Episode Three of American Horror Story Double Feature was on FX this week.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
This week began where we left off last week and I have to say, this is the most focused, put-together season of American Horror Story yet. Often the series suffers from too many cool storylines happening at once and there's always a thread or two left hanging or the ending gets rushed.
This year, we are watching Finn Wittrock struggling with writer's block a la Jack Torrance in The Shining and I'm loving it. Finn, as we know, has been a regular on AHS for years and this might be his best part yet aside from Dandy Mott. And those who follow me know that I've been a huge Finn Wittrock fan ever since I first saw him Freak Show back in 2014. And as a writer who myself recently emerged from a nearly ten year writing paralysis, I can relate in a million different ways to Harry, Finn's character.
As I mentioned last week, this is a totally different character yet again from others that Finn's played in the franchise. He's realistic, (not hitting the ground running as some kind of monster), even as he turns to the dark side. He's playing a husband and dad who is on the verge of scoring a big Hollywood gig. He goes to a small Massachussetts town to get his head together and focus on the work for the deadline. The drive to the town was remisincent of The Shining (both open in a similar vein) as are many other shots and motifs. Now in episode three, Harry's already in thick with other writers in town.
In a turn of fate, his very pregnant wife topples down the stairs (The Omen? I can't remember what movie that might be from, AHS always has touchstones to other properties) and she has to spend a few days in the hospital so she won't lose the baby. Harry is thrilled because now he can work on his opus without her nagging and continue his turn to the dark side in secret, in tandem with his nine-year-old daughter. Alva. Both Harry and Alva are under the spell of the little black pills, caring only for their own art with little regard for those around them. This episode was like a Lone Wolf and Cub/Mandalorian and Grogu adventure but with talented artistic narcissistic addicts. Harry will hunt food for Alva or so the deal is supposed to go. But hey, it's a horror movie. That cop got a bit too close...
This season has great atmosphere and fun performances. The ensemble works well together and the story so far makes sense. Well, except a couple of things that most would overlook, I'm sure.
Shooting in a pandemic also gives an air of creepiness as the town is very sparsely populated, no one is around and the bars and so on are pretty empty. I'm not sure if they did the technique with background performers on green screen like they did in Good Girls.
I think what is irking me are all the people who say it's time to kill Harry. Instead of killing him, hey they're vampires, (why would they think twice?) they just keep talking about it all. This often happens with Murphy projects so I hope this won't kill the momentum. We all know that everytime a villain doesn't immediately take action but just blathers about it, the villain likely isn't going to succeed. But this is AHS, anything can happen...
I'm absolutely loving Macaulay Culkin as Mickey this episode. I love his acting, he has some wonderful bits and is so good. I hope we see much more of him in the future, not only in this show but others. I could see his little boy Kevin face underneath the meth/artist, and it was so wonderful and creepy and fun. Imagine the Home Alone boy battling vampires or becoming one with them but they still shun him.
The vampires want to kill Harry all of the sudden, but they want to kill the agent more. So, why didn't they just Kill Her? They kill everyone else without blinking an eye. What's with the delay?
These are two things that bug me. The talking about killing Harry and the agent but no one does...yet. I'm sure that will all go down next week.
I also don't know why Mickey killed someone in broad daylight on the beach right where someone else was killed. That didn't make much sense but perhaps it shows how he doesn't think things through?
Evan Peters is amazing and fun and insane as always. He's always a joy to watch and his many characters in the franchise have all been very different from each other. So much talent.
I re-watched part of the second episode waiting for the third one, and was struck how much Billie Lourd is channeling her mom. She always looked very much like her mom but in this season, even more so. It's actually creepy, maybe because she's pushing thirty now. She also speaks like Carrie Fisher, that quick, clipped fifties patter. They still have Billie doing that cadence and it's enjoyable.
You gotta feel sorry for Lily Rabe's Doris who is being betrayed by her own husband and daughter. Everyone around her is turning into someone else. Her bland little world of bland design "grey-eige" is being turned upside down. Instead of her vain husband being an actor as in Rosemary's Baby, he's a writer but still has sold his soul. I wonder what's in store for the baby? Is it a devil baby preordained by the coven? Is the coven from Coven going to show up to claim it?
The show has bits of The Shining, Rosemary's Baby, Salem's Lot, Dark Shadows, The Omen, and many other horror movies threaded through it. I've actually never seen any incarnations of Dark Shadows but Evan Peters seems like he's channeling Barnabas Collins at some point. I'm not ignorant that the show exists but just don't know the inside scoop of it.
We didn't have to wait long for our buddy Harry to be captured by kinky weirdos and thrown into a dungeon to be sexually violated in a snuff video. Well, he went there to kill the girl for her blood but she flipped the tables on him and he became the victim. I have to say, I was trembling with an-ti-ci-pation to see if the sex scene would actually happen, being a kinky weirdo myself. I loved how he used his fangs to bite his bindings and then destroy them. Go Finn-Harry!
Oh, and if the snuff film weirdos hadn't been explaining how they were going to kill Harry in detail (to entice him to take the Viagra) and had just done it, he wouldn't have had time to chew through the bindings.
Looking forward to next week! In the meantime, have a bowl of blood! It's nutritious and delicious.
Or just go relax in the tub like Dandy used to like to do...
And while you're waiting and soaking, check out some of my books on the new SCREAM Chills and Thrills app both on iPhone and Android!
If you want to read a story about a witch who gets to meet her favourite horror TV star, check out my latest book in my Witch Upon a Star series.