I don’t know about you, but I was giddy to learn that Glee creator Ryan Murphy was returning to his more adult inclined FX stomping grounds to produce American Horror Story. Let’s face it, as Murphy demonstrated with Nip/Tuck he is a maestro of decadent and dramatically challenging storylines. What makes that brand of drama so … disturbing is that it is not set entirely in a hedonistic world where the kinds of slimy characters and morally bankrupt motivations are the norm, Murphy’s worlds seem to exist in the borderland between a Caligula like social strata infected by the soulless demands of fascist narcissism and insatiable material appetites, and the self-ascribed ‘˜real world’, where the same tendencies still manifest behind the picket fences of the white washed world of the American waking dream. So Ryan Murphy applying that story logic to horror, on a channel like FX that is known to go there? I’m in.
FX Released the first glimpse into the world of American Horror Story to the public this morning, following a screening of the pilot at the TCA, and the images are … puzzling. In a good way. First let’s take a look at the clip from American Horror Story, titled ‘Cello’.
So, what did you see? The clip certainly does come across as a David Lynch inspired piece of style and subjectivity, and while no doubt there are droves of ‘Saw’era horror fans scratching their heads over the lack of visceral quick cuts of torture and murder set to a pulsing rock-inspired soundtrack, you can count me totally intrigued. That sexy belly being played as a musical instrument by leather adorned hands is, on its own, not really very giving in terms of plot, but very promising in terms of presentation. In the simplest interpretation the symbolism is obviously saying American Horror Story is about dark forces manipulating people, with the bare flesh representing a layer of sexual energy to the act. Not a big stretch since Murphy says American Horror Story revolves around marriage. The music itself could represent harmony. The dark forces playing on the harmony of the family unit, controlling the ‘˜music.’
Regardless of how you break it down, it is clear that Murphy is out to create a smart and sexy thriller. It’s refreshing that the trailer is NOT in the styling of the run of the mill hack and slash box-office horrors of today and instead relies on subtler, more interpretive, and disturbing imagery to cast a subconscious hook. When American Horror Story premieres October 5th on FX, I’ll be watching!