American Horror Story: Season 1: Murder House

08/15/2015 08:27

Television Show: American Horror Story: Season 1

Year: 2011

Creators: Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy

Starring: Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton and Evan Peters



This show begins back in the seventies. There are two twin boys that are going into the house where the show takes place. There is a girl with down-syndrome outside of it. She tells them not to go in, because they are going to die in there. They ignore her and are rude. They go inside, vandalizing the vacant home and throwing popping firecrackers. They go into the basement are killed by something down there.

We shift to the present. There is a family that has bought the house that has now been fully restored. The father of the family is played by Dylan McDermott and the mother is played by Connie Britton. They have a teenage daughter who is played by Taissa Farmiga. McDermott is a psychiatrist and he plans on seeing patients at home.

It turns out though that this family has problems. Britton gave birth to a child that was stillborn and she took it hard. She began to ignore her husband, who ended up having an affair with a student, who is played by Kate Mara. This happened in Boston so they decided to uproot their lives and try to make it work by moving across the country.

Weird things begin to happen almost immediately. A woman shows up who has worked as the maid for the house for many years. Britton tries to tell her that won’t be necessary, but she insists. The problem is Britton sees the maid as Frances Conroy, who is older and has a bad eye. McDermott sees her as Alexandra Breckenridge, a younger, sexy, temptress in a maid outfit.

There is a patient that McDermott sees who has psychotic thoughts, he is played by Evan Peters. Peters has a lot of secrets that as the show goes on are revealed, each making this character seem worse and worse. Peters also takes a liking to Farmiga and they begin to hang out.

There is the neighbor woman who always seems to drop by played by Jessica Lange. She has a down-syndrome daughter who is played by Jamie Brewer. Brewer is drawn to the house and comes in when she pleases. Lange also has quite a few secrets that are revealed as the show goes on.

McDermott is bothered by a man who is burned; he is played by Denis O’Hare. He claims that he was burned when he was told by the house to kill his wife and daughter. It turns out he is a liar and he is connected to the house in other ways.

Earlier on McDermott is still bothered also by his former lover Mara. She tells him that she is pregnant, so he goes out to Boston to help her take care of it. Before he left he sees a patient. Once he has left, she comes back with two of her friends to try and create a murder that happened in the late sixties. McDermott comes back immediately when he hears what has happened. This angers Mara though.

Peters helps Farmiga with a bully by taking her to basement where one of the ghosts attacks her. This does scare Farmiga too and makes her wonder about Peters.

We also see that Britton and McDermott’s relationship is quite rocky. It is hanging on by a little bit. It seems that they are getting along better and they make love. McDermott since moving to the house has been sleepwalking. When this is happening a man in a rubber sex suit comes into their bedroom. Britton thinks it is McDermott playing a joke with the suit he threw away earlier. Thinking this, they have sex. It turns out that soon after, she is pregnant, but who is the father? Who is the person in the rubber suit? Will the family learn the truth of the house before it is too late?

There are other ghosts that they have to deal with as this season goes on. Some of the other ghosts are Matt Ross, the doctor who built the house for his wife, Lily Rabe. There is the homosexual couple who owned it immediately before the current family; they are played by Zachary Quinto and Teddy Sears. There are more that have their place in the house, but these are the major ones. They even add more as the season goes along as well. There is even an appearance from the Black Dahlia who is played by Mena Suvari.

I have to say that this show is great. It does a great balancing act of horror, suspense and even adding in a little humor. It does great at creating cliff hangers, answering the question in the next episode, but keeping an overall mystery until the end. I think the acting is great and really helps carry the story as well. I think they do great an introducing characters and balancing the ones that are important. There are a few plot holes that bothered me, but they end up being answered, to me at least.

The only thing I didn’t really like about it was the rules of the haunting of the house seem a little bit off. An example is why the Conroy character has aged as a ghost when no one else does. I think it is more how she is seen by men and women, but it still is a little bit odd that she is the only one. I also think there is a scene with Mara that didn’t make sense when she killed someone. The person survived, but then she does kill someone later on. There is also with ghosts being able to leave the property, while others can’t. None of this ruins the show for me too much.

I would highly recommend giving this show a viewing. If you are a fan of horror, this should be right up your alley. If you like good acting and a solid story, I would also recommend giving this a viewing. It is a different type of ghost story and it progresses very well. I would give this season a viewing.


My Rating: 8 out of 10