Recap: ‘American Horror Story: Freakshow’ Has Me Back On Ambien, Some Thoughts

ahs twisty clown killer

Jesus H…. Murphy,, thanks.


So guess who was up from about 3:30 AM onwards? Thanks Ryan Murphy and FX.

This morning I organized my tax receipt bin, colored my roots and caught up on rearranging my freezer thanks to the very effective acting of John Carroll Lynch, whose Twisty the serial killer clown makes Pennywise look like a rank amateur.

freak 1

How ironic in a gun happy state like Florida where they dole out concealed weapons licenses and whatever law they have down there that lets you plug someone if you feel threatened is the setting for this period drama that has me reordering my Ambien prescription.

The new season of American Horror Story: Freakshow is REALLY frightening. I thought Murphy could not top a creepy Massachusetts insane asylum where you are at the mercy of sadists and a guy who moonlights as “leatherface.” He did it this time.


The first rule of teenage canoodling and illicit sex is pack some heat, not just what’s in your pants but a Taurus snubby or a .38. As soon as those kids were in scene rolling around on the blanket near a SWAMP (alligators, hello!) you knew shit was going to get real.

The clown coming out of the bushes sent me into post traumatic shock as I recalled a childhood birthday incident I thought had been resolved.

rthel darling

American Horror Story: Freak Show began with the “Monsters Among Us,” and gave us a wide sweep of the cast of characters. Moments of levity and shock (hello Lobster Boy) and moments of Edward Scissorhands/Tim Burton homages (deviled eggs, pastel dresses and perfect 50s set dressing) could not erase nor mollify the horror of a silent murderous 6’3″ clown who hides in plain sight, thanks to Elsa Mars’ (Jessica Lange) troupe of human oddities which has settled for the moment in Jupiter, Florida.

elsa mars

Murphy and company cleverly use real events in history to anchor this anthology, and they do it very well. From the first season, “Murder House,” that called upon the horrors of the gruesome murder of the Black Dahlia in LA, to the one that got me bad, “Asylum,” where real asylum histories and horror were interwoven with Nazi lore, and “Coven” taking us to NOLA with Madame LaLaurie and her real house of death, “Freakshow” taps into a universal fear and frankly widespread hatred of clowns.

And the serial killer who has no agenda other than opportunity and a swiftness of deed.

Jessica Lange is Elsa, a German ex-patriot who is equal parts Norma Desmond, Marlena Dietrich and Jim Rose Carny Barker. She has created Fräulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities in hopes her dreams of stardom will be realized. There’s a bit of tongue in cheek here with our Kardashian fame crazed celebrity tableau where people prize fame and seek it at any cost.


Elsa will be famous, dammit!  And her ticket is a two-headed girl(s)  played beautifully by Sarah Paulson, her conjoined twin sisters have only one set of female sexual organs. Then there’s the Darling clan, Evan Peters is the show’s “Lobster Boy,” Jimmy, an enterprising lad who thrills women on the side with his fused oversized fingers (use your imagination) and Kathy Bates as the bearded-lady mama who is an aide de camp to Mars.  AHS veteran Frances Conroy shines as a bitchy rich socialite and Finn Wittrock plays her completely catered-to son, who wants to own conjoined Bette and Dot really bad.


In a bit of Baz Luhrmann time twisting finesse, Elsa puts on a show to entertain the aforementioned rich mother-son duo, and belts out a version of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” …  of course the song was written in the early 1970s, but this is seemingly going to be a thing throughout the series this season, as next week the Twins are singing a Fiona Apple ditty too. 

So the real star of the series this season, of course, is the dreaded Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) who excels at being THE most terrifying clown of all time. I just can’t watch this series alone anymore and will have to record and watch when I know I will have people in the house.


Dammit Murphy.

The First Footage From "AHS: Freak Show" Is Terrifying


Twisty is large, silent and nimble as hell. Did you see how fast he stopped impaling the doomed boyfriend, stood up and ran the 100yard dash in like 8 seconds after blondie? His makeup and smile is beyond grotesque and it looks like he yanked out his hair or was the unfortunate victim of an industrial accident where acid burned everything off. He also collects small children and pretty girls in cages and is prone to rage fits and throwing things about like machetes.  He probably smells ripe too, as I didn’t see a shower in that mobile trailer of his. Effing clowns.

Either way, good luck if you can sleep after watching him in action.

American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 10 p.m. on FX.