Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Review: American Horror Story Hotel

What's it about?

Welcome to the Hotel Cortez, the finest hotel in LA. Sure, it's a little dated, but that adds to the charm.  And sure, there's some rooms that smell, or ones that have rotting corpses sewn into matrices, but all hotels have those right?  I suppose you'll just have to deal with it now, because once you've booked a room, the chances of leaving are slim to none.


Ever since the first season I have loved American Horror Story for it's story and characters.  This season, I would have to say, is my favorite, hands down.  The characters, the story, the setting and the way in which everything unfurled with a delightfully slow burn all worked together perfectly, and I even enjoyed the call backs to Coven and Murder House that were mixed in.

This season introduced a couple new actors to the ever revolving cast of the series and new characters that really left an impression, along with some old favorites who once again proved they have the talent to be just about anyone. No worries, no spoilers here.

Lady Gaga as the Countess - was my second favorite character of the show.  I'll admit, her character being based on Elizabeth Bathory makes me a teeny bit biased, as I have a love for Pre-Twilight vampire stories and the Blood Countess was always interesting to me.  Here, she's a Countess only in name and presenting, but she earns the titles none the less.  Lady Gaga did an amazing job portraying the story of a full on woman, who loved men and women, controlled her entire life and lost all of it.  She goes through such a range in this series that it's a real mistake to pass her off as the 'replacement for Jessica Lange' that so many thought she would be.  Her story arc is the back bone of this season and it's well worth watching.

Denis O'Hare as Liz Taylor - now she was my favorite character and completely took me by surprise.  While I went in expecting to really like a lot of the characters (I always do), the show wisely held off on telling you Liz's back story until half way through so she was a staple of the hotel, someone always in the background who seemed to know everything and had an air of mystery about her that you really wanted to know.  And when her back story does come up? I loved it, beyond words.  I would tell you more, but I don't want to ruin it for you.  The slow reveal of who she is, where she came from and who she becomes is perfectly told and shouldn't be spoiled.

My favorite thing about this season, hands down, is the sense of belonging that the Hotel gives all the characters.  In spite of the place being haunted and full of horrors, it's very plain to see that this is a home to these characters because it gives them what they couldn't find in the outside world.  Much like Freakshow no one here belongs out in the real world and they've managed to make their own home into a place where they feel safe; but unlike Freakshow we get a sense of the hotel becoming a home, rather then seeing then seeing it be a home that falls to pieces.  Yes, the hotel is scary, but only at first glance.  Once you come to know the 'monsters' inside, they become more real then fantasy and in the end you're left caring about all of them, no matter what flaws they have.  More then that, you're left rooting for them to survive and for the Hotel to survive, because there is no place for them in the outside world and even these sad horrific things deserve a home where they can be safe and be themselves.

The only thing I didn't like?  I would have to say it's the Addiction Demon.  While I recognize that every season needs that scary looking monster to put in the promos, here it wasn't needed and it wasn't really used.  We saw the demon a couple times, and then it was gone, being nothing important.  Though, to be fair, most of the 'monsters' this season turned out to be very normal looking, so without him they wouldn't really have had much to put in the promos to scare people.  I just wish they'd either worked him a bit more into the story, or left him out completely.

Final thoughts?

Best season so far.  I can't wait to see the next.

Where'd I get it?

Streaming on Netflix, which is why I'm a season behind.  I have to wait for it to come to Netflix each time.

No comments:

Post a Comment