• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
American Horror Story Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 301 Ratings

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  • Summary: For her protection, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) is sent to Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies in New Orleans. Meanwhile, the return of Coven witch Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) stirs up an old rivalry.
  • Genre(s): Horror
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    Oct 9, 2013
    [Ryan Murphy's] sharp take on a woman's role is both funny and mordantly serious.
  2. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Oct 8, 2013
    Although the premiere is hampered by unnecessary narration and over-exposition, it's still a bewitching brew of whimsy, psychological scares, horrific atrocities and the wonderfully relentless feeling that something wicked this way comes.
  3. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Oct 9, 2013
    We’ve come to expect an eclectic mix from the American Horror Story anthology, and the formula works particularly well in this installment, thanks to uninhibited work by the big-name cast.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Rorke
    Oct 8, 2013
    [Lange and Bates] are the only reason to watch.
  5. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Oct 9, 2013
    There are aspects of Coven that are stylish and clever, and others that are just "Carrie" on steroids. The cast, of course, is tremendous.
  6. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Oct 8, 2013
    Fish-eye lenses and rotating cameras don't feel at home here as in other installments, and things aren't creepy so much as grotesque. Still, there are a number of decent effects and a healthy dose of humor that keep things moving along in an entertaining way. Eventually, the many stories find their way together, which helps propel the premiere to its promising finish.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Oct 7, 2013
    As with all three incarnations of AHS, there are some beautiful images (courtesy of director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and cinematographer Michael Goi), and Murphy and Falchuk’s script exhibits a knowing familiarity with the genre. Still, there’s always something unsavory about using the supernatural as a shield to indulge in sex-laced sadism, which has become a common and frankly rather tired aspect of the whole latex-clad-gimp streak running through the series.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 58
  2. Negative: 13 out of 58
  1. Dec 10, 2013
    From the first few minutes, the show hooks you in a web of interest and awe. The characters are wonderfully thought out and the first scene is gruesome and amazing at the same time Expand
  2. Oct 9, 2013
    I think this season has to have one of the best openers so far. Its chilling, gory and just so great. The cast is fantastic, and the opening scene really hooks you in. Expand
  3. Oct 9, 2013
    Best series opening of the Autumn thus far, strong cast especially from Lange, who's always been the figurehead of this anthology series strong script, perhaps occasionally over-stylized at parts yet all together I loved it. Expand
  4. Oct 22, 2013
    It's campy!

    But that isn't bad! To be brief: The show is fun! It's better in storytelling than 90% of the shows currently on. Its clever
    and twisty narrative is quite engaging for the horror or any kind of fans. The pace is fast, compelling and simply good. The direction is stylish, funny, satirical and cool. The acting is just fine, with Lange, Bates and Bassett being top-notch as ever. I like the witchy, and scandalous Emma Roberts too.

    This is the only season I've watched because the others were very disgusting and gory. This was just OK.

    It's just fun! Nothing serious...
  5. Oct 10, 2013
    In terms of first episodes, It was rather generic. It was good enough to suck you in but not good enough to say it was good/great. I had as a 6.5 overall through out but more leaning towards a 6 and not a 7 because it was just not that satisfying. It was enjoyable and it certainly kept you interested but it could have been better.

    To be honest, I don't have high hopes for this season. I think it will be rather slow at times, mix up mid-season, and like the previous 2 seasons it will end poorly. Only time will tell if Coven will be the same as the previous 2 seasons or charge for the better.
  6. Sep 16, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I've been following American Horror Story from Season 1: Murder House, and I have to say that Season 3: Coven was a bit of a disappointment. Season 2: Asylum was amazing but still not as good as Season 1, but Season 3 doesn't even come close to being as good as the other two. The ending was predictable, and from the past two seasons I would have guessed it would have ended as an edge-of-your-seat, cliff-hanger that left you asking questions and making up your own closing. This season didn't deliver that, which was more than disappointing. The plot was all over the place, and it was easy to forget what happened in each episode, leading to confusion in the following week's episode. Some aspects of this season were just plain weird, not even scary. For example, Taissa Farmiga's character, Zoe Benson, had a superpower that allowed her to kill her victims by having sex with them. It was just a really weird concept. However, I absolutely love the actors and actresses in American Horror Story. I love the way it's done in each season, using the same actors but creating different characters for them. That's always my favorite part at the beginning of each season, spotting a familiar face and connecting it back to a previous season. Jessica Lange never fails to amaze me with her unparalleled acting skills. Her character, Fiona Goode, was my favorite out of her three characters in each season. Jessica Lange manages to captivate you with the intensity she puts into her acting. Overall, this season wasn't great and didn't meet my expectations, but it wasn't bad. I'm still looking forward to Season 4: Freakshow. Expand
  7. Jan 14, 2014
    Rating this season higher than the previous two is an act of madness ! I hated from the first time the notice that Taissa Farmiga would be return in the cast; i think she's the worst actress in the USA ( at least ).
    AHS is become a teen-drama, not a horror, and low-level series full of nasty, blood and rough things. I mean, it has to be in some way like this, with withces and their macabre rituals, but Taissa Farmiga change the nature of the series into a low-teen-drama-trouble-heart-series.
    This season ? Failed.

See all 58 User Reviews

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