The sixth season of AHS is called ‘My Roanoke Nightmare’ and while deviating from its usual format was nice to see, this was a strange premiere in both the setup and content. I’m not quite sure where they are going to take this season after watching the first episode but it definitely had moments that will be talked about, not all of them being that great.
In reality, the show is setup more like a crime drama documentary than anything else, and that was a great change of pace for me. We meet an interracial couple who are actually played be different actors in the present day and past flashbacks. Shelby (actress Lily Rabe in present day; Sarah Paulson in the past) and Matt (Andre Holland in the present; Cuba Gooding Jr. in the past) tell a tale of how an attack on Matt in a rage of gang violence changes their lives forever, pushing them to leave Los Angeles and take up roots in North Carolina in a house that can only be described as some distant relative to the famous creepy dwelling in the Amityville movies. (Seriously, who would move into this house? The look, price and fine neighbors should be a dead giveaway that something is not right here)
It doesn’t take long for shit to hit the fan and things start turning really weird. Loved the hailstorm of teeth, the Lord of the Flies references and the overall creepy vibe that the episode gave off, but the familiar setting and idiotic decision making by the couple made me cringe more than a few times and for all the wrong reasons. Thankfully, this is American Horror Story and nothing is ever as it seems.
I found it really difficult to figure out just what exactly Ryan Murphy and company were going for here as the references to Blair Witch, Amityville and a host of other horror movies were dropped all through this episode. The beginning that stated “The following is based on true events” is obviously referencing the famous missing colonial settlement from Roanoke Island in North Carolina, but how far Murphy chooses to follow that story remains to be seen.
The way the episode played out made it hard for anything monumental to happen, in terms of blood and gore, but I have faith that the show will shock and awe us somewhere along the way. The good news is many of the cast from season’s past will be returning as well and that is nothing but great news in terms of talent, especially when some of the scripts begin to get ridiculous and weak.
With the overall plot still being a mystery, at least to this viewer, I certainly won’t condemn the episode and it’s rather dull and mediocre feel. However, the craziness at the end tells me this could be one the strangest seasons of American Horror Story yet and that in itself is reason to hope.
Three stars out of five
- Great actors are again present this season
- The creepy house has great potential
-It's American Horror Story so nothing is ever as it seems
- So many things were referenced it makes me wonder when some originality will creep in there
- New format will be hard to keep fresh over a whole season