Written by: Wesley Thomas
As AHS’s ‘Freak Show’ was possibly the most anticipated horror series to date, I felt I should review the first episode that spirals us into a whole new world. New accents, new terrors, new locations, new soundtrack, new time in history and even a new flow and pace to the show!
As usual we have some spectacular performances from a very talented and unique cast. The show’s producer and one of the three casting director’s decided to actually cast actors with genuine deformities and physical abnormalities to create a realness. Which is perfect given the first episode (and I am predicting each one) personalizes the ‘Freaks’. The latest instalment in AHS brings to light how they feel, how they are treated, how they overcome it, and how they deal with it. As it is a horror show, some deal with it in a very gruesome manner, others wallow in self-pity, and some make serious plots for revenge. They are presented as intriguing creatures with unique gifted bodies not of the norm. Already we feel a connection with these people that are judged and disgraced by townspeople. We side with them, and form loathing for the bigoted haters of society.
But of course, we do have some familiar faces as well as new ones, Jessica Lange is back, and no shocker here, she’s incredible. The ring leader of the show who will do anything to bring in fresh malformations to her Freak Show. Then we welcome back Sarah Paulson who plays Siamese twins Bette and Dot. One is mature, strict, distrustful and weary, the other is kinder, gentler, more impulsive and naive. She portrays both temperaments excellently.
Not forgetting heartthrob Evan Peters, who plays a character who uses his deformity to pleasure women with. But his character is one of the more feisty ones with no tolerance for prejudice against those he sees as family. Kathy bates also shares the limelight with her Oscar-worthy performance of ‘The Bearded Lady’.
Props have to be given to the special effects team. Obviously some of the actors do have actual human defections, but some don’t and still look completely convincing. The special effects make up team, and CGI team have done a flawless job here!
Also with this season, they really do put the ‘Horror’ back in ‘American Horror Story’ with the addition of a clown character. And let’s face it, who isn’t petrified of clowns?
Technically speaking, they hit it out of the park. Great camera work, very suitable soundtrack to give that sense of oddity and tension, along with a set of colourful locations. This all fits very well with the time period of the series, the 1950’s! (1952 to be exact) They capture all aspects of that time, aural, visual, political, sociological, with the intriguing addition of a Freak Show.
All in all they have exceeded my wildest expectations. This is must-watch horror TV at its best. They have delivered the scares, and so so much more! I cannot wait for next week, and to see how the show and characters progress.