American Horror Story

7.8 / 10
45 min
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" gives "American Horror Story: Asylum – season 2" a 7."
Written by on 30 June 2013.
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American Horror Story: Asylum – season 2

My Twitter dash was exploding every time a new episode was on; almost all Americans I follow were talking about it… 'American Horror Story', the new horror series by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. I’m not that big of a fan of horror, so I wasn’t that interested in the beginning. Until I found out RTL5 was airing the series here on Dutch television. Other series from Murphy and Falchuk (for example, Glee and Nip/Tuck) are some of my favourites so I decided to give 'American Horror Story' a chance. I watched the show every week ever since. So I feel the time has come to write a review about this new genre for me!

This season of 'American Horror Story' is called Asylum and tells a new story that has nothing to do with the first one. Every season of this series has a beginning, middle, and end and basically is a miniseries. However, this doesn’t mean a new cast is introduced each time. Many actors appear in both series but play different roles in them.

Most of the story takes place in the '60s this time. Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) runs the psychiatric hospital, Briarcliff, with the help of Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) and Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell, 'Six Feet Under'). The hospital was founded by Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes, 'FlashForward'). Horrors take place there. Patients being abused and used as guinea pigs while the outside world thinks nothing’s wrong. When the alleged serial killer, Kit Walker (Evan Peters, 'Invasion'), ends up in Briarcliff, reporter Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson, 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip') starts to investigate his crimes. During her investigation, she finds out more about Kit’s so called second identity as "Bloody Face" and also about Briarcliff, which makes her end up as a patient there because of her sexual orientation (she's homosexual). She befriends another patient named Grace Bertrand (Lizzie Brocheré) there and she's one of the few people who believe Kit is innocent. Meanwhile, Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto, 'Heroes') gets a job in the hospital as a psychiatrist helping patients, but is that really what he’s doing there?

Guest appearances this season are from Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan-Tatum who appear immediately in the first scene of this season. They visit Briarcliff in the 21st century and come face to face with a ‘character’ from the past. Dylan McDermott is also back but this time as a special guest. His role is small but very important for the story, especially during the season finale.

Horror, in my opinion, is a bit too creepy most of the time; bloody and predictable. But 'American Horror Story' got me hooked from the beginning. The mystery of its storylines, wanting to know what’s going to happen next; it makes the show so appealing to me. In every episode, you’ll learn more and more but during the finale the story's loose ends really come to an end. There were some scenes that were a bit too bloody and scary for me, but they do tell a story that you need to know and aren’t just for drama purposes only. True horror fans might find that 'American Horror Story – Asylum' doesn’t live up to their expectations. The traditional horror scenes that you see in movies are there but not as frequent as you’d expect with a name like this. Also, storylines about the "angel of death" and "aliens" are a bit too much and don’t contribute to the story a lot, in my opinion. But luckily, those are only minor storylines. People who love thrillers and some mystery and drama will probably like 'American Horror Story - Asylum'. Even the ones who wouldn’t normally go for this genre in the first place might be pleasantly surprised with this series, like me. I love watching 'American Horror Story' and look forward to the third season. I hope it tells an equally strong story as the previous two and has a cast just as great as the ones we’ve seen so far, because they were simply amazing!
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