Asylum Is a Spectacle to Behold
American Horror Story: Asylum Premiere Review
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 21:10
What show has suspense, drama, aliens, monsters, gore, and Adam Levine? American Horror Story: Asylum, of course. The new AHS season, featuring an entirely different story from the first season, began with a bang.
The setting for this season is 1964, which is made clear by the secret marriage of Mr. Walker (Evan Peters, Tate from last season) and his colored wife, the costume designs, and the gas station scene where the song “There Goes My Baby” plays in the background.
Mr. Walker is given the nickname “Bloody Face” for wearing the skin of his African American wife. In reality, he was set-up by a spontaneous alien attack. The abduction scene was a tad too cheesy to call scary, but it ties into the insane theme well: who would really believe that aliens came to his house and skinned his wife? Nobody.
AHS this season brings up the question to viewers: what is insanity? When people are considered ill for loving someone of the same-sex, are the people that run the asylums the insane ones? It is intriguing to see Sister Jude (Jessica Lange, formerly Constance), for example, go to the extent of blackmailing a Lana’s (Sarah Paulson) girlfriend.
Sister Jude is the perfect antagonist: sly, extreme, and, of course, evil. She says to Ms. Winters, “Mental illness is a fashionable term of a sin.” One of the best lines of the entire episode. She believes people have prices to pay, rather than needing help. So, she “fixes” them with an overdose of torture. She leads people up to the asylum’s “stairway to heaven” into their death chambers.
Here’s a twist. Like the vague definition of insanity, there is also a vague definition of sin. Sister Jude has sexual desires for the priest, the number one no-no for nuns. Lange, a favorite of AHS fans, crafts Sister Jude into the character viewers should pay most attention towards.
AHS is rated MA (Mature) for a reason, namely gore, sexual references and nudity, and language. The first scene is newlyweds on a “haunted honeymoon,” having sex in the twelve most haunted places in the country. The intercourse was interrupted by Adam Levine getting his arm ripped off, followed by a piercing scream from his wife.
Fans of the series were not disappointed and new AHS viewers were most definitely impressed, including myself.