With FX’s horror anthology series back for its 8th season on FOX from September 27, Top 10 Films celebrates one of the scariest TV shows of the last decade and examines why it has become a cult phenomenon.
American Horror Story returns for its 8th series with Apocalypse debuting on FOX on September 27. Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the anthology horror debuted in 2011 with Murder House which received rave reviews, a multitude of awards including eleven Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe for Best Television Series (in the Drama category), and high ratings throughout, ending its first season with the biggest numbers for a new 2011 cable TV release.
It was therefore inevitable that the show would receive a second series, audiences eager to experience more scares. The makers satisfied demand with arguably the best season of the lot with Asylum on FOX in 2012.
Indeed, the season features Jessica Lange’s best character (Sister Jude Martin, one of four Emmy-nominated performances for the actress in American Horror Story) while boasting the series’ scariest scenes such as Sarah Paulson’s incarceration at Briarcliff Mental Institution and her intimate brush with Thredson and his terrifying basement.
Last season’s Cult might have divided audiences and critics (despite it boasting some chilling moments such as Evan Peters’ cult leader Kai Anderson gaslighting Meadow and consequently the unforgettable twisted sex scene) but Apocalypse promises to deliver the delights of earlier seasons. Indeed, the eighth series is the first time we’ll see a direct crossover between two of the show’s previous years as it brings us back to Murder House and season 3’s Coven. There has been character crossover previously but this will be the first time a season has acted as a sequel.
The link to American Horror Story’s earlier seasons might be an attempt to win back lapsed fans, a point that becomes clearer when you learn show favourites Taissa Farmiga, Gabourey Sidibe, Lily Rabe and Frances Conroy are returning as their characters from Coven. And Lange, missing from the last three years, is back, reprising her role as Murder House’s tragic neighbour Constance. Her presence is one of the biggest reasons we’re looking forward to Apocalypse.
American Horror Story’s success, particularly in the UK, may be down to its appearance on Netflix. It’s here where viewers have been able to indulge in entire seasons in a few sittings. Horror remains popular in cinemas (for example, the work of Blumhouse and the ongoing commercial success of The Conjuring and Insidious films including their spin-offs) and so American Horror Story has been able to tap into that thirst on the small screen.
It’s also been applauded for its style, scale and offbeat approach. Some say it is genuinely scary, others talk about its ability to get under your skin. Much of that reaction comes down to which series you’re watching as each delivers its own type of scares with Asylum being most viewers’ pick for the scariest season of all so far. Can Apocalypse top that?
We’ll be indulging in American Horror Story: Apocalypse as it appears on FOX from September 27. So whether you’re taking a sick day from work or shutting the curtains on a rainy Sunday, turn down the lights, put the phone on mute, and have the snacks and drinks within easy reach. And for goodness sake, just keep reminding yourself, it’s only a TV show!
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: APOCALYPSE premieres on FOX on 27th September at 10pm. Catch up with AMERICAN HORROR STORY SEASON 7: CULT, available now on Blu-ray and DVD and AMERICAN HORROR STORY: THE COMPLETE SEASONS 1-6 is available now on DVD.