'American Horror Story' taps into our mortal fears through Violet, some thoughts
By April MacIntyre Dec 8, 2011, 17:23 GMT
It isn\'t pretty, what happens to human flesh when we die. Ryan Murphy\'s noir LA horror series brought it home last night as Violet is brought to her own corpse, undignified, putrid and a host for vermin.
FX's "American Horror Story" is truly terrifying in deep psychological ways, tapping into our fears of the desecrated flesh, of witnessing our earthly form rot and become food for the worms and flies.
It isn't pretty, what happens to human flesh when we die. Ryan Murphy's noir LA horror series brought it home last night as Violet is led to her own corpse, undignified, putrid and a host for vermin.
The very thing we fear is what transpires when this engine carrying our thoughts and personality ceases to be. How do we want the remains to be handled? Where do "we" end up? This story has artfully taken these worries and fashioned a pulp fiction so shocking and tender at the same time, it's remarkable.
The Harmon's are squarely pawns now, like all the other cast of characters caught in the purgatory that is "the Murder House", a repository of souls left trapped with enough energy to hurt, maim and impregnate the living.
The one human who seems impervious to the fated ends that all the Murder House owners befall is Constance, played in a tour de force performance by Jessica Lange. She is crackling, beautiful, pathetic and evil. The story now hinges on her as we see Larry's back-story revealed, and her one golden child, Tate (Evan Peters), manipulate the entire cast of characters with his cruelty and rage. Violet (Taissa Farmiga) was collateral damage, accidentally killing herself, not aware she was dead.
We know that the Rubber Man who impregnated Vivien (Connie Britton) and tried to kill Ben (Dylan McDermott) was Tate, and that Constance's young lover was dispatched by previous Murder House owner - a dentist who was responsible for the infamous Black Dahlia murder in Los Angeles, where an aspiring actress was bisected, quartered, and her mouth ghoulishly slashed from ear to ear. This fate was served up again for Travis, killed in the house and now company for the growing cast of trapped ghosts inside the damned dwelling.
Constance is seen in a flash back with Larry (Denis O'Hare), Tate and Addie. This is in the wake of Constance doing in the maid (Frances Conroy) and her husband in a gruesome manner so that no evidence is found, except that Tate is enraged and focuses on Larry. Larry becomes a human torch in his office, a baptism of fire courtesy of splashed gasoline and Tate's premeditated match lighting. Another hard to watch scene.
The police, investigating dead Travis (Michael Graziadei) splayed in the grass exactly like the Dahlia, are wondering about Constance and all the missing people, maid Moira, her husband, Beauregard and of course Addie, who was struck by a car on Halloween. Constance's shoot from the lip un-pc and racist chat does not help her cause with guest star Charles S. Dutton, a cop who looks like he wants to introduce his foot into Constance's ass.
Next week, Ben somehow talks a reluctant and pregnant Viv into going back to the house as a host of anxious souls are waiting, ready to claim the children.
In many ways this LA Gothic parallels the sci-fi horror flick, "Event Horizon," in that the house is a dimension of pure chaos, pure evil, and is inescapable, exactly like what befell the cast in that chilling 1997 film.
No one gets out alive.