

Elsewhere in the house, Moira catches Constance stealing the silver. The venom between the two makes a little more sense now that we know Moira had an affair with Constance’s husband, perhaps the only man she ever really loved. Just when one part of their dynamic is explained, we’re left to figure out why neither can move on and how they became stuck.

“I just get the stains, do you want to make a new one?”

Ben has a new patient, Sally Freeman (Adina Porter aka Tara’s mom on TrueBlood). Her husband is ending their 23-year marriage because she’s boring. Knowing football is a great way to make your man happy, but not so much when you’re only able to blandly recite team names. During their conversation Ben blacks out and wakes up in his yard, with blood on his hands.

Young Moira is cleaning up the bloody mess and does her usual flirting with Ben, except things get a little more physical than flirty and Vivien catches them. FINALLY Ben tells Vivien that Moria has been coming on to him. During Moira’s outburst she notes that Ben (and men in general) see her as they want to see her, while women see who she is inside. The conversation ends with Vivien telling Ben he’s paranoid, crazy and guilty, all of which are caused by his indiscretion with Hayden.

“And the next stop on our tour of departed souls…murder house.”

Violet seems apathetic to last week’s home invasion when Ben interrupts her smoke break. Once he leaves, we see that Tate was also there and judging from his appreciation for how good a dad Ben is, it seems his father wasn’t as caring. Of course with Tate you spend more time reading what he doesn’t say than the few things he does.

Hayden pops up and lets Ben know that she didn’t have the abortion and that she matters, as well as demanding he meet her at 3. Ben shoos her out of the house and we can practically hear his heart pounding with anxiety. He gets more on his plate when a detective comes to the house and tells Ben that Sally is missing. Interestingly enough, the detective seems more concerned with looking at Young Moira than finding ol’ boring Sally.

“You were cruising me, I thought you were fair game.”

Vivien decides to take the LA murder tour and in addition to the arbitrary (???) murder of a seemingly gay actor, she learns more about the history of the home. In 1922, Charles and Nora Montgomery were a “happy” married couple.

Charles was a surgeon who developed a Frankenstein complex and drug addiction. During his downward spiral the bill collectors hovered around their home and his not-at-all supportive wife has Charles do surgeries/abortions for money. Very shifty and although their reign lasted about four years, their story did not have a happy ending.

Vivien begins bleeding after hearing the story, but her doctor assures her that “a little discharge is perfectly normal” and advises her not to move, since it will only cause additional stress. Ben is briefly haunted by his sexual demons and faints. Ben recovers and goes for his usual jog, which includes his usual harassment from Denis, who asks for a $1000 for headshots because he wants to act.

“Who you trying to protect doc?”

Ben, again, wakes up in his backyard, but this time he has a shovel. Constance warns him that the soil he’s digging is toxic and she suggests he just build over the whole thing.

Nora rings the doorbell and Vivien was understandably cautious from last week’s invasion but cares more about showing off the house to a potential buyer. Nora notes that she also had a child and we see a huge hole in the back of her head just before she vanishes.

The detective returns and tells Ben that they found Shelly. She was in the hospital after a suicide attempt, which was foreshadowed by the recorded conversation Ben tried to cover up. The detective tells Ben “it’s not a crime to be an asshole,” but Ben realizes he’s being drugged.

Hayden returns and similar to Vivien, she’s preggo and angry. After forcing a kiss that Ben ahs the decency not to enjoy, they head out the door to go someplace to discuss their situation. As they step out the door, Denis hits Hayden, killing her.

Hayden’s body is buried, right next to another body and the hole is sealed when Ben builds a gazebo. The way Moira and Constance react definitely means they know the owner of that body and probably means the body is Moira, who is now trapped forever.

The episode ends with Nora sitting in bed with Vivien and Ben…WTH.

So where does all of this leave us?

The episode basically confirms that Denis, Constance and Moira are connected. However, now that we know about Nora, a whole slew of questions are introduced. Is she also connected? Does this mean that anyone who dies in the house is tied there forever? Are these “people” related or just bonded by the house?

Hayden may be out of the picture physically, but why did Denis insist that it was better he was the one who killed her and not Ben? Would Violet really run away? And did Tate give her that idea or is she just being a rebellious teenager? Speaking of Tate, why was he at the window and why did he ignore Constance when she waved at him?

After this episode, I’m officially invested in American Horror Story. I like that we’re seeing more of the ‘story’ element, with less emphasis placed on the ‘horror’. This will probably all change with the first part of next week’s Halloween episode. At this point overall opinions on this show have been very mixed, I predict that this was the episode that either confirmed those that will keep tuning in and ending things for viewers that were on the fence.

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american horror story recapping: home invasion

The House: 1968

Aquarius plays in the background and we meet the ladies that inhabit the home. It’s not clear, but it seems that this is a nursing school dorm. Three ladies taunt their dorm mates about being lesbians and eventually leave so they can go to a Doors concert (seemingly irrelevant to the story). There’s a knock at the door and shortly after is when the two remaining girls probably wish they were more into Jim Morrison.

The man at the door, Franklin, has blood on his face and says he needs help. The ever-helpful nurses lets the stranger in and realize there’s no wound…and then they’re knocked out…and then things get a little freaky. We later learn that he drowned one of the girls in the upstairs bathtub. The other, a virgin, is told to strip and put on a nurse outfit. She prays after he bounds her by the feet and hands. Franklin rewards this by stabbing her repeatedly in the back. The scene ends…after sufficiently providing a little bondage and murder.

The House: Now

Tate is back and tells Ben all of the nasty thoughts he has about Violet. He’s very aggressive and mocks Ben about his affair. Unsettling for Ben, who also finds out that his mistress his preggo.

Violet is at the skate park with the Mean Girl #1…for reasons unknown. She tells her that in addition to that huge gash she was given last week, her hair is turning white and that she thinks she saw the devil in Violet’s basement.

Later at the house, Tate watches Violet sleep. The alarm goes off and Ben walks around the house, topless with a bat. He’s not sure what’s going on, but when the door to the basement creeps open he does what any smart homeowner does and goes right down to fight off whatever lurks down there. No worries…it’s just Adelaide…again. She’s playing a game, but when Ben kicks her out the game keeps going. Creepy.

Ben’s newest client, Bianca, tells him she dreams about getting sliced in half by an elevator door. She’s also little weird (a recurring theme for pretty much everyone!) and overly interested in the “murder house”. Ben assumes that she’s left when he calls Tate’s mom…she hasn’t. But the interesting part of that scene was Ben speaking to someone who either was or was pretending to be Tate’s mom.

Constance’s cupcakes

We watch Constance make cupcakes with two special ingredients: spit and vomit-inducing ipecac…yum! Proof that you have to be very, very careful about taking unopened baked goods from people you don’t know. This family continues to amaze me with their lack of basic intuition.

Before the cupcakes make it to their destination we return to Ben, who is literally running to try and escape his sexual demons. Aside from the fact that he’s an adulterer, I feel bad for the guy. Larry, who is not at all stealthy, warns him that the house will use his demons against him. Ben heeds this advice by adding more guilt and lying to his wife so he can go to Boston and console his former mistress.

Constance finally makes her delivery and we learn her intended victim is Violet. She smells Vivien’s pregnancy and they share a “moment” where Constance talks about her four children. She says they’re cursed and have abnormalities, except for one. She describes him as gorgeous, so I’m not convinced that Tate is her son. We also learn that Moira once worked for Constance.

Is everybody crazy?

Violet (I must note that it was brought to my attention that although she has all the angst of My So Called Life’s Angela, she looks just like her little sister) is in her room, listing to her moody music, probably reading a book about hating your parents. She calls her mother weak and refuses to eat the cupcake Constance brought over, an unintentionally smart choice.

Over in Boston, Ben is having a cozy evening with Hayden (Kate Mara, Nip/Tuck) who is having an abortion and swears she is over Ben, yet won’t let him speak with his wife. I am convinced that Ben lacks a backbone. Remember that whole “feeling sorry” thing I mentioned earlier? This is when it went away.

Franklin’s nurses revisited

The doorbells rings, and just like in 1968, there’s a stranger, Fiona (Azura Skye, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) at the door with blood on their face demanding to come inside the house. Vivien is a little bit smarter than her daughter gives her credit for and doesn’t let Fiona inside. She instead offers to call for help…but her phone is missing and when she goes back to the front door…Fiona is gone.

When Vivien looks out the peephole again, we see a masked person outside and right behind her. At this point, I think back to the mystery man from last week’s episode. Except this is a different kind of horror story and instead of a haunted house, Vivien and Violet are being terrorized by Fiona, Bianca and some guy that are obsessed with famous L.A. murders.

They try to escape and fail, until Tate tells Violet to get them to the basement. I won’t penalize Violet for not questioning how/why Ben was in the house, but at some point I need her to realize there’s something off about that kid. Bianca shows why she wasn’t the brains of their operation and eats the cupcake that subsequently makes her sick and easier for Tate to pick off.

Dress-up time

Adelaide, who also found her way into the house, runs home to tell Constance what’s going on. Constance is entertaining some male model type (her son?!) and doesn’t realize what Adelaide is saying, so she locks her in a room full of mirror. A cruel punishment and we see that the cold woman has some resemblance of a heart as she cries a little about what she’s done.

The guy of the crazy trio gets so caught up in the details of reenacting the murder that he’s also easily offed and Vivien bashes his head in first chance that she gets. It seemed like she killed him, but they don’t mention that part.

Violet gets Fiona to the basement (why is everyone so willing to go to that basement!) where she finds Tate, as well as the dead nurses and with that the trio is ended before ever getting a chance to complete their reenactment.

Ben would have been there if he’d possessed enough backbone to not let Hayden take his phone. Instead Tate, Moira and Constance clean up the mess…not for the family of course, but to make sure whatever plan they have in progress isn’t derailed.

So where does all of this leave us?

This episode wasn’t as scattered as the premiere. I’m glad that Vivien wants to sell the house, because it shows that the family isn’t as dumb as they appear. However, they’re clearly not going anywhere, so it’s not entirely relevant to the overall story.

I like that we’re learning more about Constance’s background. We know that Tate, Moira and Constance are all connected, but no clue how and if Larry is also a part of things. We’re assuming Hayden went through with the abortion, but that’s never confirmed, so it could be something that comes back to haunt Ben.  

Overall, Home Invasion offered up more questions than answers, which is great for people (like me) that enjoy a good mind-tease with their horror. If you’re looking for a little insight into the episode, this interview with Ryan Murphy explains a lot enough.

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judgement call: american horror story

American Horror Story premiered last night to the delight of horror/thriller/Ryan Murphy buffs everywhere. I went into the episode never really wondering what the show was about, because the promo art and trailers, along with the promise of a less glee-ful Ryan Murphy were enough for me. Maybe that was a mistake, as I spent the whole episode asking questions they had no intention of revealing in a pilot.

We start the evening in 1978, with two little red-haired, braced twins and a little psychic girl who informs them that going into the house will kill them. I believed her as that Hitchcockian background music played; however, the ginger snaps were less convinced and trashed the house until they were ultimately killed by either Fester Adams or a grown baby hybrid person type of thing (I was clearly confused by what attacked them). With it properly illustrated that this house is haunted, we jumped forward to the present.

Vivien (Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights) returns to a presumably empty home, hears noises and immediately calls 911. The helpful dispatcher says, “Are you sure it’s not a member of your family?” I realize this was done to establish for viewers that no one was home, but c’mon, that can’t be the first thing you ask…unless you’re hoping the crazy ax murderer in the house finds her while she’s answering your pointless questions. I digress. She catches her husband, Ben (Dylan McDermott, The Practice) mid-thrust into one of his 21-year old students…and shortly after, they are relocating.

This is where all of the shows assured creepiness kicks in and we see that the Harmon family is moving into the same house where the twins were slashed-and-dashed. The couple’s daughter Violet hits the trifecta for conveying teen angst: she is a cutter, listens to moody music (Morrissey) and has a style made popular by Seattle in the 90s. Of course new school transitions are never easy, so the faux-Mean Girls crew let her know how unwelcome she was at their school. While watching these girls, I thought to myself, “Hey…isn’t Mean Girl #3 Kendra from Buffy? And didn’t she also have teen roles in Saved By the Bell: The New Class, Dawson’s Creek AND Save the Last Dance? So hasn’t she been playing a teen for over a decade now?” Fortunately all of that was only relevant to my imaginary “no more than four high-school roles per actor” rule.

Back to the story….the family has moved in, met their new housekeeper Moira (Frances Conroy and Alex Breckenridge ), as well as their strange neighbor Constance (Jessica Lange, Cape Fear) and her Addy (the psychic girl from 1978). So far, we’ve seen eerie flashes and that Ben sees a young housekeeper while, everyone else sees a slightly older version. Moira, as the younger model, attempts to seduce Ben, which ends in a sad, shameful masturbation scene complete with tears. This could have something to do with his infidelity or as we later learn, the fact that him and Vivien haven’t been physically intimate in over a year due to their miscarriage.

Intimacy doesn’t seem to be a problem for Ben’s new patient, Tate (Evan Peters, Invasion), as he instantly cozies up to Violet and even helps her with the bullying. His methods and the crazy scene in the basement let us know that he’s also a part of whatever is going on in the house. Ben may not know that, but he sees how disturbed Tate is and desperately wants to keep him away from Violet, which is EXACTLY how you push them together.

Larry Harvey (Denis O’Hare, True Blood), the man with half a face and brain cancer, approaches Ben to inform him that he also once lived in the house and that he heard voices and killed his whole family. Ben, of course, doesn’t believe this…but he has to realize that he’s also hearing things. Or maybe not…what would the fun be in a character in a horror story actually listening to the clues they’re given at the beginning and moving away from their haunted home?

The night ends with a confrontation between Constance and Moira. In this brief exchange we learn that Moira is a seasoned “professional” or at least a little bit slutty, Constance steals jewelry and has killed Moira before. So essentially we learned that these two know each other, without many clues on how, as well as whether or not they’re on the same side or even what side that might be!

I kept noticing a subtle baby-theme throughout the episode, which could be nothing, but between the miscarriage, baby parts in jars and baby pictures/clothing in the intro it also could be something big. Also, Viven had sex with a man (ghost…demon….Ben…Tate…whatever/whoever that was) in a sexual leather bondage outfit and now she’s preggo, so there’s another baby!

So with all that happened, I was left wondering why/how the house is messing with them, but also who is messing with us? Are we being tricked into liking a hopeless gimmick with little/no payoff, or are we seeing the groundwork for a show that really is “none of what you expect”. The “WTF is happening?!” element is what will bring many viewers back next week…maybe then more of what we’re watching will make a sliver of sense.

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american horror story newest promo: redefining the thriller genre

Everything you love about a thriller. Nothing you expect.

Well…if the point of that line and the trailer was to further peak my interest…mission accomplished. As if Sylar joining the show for a few episodes wasn’t reason enough!

Is it October yet?

 

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american horror story promo


American Horror Story, a new FX show by Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, somehow flew under the radar for shows we’re excited to see in the fall season. I’m a Gleek, but I’ve always been drawn to the darker side of Murphy’s creations (i.e., every season of Nip/Tuck). The first look video that was posted this week was trippy enough to draw my attention, but the marketing poster really drew me in. Watch it and if you’re like me you’ll definitely check this show out when it premieres on Wednesday, Oct. 5

 

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