AHS HOTEL: review of madness/murder

VILE, BLOODY, OBSCENE. AHS Season 5 Hotel review for THW by Mord McGhee

That’s right. It’s not called AMERICAN CHILDREN’S STORY! Some of you out there can stop whining about ‘Hotel’ being the most vile thing ever on TV because if it isn’t, American Horror Story isn’t doing its job. Let’s pop open the coffin lid so that we can dig through the crusty, sewn together folds of flesh and bedding together. Shall we?

Here’s my in-depth speculation about what Season 5 is all about:


Why speculate at all? Let Ryan Murphy’s writers tell the story and that way we can enjoy it for what it is: an American horror story. Think of the scariest ones you’ve ever heard… Hook hand escaping the asylum? The boogeyman? Stephen King’s nightmarish twists on pets, clowns, spiders? Poe’s Cask of Amontillado wine or ravens? Who gives a shit about the secret meanings of these or what they’re about in some ‘greater scope’ as a body of work…

…sit back, open your eyes and let the blood faucets flow.

Oh, here… look at this. Just glance for now, I’ll explain later.

Ms. Bathory's Lonely Hearts Club Hotel

Since my first commentary in the Horror Within Magazine I’ve been posting the dictionary meaning of the word ‘horror.’ It’s equally important in the case of the latest effort of AHS. HOTEL is repulsive, shocking, disturbing, violent, over-the-top gory, and filled to the brim with the devilish motivations of very bad people. You want to know something? We’ve all probably stayed in this hotel and not even realized it. Are you somebody that goes to the front desk and asks for some drug induced sado-masochism action? Doubt it. Do you travel around the world with your bff looking for a reckless whirlwind of life without any back-up support? Again, doubt it. Most of us have seen enough movies to know you tell the people you love where you’re going. If you’re like me you check in, sleep there, throw your dirty towels in a pile beside the tub, and make sure you didn’t leave your iPhone charger. Now, I’m thinking that if you’re a suicidal crackhead mom, blood-bathing countess defying old age, millionaire with murderous tendencies, thrill-seeker living on the edge, cross-dressing obsessive-compulsive, serial killer staging crime scenes to look like the Fifteen Commandments (dammit Moses, you dropped a tablet!) … TEN COMMANDMENTS sorry, or a cleaning woman that gets off on beating stains (the bigger the better) then you take the Hotel Cortez with YOU every where you go.

This season’s cast: Excellent. Many of the returning players have already received accolades so I’ll add that the new additions are top-notch. I expected Lady Gaga to rock it because I’ve heard her live interviews and performances. The Lady is talented. It just so happens that these ‘bad people’ are all under the exact same roof at the exact same moment in time. The situation that comes from this is mind-blowing fright. We all know it’s about the situation, right? Truth be told, the mood of Hotel is akin to Seasons 1 and 2. I’m glad for it too, they were my favorite installments. By the way, Hotel has managed to add music in a compelling way (reminiscent of The Following or Breaking Bad). To this point, I wasn’t thrilled with AHS music-usage. (Don’t get mad Stevie Nicks fans…) However, at the climax of this season’s premier episode, they fill a syringe with creepiness and inject it into our ears via the classic tune ‘Hotel California.‘  Stabbing steely knives and forever-trapped guests are dark by themselves but after its use in HOTEL, ‘never leave’ has a whole ‘nutha level of creepy uncomfortable.

I used to be a professional musician… I adore seamless imagery placed over art. That’s what the Eagles song added to the bloody scene: seamless imagery over art.

As a result of the classic rock-horror marriage, my brain slapped this visual review into place: (click to view close-up)

Ms. Bathory’s Lonely Hearts Club Hotel

Ms. Bathory's Lonely Hearts Club Hotel

Ms. Bathory’s Lonely Hearts Club Hotel

There. Now you get the picture. I’m two episodes into this season and although I prefer to review a show’s merits based upon the entire body of work, I wanted to put my thoughts into the bubbling cauldron. I also want to be the first in telling naysayers- Sit down. Shut the fuck up and let the madness run its course. Once we shave your head and fit you for a straight jacket… you can give your opinion. Until then, it’s not over until the lady with big glasses at the front desk sings.

Remember, it’s only horror television.

Yours truly,

Mord McGhee

P. f’ing S. –  I can’t stay up late enough to watch AHS live-time though I’m caught up as of writing this review. It starts at 10 PM EST and I’m just too damned sleepy after 9. When I do watch a recording of American Horror Story, I need to squirm, be repulsed, feel mental juices trickle over mystery, and above all… be entertained. So far, so good.

4.5 out of 5 Great Cthulhus. AHS, strap on that razorblade dildo and go to work on your viewer’s brains. Take us home and scar us for life please.

BTW does anyone else think Kathy Bates’ character will play a much bigger role than key-jockey?

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