When you’re waiting for something special, 8 months could take forever. Good thing it’s over and the Emmy-award winning mini-series is back for its most riveting season yet.
American Horror Story: Freak Show just premiered, and it couldn’t have been more exhilarating.
The pilot episode, “Monters Among Us” tells the story of Elsa Mars (Lange), a German expatriate who manages “Fräulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities,” one of the last freak shows in town.
Her troupe of odd performers is struggling to keep the business running due to dwindling number of audience and the lack of interesting talents to showcase.
With only teasers and cast photos prior to the premiere, all AHS fans can do was take Ryan Murphy’s promise that Freak Show would be the best season yet.
And boy did he live up to the expectation!
AHS: Freak Show’s premiere was packed with the odd, tormented people of Jupiter, Florida, and the scariest clown ever.
The opening scene where milkman Phil Palmer (Bradford) discovered the lifeless, murdered body of Eudora Tattler (McKenzie) showed that AHS is ready to go full-power in horror, contrary to the creepy vibe it gave the last 3 seasons.
They also changed a lot of camera movements and shots this season (straying away from fish-eye and reflective shots). They used more stills, wide and deep shots, which amped up the anticipation of Twisty the Clown (Lynch) popping out of the screen any moment.
With the use of heart-pounding background music, each time the show transitioned to the scary parts, you will hold your breath and hide under the blanket.
The use of vivid colors is clearly noticable this season as well. From ravishing red to eerie yellow. It gave the whole episode that 50’s feel and made the carnival look more sinister.
Make-up, set, costumes and special effects is still one of their forte. The use of blood in all of the slashing parts was sufficient and not too overwhelming. The carnival set looked spectacular on one of the wide shots and Twisty’s house (or should I say prison for hostages) made everything dynamic. But one thing I was impressed with was the special effects they’ve done on Bette and Dot (Paulson).
The trick of making 2 heads share 1 body of the same actor is truly magnificent as it gave both Paulson’s character more depth and intrigue. It has been stated in several interviews that Paulson took a very challenging role and she did have a hard time shooting.
When it comes to acting, it’s undeniable that this year’s ensemble is as great as the past seasons. Probably better!
Stand-outs were Elsa (Lange), Bette and Dot (Paulson), Jimmy (Peters), Twisty the Clown (Lynch), Dandy (Wittrock), Gloria (Conroy) and Penny (Gummer).
Jessica Lange, the Queen and jewel of AHS, stole the show again with her wonderful rendition of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.”
It’s not something that Simon Cowell would say pitch perfect or could make Adam Levine press the red button to turn his chair.
But the reason this was a stand out was Lange’s commitment to her German accent, aside from her reaction when she realized she was performing for an audience of two. It was genius acting on her part.
Props to Sarah Paulson as well for perfectly convincing the audience how it would truly look when you’re sharing one body with another head. Add to that the fact that both characters have different personalities.
Bette, the joyful and trusting one while Dot is the complete opposite.
I’m also glad to see that Evan Peters is back with a more compelling role after playing a dim-witted Frankenstein with no gripping story last season. Such a good actor would go to waste if you’d ask me.
It’s a good thing that his role as Jimmy, the Lobster Boy, has more drama and personality. Let me add that Peters looked really hot if it was really in the 50’s. Go ask Bette and Dot, they probably would agree.
John Carroll Lynch was one of my favorites this episode. Although I gotta admit that I nearly fainted several times when Twisty the Clown appeared. I can’t help but feel amazed by his portrayal. Even without speaking lines, his whole demeanor, body language and eyes are enough to make a grown man cry.
Here are my 5 standout moments/characters from this episode:
1. Bette and Dot
2. Twisty the Clown