American Horror Story

Okay. I admit, I do not watch STANDARD TV (FOX, CBS, ABC or NBC) shows. All they do is disappoint. Mediocre dialogue, cardboard characters, easy to identify arcs, weak plots, etc. Even those that might have a good premise like Terra Nova, waste of time as far as I am concerned...

However, there are exceptions on cable... Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, etc. and then on HBO, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, etc.

Tonight... it's American Horror Story on FX @ 10 or 11 P.M.

Watch if you can. I am curious as to what my fellow (horror and not-in-to-horror) Indietalk brothers and sisters think.

Are the characters cardboard?

Arcs easily predicted?

Plot transparent?

Dialogue believable?

My understanding, this could be one of the better NEW series, (the other being Hell on Wheels).

I have no bias. I am going into American Horror Story as blind as everyone else, with an open mind. But I have a feeling, that this series may have all the right pluses... let me know what you think?
I tend to watch tv shows when they come out on DVD, as that I like sitting down for a huge chunk of it, particularly shows with complicated plots and slow payoffs. I did make an exception last year for Walking Dead (as a HUGE fan of the comics). I might make an exception for this as well. Sounds exactly right up my alley! Looking forward to seeing it!

Uranium City

Pro Member
Saw a bunch of tropes thrown against the wall but nothing too inventive or creative. I hope that's just indicative of a pilot. I'm definitely going to give it another week.

Not to say I wasn't entertained.

I loved the fight between the husband and wife...very real and well done.
I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be. Maybe it will get better with time. I will give it a few more weeks to see if it grows on me.
Lame attempt to compete with HBO with pointless swearing & Dylan's @ss.
Not impressed.
The jumpy editing wasn't working for me, either.
I tend to watch tv shows when they come out on DVD, as that I like sitting down for a huge chunk of it, particularly shows with complicated plots and slow payoffs.

We're in this boat since we don't have cable. We're always watching the cool shows years after they aired on TV like Six Feet Under, Carnival, and Jericho. Right now we're a few shows away from finishing The Riches which got cancelled halfway through the 2nd season. Boo. But what a fun show! Minnie Driver is so amazing.

Ok, back to American Horror Story. I'm sure we'll give it a look when it's on DVD or streamable. Maybe it is already?
I was curious about American Horror Story and how indietalk members would respond.

First I agree with Uranium City's comment "the fight between husband and wife". Over all, I thought the acting was very good by McDermott and Britton, clearly the acting (and characters to date) are believable. So far, I give acting a solid grade of A.

The fast pace editing, while going for effect, at times did get annoying. However, the edited 'story' for me, at no time became stagnant. Moved without derivative dialogue. Was believable within the realm of 'horror'. Pace was B-.

Camera work was good, artistic with quality framing, lighting and movement. I would like a little longer time period per shot (extend each shot a few more seconds). The rapid and occasional jerky movement destroyed some of the awesome footage within each sequence (scene). Camera work B.

Sets were top notch. Would have liked to have seen more wide angle shots for taking in those awesome details. Sets were A.

Story (for me) so far is pretty good, compelling and nothing was typical TV, no cardboard or shallow plot/characters. Is Jessica Lange... a nosey neighbor, freaky witch or a ghost? Love the 'sex' angle of the maid (Alexandra Breckenridge as the 'young' sensuous maid) is a definite turn-on. Obviously the family that moved in was 'chosen' due to their sexual and tumultuous past... are they just the latest victims... if so, who or what chose them? B+ so far on script.

Audio and soundtrack, high quality... A.

Not everyone will like this kind of series. Obviously, many on this board do not. But I found it different TV fare, will give it several more views before I dump it into the garbage. Could very well catch on. The daughter Violet and 'student psycho' character Tate, was probably the least liked subplot within this story. But, one episode, does not a series make.

I saw a lot of Kubrick's The Shining influence within this production as well as several other small hat tipping to recent horror films (but so far would not call it derivative). Curious how far the kinky 'sex' angles will go (even though it is cable -- it is still general TV).
I'm with UC, I will give it a couple/three more weeks to determine if I will make it a regular part of programming (I initially thought The X-files [first season] was too frenetic and the acting melodramatic, lol)

I was disappointed with the pilot. It read like slapstick horror.
I LOVE horror movies and TV shows so I was very excited to watch this show.

My personal opinion is this show's pilot episode is/was AWFUL. The story line is similar to The Amityville Horror with very subtle differences... It just was really poorly done. It was way too abstract. I felt like the writers just threw a whole bunch of random crap together hoping something would intrigue the viewer. None of it made sense.

When I compare this pilot episode to that of Suits and Falling Skies.... I think it was just not in the same league as those shows.

I'd give it 2 stars out of 5.
It just felt like they were trying too hard. Everything was just amped up to 10 from the the start and it started feeling repetitive and dull after just a few minutes. It had a lot of elements of thriller or horror films without any real thrills or scares, and I can't see how it can get better unless they learn how to dial things back so that there's some contrast and impact when there needs to be.
I missed it last night, but luckily I have it recorded on my device upstairs. Everyone said it was awesome, so I'll have to check it out I guess.

Uranium City

Pro Member
From the review:

Let's count all the "homages," shall we?

• Bone wind chimes from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
• The whistling scene (and music!) from Kill Bill
• Dead twins from The Shining
• Ghost seductress from The Shining
• Husband-going-mad plotline from The Shining
• Man standing among the clotheslines like in Halloween
• Creepy older gentleman in dark suit like in Poltergeist II
• Mysterious pregnancy from Rosemary's Baby
• Taciturn, morbid daughter like in Beetlejuice
• Twitchy editing from the Saw movies
• Mysterious servants like in The Others
• High-pitched violins from Psycho
• Hand-thrown firecrackers like in Boogie Nights
• Full-face skull tattoo like the male model in those Thierry Mugler fashion ads (not to mention the Lady Gaga "Born this Way" video).
• Systematic murder of a family like in Amityville Horror
• Pervasive, insane dream logic like in pretty much any Dario Argento film

I spotted all of these (and loudly pointed them out with my wife) except for Saw and Kill Bill.

There were so many, and they were so obvious, that I think they were neither careless copies nor intended as traditional homage. Rather, I think they were winks directly at the audience they hope to cull. I appreciated them as such.
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Nate North

Business Member
I haven't had an opportunity to watch this yet, but I might nominate "Fear Itself" as a series that did a good job in this genre. It was directed by Mick Garris, who is the director behind many classic Steven King films such as the stand.