AHS HOTEL

SERIES REVIEW: American Horror Story: Hotel (2015)

Room service has a whole different meaning at the Hotel Cortez.

By Amy Lynes

AHS HOTEL cast poster

American Horror Story: Hotel

Starring: Lady Gaga, Wes Bentley, Chloe Sevginy, Kathy Bates, Angela Basset, Sarah Paulson, Matt Bomer, Finn Wittrock, and Evan Peters

I have been watching American Horror Story since the first season and even though we are only three episodes into this seasons American Horror Story: Hotel, I think I can already safely declare this season to be my favorite of all of them thus far.

Many viewers, myself included, were stunned by the season opener. Talk about pushing the envelope. It was some of the most brutally graphic stuff I have ever witnessed on primetime network television. I mean, "The Addiction Demon" and his unholy strap-on in the first episode?! Holy fucking shit!! And the mirror shot of the poor junkie being done by "The Addiction Demon" with said strap-on? Unbelievably graphic. It was unexpected, even for AHS and it caused plenty of controversy all on its own. Now factor in the brutality with which "The Countess" and her boy toy, Donovan dispose of their victims, who they brought back to their suite at the Hotel Cortez under the pretense of a very sexy evening, and all the crimson arterial spray as they cut and slash, ("We don't bite, we cut") preparing to drain their victims and you have the stuff nightmares are made of.

Foursome carnage

Many are arguing that the writers are strictly out for some hardcore shock value to gain viewers because of all carnage, gore and sexual deviancy, but with all that's going on beneath the surface of this seasons storyline, I am not agreement with that at all. Don't get me wrong, it's AHS and there will always be some amount of shock value (and pussies that can't handle it) but that's not the sole purpose of the show by any means. There is so much more to it than shocks and gore for gore's sake. There are several stories unfolding and they are all highly entertaining. Some of them just happen to have a lot of bloody murders.

Were only three episodes in so far and there are already some groups out there waging a war against AHS and who are all up in arms about the show's content. Others are saying that shows like AHS are "the Devil's work" and are the type of thing that give people twisted ideas. Obviously these nutjobs have never read the bible. Now THAT, my friends is some of the most twisted shit, brutal shit there is.

Gaga AHS

When it was first announced that Lady Gaga had been added to the cast of AHS: Hotel I was among those who were critical, thinking that she would be unable to pull it off. It seemed like maybe the producers just wanted a big name to replace the series matriarch, Jessica Lange. I am happy to say that I have to eat a little crow on this one. So far, I have been very pleasantly surprised. I may be a metalhead but goddamn I love me some Lady Gaga! She is dirty, alluring and fun and she brings every bit of that into her portrayal as "The Countess" while exuding an unrivaled smoldering sexiness that I adore and I am loving every bit of her performance. I cannot wait to see more from her in this role. It's almost as if she was born to play this character. And I must say it's high time we some vamp action on AHS.

 

But there is SO much to love beyond the presence of Gaga.

The integration of the story of H.H. Holmes (different name but inspired by that sick fuck all the same) is pure fucking brilliance on the writers parts and Evan Peters is giving a stellar performance in the role. He is delightful to watch. He's just so happy about murdering people, it's almost comical. His beaming, cheerful smile and the cadence of his voice as he talks to his victims before slaughtering them...it's damn near infectious and I feel wrong for saying this, but I love this character! And his faithful servant Miss Evers, the laundress obsessed with stains, played by Mare Winningham makes me giggle every time she is on screen.

Hypodermic Sally

I am also really digging Sarah Paulson's portrayal of "Hypodermic Sally" as well as the role of Tristan Duffy, played by Finn Wittrock. That one comes as a surprise because I couldn't stand him in last year's season, AHS: Freakshow in the role of Dandy. He was SUCH a spoiled, privileged little cunt and every time he spoke it made me cringe. I thought for sure I'd hate his character this season too, and nothing could be further from the truth, which is really just a testament to his acting ability and talent.

And let's take a moment to talk about all of the returning cast for a minute, shall we? I am seriously over the moon with all that have returned. Among the returnees for American Horror Story: Hotel, we have Wes Bentley (Detective John Lowe), Chloe Sevigny (Dr. Alex Lowe), Sarah Paulson (Sally), Dennis O'Hare (Liz Taylor), Kathy Bates (Iris), Evan Peters (James Patrick March), Finn Wittrock (Tristan Duffy), Emma Roberts, Angela Bassett (Ramona Royale), Mare Winningham (Miss Evers), Matt Bomer (Donovan) and rumor has it that there may even be an appearance by the lovely Jessica Lange as well.

Iris at the front desk

There will also be some new faces this season with various guest stars such as Naomi Campbell and David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) being among them and that excites a horror fan such as myself. (I used to crush on him pretty hard back in the day. Leave me alone, I was in the fifth grade).

Last week's episode brought Angela Bassett back to the cast with her vampire hunter role of Ramona Royale, who also used to be The Countess' lover and was cast away when she grew bored and replaced her, much like she has replaced Donovan with Tristan. As revenge for The Countess killing the man she fell in love with and then turned, she is out to hit The Countess where she thinks it will hurt her the most. So far her only known weakness is her group of blonde haired children that are somewhat reminiscent of the creepy ass kids from Village of the Damned. So far they appear to be kept around strictly for The Countess to indulge in some snacking on their young, sweet blood but knowing AHS, I'd almost put money on the fact that there is something a little more sinister with these freaky ass kids. There is a tie in with one of the hotel residents, Detective Lowe and I am eager to see where that takes the storyline and what it means for the children (and their parents) who were all stolen from their families and kept to satisfy The Countess' blood lust.

The Countess and her brood

I would be remiss if I didn't take a minute to acknowledge just how badass the music for the show has been. Whoever is making the musical selections deserves a freaking medal. So far we've had the likes of Bauhaus, The Cure, The Jesus and mary Chain, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Love & Rockets, Eagles and many more.

If you haven't watched this season as of yet, I cannot recommend you get started enough! I firmly believe that this season is the goriest of them all so far and I can't get enough of it. Waiting a week in between episodes is totally agonizing. If you were a fan of any of the other seasons I can almost guarantee you'll love AHS: Hotel.

American Horror Story: Hotel airs on Wednesday nights on FX at 10 pm

Posted by Alan Smithee

We want to hear your thoughts!