Dear American Horror Story,
We have had our ups and downs in the past. You had a couple of seasons that kept me wanting more, only to follow up with a season that I couldn’t handle more than four episodes of (looking at you AHS: Hotel). You can show me Lady Gaga’s ass all you want, but I still have 56 more torturous minutes to endure. On Tuesday night a new season, AHS: Cult, premiered. It takes an unexpected direction, playing on fears fueled by current events, including Donald Trump’s election.
That’s right boys and girls, just in case you haven’t had enough Trump plastered on your television, American Horror Story: Cult just happens to open the story on election night. There is a tale of two households: one is the family of a married gay couple (Sarah Paulson, Allison Pill) watching in distress with friends, the other a hostile fella named Kai (Evan Peters) whom is absolutely ecstatic with the results of the election. I think it is fairly safe to say that Cult will follow the fall-out of Trump being elected.
Paulson plays Ally, who used to struggle with extreme anxiety. The news of Trump being elected brings back her anxieties and a number of phobias that include clowns, holes, and oddly enough, coral. Ally’s phobias start to get the best of her and she begins to have multiple panic attacks and hallucinations. Her wife Ivy, played by Pill, does her best to be a strong and supportive partner, but eventually grows weary of how Ally’s baggage.
The other lead character, Kai Anderson, is going to be the one to watch this season. He is deeply fascinated with other people’s fears. There is an incredibly tense scene where Kai shares a table with a young lady named Winter, pinkies locked together. He interrogates her with some wild questions, tapping into her psyche.
Even though Kai hasn’t come right out as a white supremacist, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find out he packed his bags for a quick trip to Charlottesville. If you fill up condoms with urine and throw them into a crowd of Mexicans, provoking them to attack you, you might be a bit racist. Oh, not to mention that Kai might be involved with a murderous group of clowns. Definitely one of those “very fine people.”
AHS: Cult already stands out from the previous seasons by the inclusion of current events. I think it’s an interesting and smart move on the creators part to add America’s current reality to the story. When the show opened with Trump’s victory, I thought “Wow at that point in time, I had no idea what was in store for us!” I only hope that using our current situation in the story proves to have some real meat and meaning to it, rather than just a shallow tie-in. Seeing Kai smearing himself in blended Cheetos was amusing enough but I don’t want to see political gags every week.
As with all other seasons of American Horror Story, the show really shines when it gets down to being scary and bloody. In this first episode, we see homages to the films Zodiac and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And to my delight, Twisty the Clown, the fan favorite from the Freakshow season makes a brief return terrorizing and killing a teenage couple that escaped into the woods to have sex. This is what I expect from AHS! This is what I want from AHS! Don’t let me down AHS! I deal with the reality that Trump is the President of the United States every day, I watch TV to escape the madness!
Despite the political overtone that some might not agree with, American Horror Story: Cult had a strong debut episode. I was really into the episode, it had chills, thrills, and a very dark tone to it. Not much scares me, but seeing people dressed up as evil, devilish clowns armed with blades tends to make me feel a bit uneasy. So if you are on the fence about this watching this seventh season, I say sit back and enjoy it! I think we are in for an interesting ride!