• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
American Horror Story Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 241 Ratings

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  • Summary: Season two of the horror series begins with newlyweds Leo and Teresa stopping at Briarcliff Manor, an abandoned Catholic sanitarium. In the 1960s, Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) and Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto) had opposing ideas about treatment for the inmates who lived there.
  • Genre(s): Horror
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Oct 16, 2012
    It's to the credit of Asylum's writers, directors and cast that the emotional pain of the characters often feels as real as their uncertainty and terror.
  2. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Oct 17, 2012
    Asylum dives right in on racism, homophobia and sexism, and wrings something emotional out of them.
  3. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Oct 17, 2012
    So far it works.... Asylum feels like a more focused, if equally frenetic, screamfest. It's also gorgeously realized.
  4. Reviewed by: Zeba Blay
    Oct 16, 2012
    The most interesting thing here is the show's willingness to take risks: killing off major characters, running about 18 different plot lines at once, incorporating racy psycho-sexual and religious undertones, asking more questions than it intends to answer.
  5. 70
    This is still a cheeky, trashy, nasty series, one that'll do or show pretty much anything if it thinks it'll get a rise out of you. But its sense of itself has become more refined.
  6. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Oct 25, 2012
    It's dark, big-top sadism, and we wait for a story to emerge. [5 Nov 2012, p.41]
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Oct 16, 2012
    Some of its imagery is arresting. But this is mostly a sorry, unfortunate and even contemptuous enterprise.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Dec 22, 2013
    Halfway through this season and I'm scared outta my mind. The friggen beginning is scary too lol.
    Super good and amazing actors. The horror,
    gore, twist and turns, it's "insane" pun intended.
    Very good and crazy show.
  2. Nov 15, 2012
    Good script, tight direction and editing, and an anti-hero sycophant's feast! Love it because it takes subject matter that lends itself to caricature, farce and camp absurdity and elevates it above the B grade refuse that passes for drama these days. Critics will eviscerate it simply because of the title, but their ignorant disdain for an original and captivating series is irrelevant. Enjoy! Expand
  3. Nov 25, 2012
    I definitely like where they have taken the show this season. They have really cranked it up a couple notches. Makes me wondering where Season 3 is going to go. I mean it is a little all over the places, but they stay focused with their crazy storytelling and try to only go so far before bringing it back in. Very interested in seeing how this will all play out in the end. Expand
  4. Oct 18, 2012
    American Horror Story: Asylum. I've been waiting for a long time to watch this show. Pilot was a little unusual, but it was likeable. I loved Jessica Lange's performance and the entire production desgin of the asylum is just fabulous. Looking forward to upcoming episodes, this show can do better. Expand
  5. Feb 1, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Let’s speak with candidness and honesty; aliens always seem a bit far-fetched. However, in season two of American Horror Story, known as Asylum, serial killers, exorcisms, hauntings, mad scientists, insane asylums, monsters, AND aliens are all pieced together to construct hooking horror television show. The season opens with an abandoned mental institution and a couple who has set off to explore it. As they enter its walls, the setting reverts back to 1964, and the story begins with a female reporter, Lana Winters, who is attempting to expose Briarcliff Mental Institution, a home for the criminally insane, of its corruption. In the process, she comes to discover a new serial killer that is being housed there as he awaits trial. When Winters is denied the story by a nun that is running the institution, Winters trespasses on to the property. Discovered by the despotic head-nun, Sister Jude, Lana Winters is blackmailed, punished, and committed to the asylum for her homosexuality. Behind Briarcliff Mental Institution’s closed doors, all sanity is left as you embark on a twisting journey, with an ever-thickening plot, in to the despairing depths of crazy. Created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, American Horror Story: Asylum is one season in an anthological series that takes place in various locations. Each season has its own unrelated plot, characters, and horrors. First airing on FX in October 2011, American Horror Story: Haunted House delivered the series concept, and left viewers wanting more, as the biggest new cable series of 2011. Answering wishes, American Horror Story: Asylum began in October 2012 and aired its last episode on January 23. With 35 series award nominations and eight awards, clues to season three are being revealed and excitement is building, after a somewhat surprising ending to the spook-filled season. In watching American Horror Story: Asylum, the detailed plot is not only an attention ‘getter,’ but ‘keeper’ as well. Opening with a horror-packed episode, the series is sure to capture an audience. With each new episode, the characters’ lives are revealed, giving the viewer insights in to those that are sane, insane, and destined for the asylum. One of the highlights of the season is Jessica Lange’s portrayal of Judy Martin, also known as Sister Jude. As you see her character intensify, so does Lange’s acting ability. Her role hits a character turning point when she is committed to the asylum, and the viewer must feel Sister Jude’s agony as she is abandoned and left to handle the horrors herself. The deconstruction she faces leaves the viewer wondering how far writers Murphy and Falchuk are willing to retreat in to the complexities of darkness. The casting of each of the characters was done flawlessly, as each story elicits different fears and emotions. Another credit to the creators is their ability to write and face controversial issues. From homosexuality, to inter-racial marriages, religion to the American Health Care System, American Horror Story: Asylum is bursting with divisive material, and yet it is ultimately what makes the show so captivating to watch. No matter is too provocative and no issue is too scandalous. There is brilliance to be found in the complexities of controversy. However, one issue seemingly kept the show from achieving perfection. Despite the comprehensive plot, the story did seem to resolve too soon. Although all loose ends were neatly packaged, the show’s ending seemed rushed. Due to the content, the series has an air of endlessness, and sadly it seems to culminate while the characters are still developing. Regardless, it is clothed in genius and opens viewers to a new and upcoming anthological horror genre. Due to some of the content, it is definitely recommended for a mature audience who seeks drama, scandal, horror, and an all-inclusive journey every week. Season three is anxiously awaited. Expand
  6. Jan 25, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I absolutely loved the first Season it was good horror show for those who appreciate horror. Season 2 the Asylum begun as hardcore horror it was visceral, grotesque, traumatic and definitely not for the squeamish. I was quite sickened at times through its approach to horror, although this is what good horror should do, make the viewer horrified and cringe. As this season dragged on and on. It became more and more repetitive becoming implausible, almost as insane as the inmates themselves. Drawing the viewer into absolute boredom away from all the starting shock treatment they had received from its first episodes. Upon the episodes leading to the final and finale I am absolutely disgusted at the way this series has robbed my time going for trauma to utter crap. The final was in the effect of happily ever after, and never never land. I was no longer no horrified but enraged. Everything in its ending was drawn up to a neat close no loose ends in a ditched effort to appease audiences who never where its fans. What should have been a hardcore ending was some wimpy kid dying in his mother arms from the **** killing him. Seriously, CMON now? They could have done something horrific in the effect of. Lange that evil nun granny, being found in a pile of feces murmuring her last words to the reporter from her leper body as she squawks her finale dying breath with death laughing at her. Kit's children were created by aliens, why not have them kill the Cardinal in some apocalyptic way after Kit was abducted. The evil reporter **** should have been killed by BloodyFace 2, no doubt about that. He should have do this in some horrible, visceral way, then ending with him being lead to an asylum. Then it would have completed this seasons circle, or at least dying in a double KO in his mothers arms drinking that milk he never had. Season 3 is coming later this year I have lost all faith in this ****y horror. The french are some of the best at horror they don't hold their punches back, or maybe go read a Ketchum to get a better idea of evil. This Hollywood crap is ridiculous. I can only assume next season will be shot using Blair Witch camera's, using paranormal activity effects, and the hero will be played by a cow ending with moo. They really should write Old MacDonalds farm instead of making a horror series. When it ends in that happily ever after, never never land. The thing I hate the most about this episode is that a lot of **** blogs are praising this episode as it epitomised evil, yea right . The only evil thing it did was anyone who doesn't agree with their weak review doesn't have their say. What an awful series which had some starting promise but then became weaker, and weaker. The only horror was afflicting the viewer with boredom Expand

See all 42 User Reviews

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