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  • 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 276 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: 36 out of 53
  2. Negative: 12 out of 53
  1. Nov 19, 2013
    This season is very appealing thanks to the cast and the strong story. Gabourey Sidibe has always been on my watch-list and Jamie Brewer's acting is improving compared to what she showcased on season 1. Taissa Farmiga, Emma Roberts, Jessica Lange, and Denis O'Hare are all doing their jobs well. Frances Conroy and Lily Rabe are indeed two very underrated actresses. And need I say more of Angela Bassett? She's playing Marie Laveau with a very strong set of skills. The only letdown would be Evan Peters, who is not convincing enough for a resurrected zombie-like. Other than that, the story of this season is very potential and I can say that it's been going on the right lane so far. Oh, and the references to popular culture are, as always, intriguing! This is nothing like a lame-teen-superpower-movie whatsoever. Expand
  2. Oct 8, 2014
    The show is full of talent, and that will probably be what people see first in American Horror Story: Coven. We have Jessica Lange who already warrants the show a perfect score, Kathy Bates who is always on point with her character, Angela Basset who makes you believe the witches might actually have a problem three-four episodes in. Coven is star studded, and everything works. This is the season to watch first if you're new. 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 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.
  5. 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
  6. Jan 17, 2014
    With all the different kinds of characters the series really had a potential to deliver well balanced story. It reminded me the first season of "Heroes". But later on it all became a total mess (story and direction wise). After watching episodes 10 and 11 I got so confused I had to check maybe I missed some chapter! and I don't think it can get better in 1-2 chapters left. I just watch it for beautiful clothes and sets now. Expand

See all 53 User Reviews

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