American Horror Story: My Roanake Nightmare made its debut last week, and – after a long and fairly frustrating wait – we were not disappointed.
Not only was the theme and concept ambitious, but it was properly, knuckles-white, hold-your-breath, don’t-watch-it-alone, scary.
Starring Lily Rabe and Andre Holland as a couple – Shelby and Matt – recounting their “haunted house” experiences for a documentary, it also sees Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. playing the same characters in a “dramatic reenactment” of the events being described.
Trying to escape the memory of a traumatic assault in Los Angeles, Shelby and Matt upped sticks, and bought an old, North Carolina farmhouse. The problem was – far from the peaceful sanctuary that they were hoping for – things there just didn’t seem quite right. While Shelby was home alone, human teeth hath rained from the sky, and as she relaxed in the hot tub oneevening– Matt away on business – she was suddenly attacked and held underwater.
Installing security cameras and inviting his ex-cop sister Lee (played byAdina Porter in the present, and Angela Bassett in the “reenactment”) to come and stay, Matt hoped that things would blow over. But actually, in true AHS style, things only got worse.
What with a sinister, found-footage style video playing on a TV in their basement, a creepy, unnatural old woman (Kathy Bates) who survived being hit by a car (at fairly high speeds), and then an in-the-woods scene that was so terrifying, it could rival the Blair Witch, things pretty much became a living nightmare.
While previous seasonshave focused more on being unsettling, or macabre, or brash andgory, MyRoanake Nightmareseems to be going after a more primal fear. There’s something in the woods, there’s something that doesn’t want Shelby and Matt in that house, and that something might jump out at any second, and harm them.
We’ve loved every American Horror Story season for being unique, and this one – what with its scenes of sheer, primal terror, but also its fresh “true crime” documentary format and multiple cast members playing the same characters – is going where none has ever been before.
And it doesn’t look like things are going to get any less scary:
Did you enjoy Chapter One? Let us know what you thought in the comments!
Images via FX