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'American Horror Story Asylum' will scare the crazy out of you, some thoughts

By April MacIntyre Oct 12, 2012, 18:49 GMT

'American Horror Story Asylum' will scare the crazy out of you, some thoughts

These are the flavors of a TV series that needs to come with a big warning label, a blankie, Valium chaser and a pair of Depends for the horror moments so visually jarring grown men will scream like a little girl.

VERY MINOR SPOILERS

So let's talk about what makes you afraid.

Does the idea that the state can take away your freedom and rights scare you? Does the notion of being at the mercy of someone else's whim frighten? How about religious dogma, or relentless town bullies, perhaps aliens from outer space or those who would judge and punish you based on who you love?

These are the flavors of a TV series that needs to come with a big warning label, a blankie, Valium chaser and a pair of Depends for the horror moments so visually jarring grown men will scream like a little girl.

 

Thank sick f*cker (said with utmost love and respect) Ryan Murphy for this, for the fertile imagination he has and his superbly talented below the line craftspeople who dress the set, edit the footage, dress the cast, heck, CAST the cast (there are some doozy exotic looking types in this effort) in this gloomy Massachusetts Gothic yarn of eroticized gore, genuflecting and sadism.

 

And then there's Jessica Lange.

Lange's a nun, we already know this so that is not a spoiler. But smart women who are held back and repressed by large entities have to have an outlet for their...opinions and power plays.

Imagine a time when women had to bow and scrape in a wimple serving a patriarchal organization that uses the female ranks as nursemaids, doing the dirty work of the Church. Some in the Catholic faith prefer this to the more modernized America Catholic interpretations of service. It's a personal decision. Lange's Sister Jude is old school but yearns for more of the corporeal and sensual world. Her taskmaster brain won't have it...or will it?

 

'American Horror Story' Asylum bows with the 'Welcome to Briarcliff' premiere, as we learn of the history of this decrepit manse, the backstory comes to life in the 1960s as we meet the cast.

We learn that 46,000 people died in the old Tuberculosis ward up until 1962, when the Catholic Church turned it into a sanitarium for the criminally insane.
Bloody Face was their most famous serial killer, but was he guilty or a victim?

 

Flash forward to modern times, as Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan-Tatum are a hot newlywed couple Leo and Teresa, honeymooning at all the haunted USA hotspots.

As all horror tales go, horny, highly sexual people get their comeuppance, but in Murphy's world, it is not that cut and dried.

 

Watch for the hauntingly beautiful Evan Peters, at the mercy of James Cromwell's insanely evil Dr. Arden, a character so insidious you'll be put off medics until the trauma of his performance dissipates from your frontal lobes.

The tone, premise and pacing make this series one to NEVER let kids watch, or anyone with sensitivity issues. Let me repeat: This is NOT a family TV viewing event. This show is "in your face" sexuality, horror and psychologically disturbing moments all woven at the same time.

*Casting note: Ian McShane will be part of the cast according to Ryan Murphy who shared on Twitter that he will "tussle" with Jessica Lange's Sister Jude.

McShane (Deadwood, Kings, Dallas), joins returning players Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Zachary Quinto and Evan Peters, along with new cast James Cromwell, Joseph Fiennes, Adam Levine and Lizzie Brochere.

"American Horror Story: Asylum" Season 2 returns Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.



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