The first entry in the long-running American Horror Story franchise – it’s been on the air for nine years and apparently going strong – I saw was Murder House, and I hated it.
It’s been awhile though what stuck with me was the trashiness of the whole enterprise, which is why it’s taken me nine years to re-engage.
So, I watched American Horror Story: AHS1984 this weekend, and I didn’t seem to repel me like Murder House did.
So that’s a good thing.
What wasn’t was that there were no characters to speak of, instead you get to spend about eight hours and change with a bunch of thinly drawn outlines that barely approximate real humans.
Though the producers could have been aiming to mimic the characteristics of the typical slasher movie – Friday The 13th in particular was a huge inspiration and AHS1984 takes an entire, very memorable scene from it – which typically also had cliches posing as characters though the problem with that is that a Friday The 13th movie typically ran just over an hour and a half.
American Horror Story: AHS1984 has NINE episodes (though it feels like twelve, so there’s that).
And the producers – as if realizing that there was nothing in the way of character development, filled the series with A LOT of story, so you get the a narrative that goes backward, forward, backward then forward again in time, with multiple serial killers, possessions and ghosts.
It’s nuts, though what’s worse is that it’s a mess. And I don’t want to presume that whomever wrote it (it was created, mostly written and executive produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Fulchuk) was on drugs, though it would explain a Hell of a lot.
Now, if the acting was better they might have been able to bring viewers along, no matter where the narrative strayed, but it’s no to be. No one is terrible, but no one appears particularly invested in what they’re doing, either.
Will I watch another season of American Horror Story (I did mention it’s been on nine seasons)?
Maybe? Though at the moment I’m in no hurry to get back to Camp Redwood – or wherever Murphy and Fulchuk are going) because while I can’t speak for anyone else, but if I’m trying to get somewhere for nine hours, the least I can ask is that the trip be worth it.