American Horror Story : Season 4

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
American Horror Story Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 416 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in 1952, a freak show run by Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) comes to Jupiter, Florida. Also set to appear: Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Michael Chiklis, John Carroll Lynch, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, and Gabourey Sidibe.
  • Genre(s): Horror

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Oct 7, 2014
    100
    Freak Show looks like a beauty, with a wealth of fascinating characters and a little smattering of heart helping to balance out the grisly appointed rounds of a so far unidentified clown with a hellish half-mask.
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Oct 7, 2014
    83
    Whom to vote for--Dot or Bette? Or will Paulson end up splitting the vote? The special effects are so seamless and Paulson's performance so memorable that it's not a completely incidental question. Then, of course, there's Lange.
  3. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Oct 8, 2014
    80
    There’s enough talent and intensity here for me to step behind the tent flap, to see if all this can cohere into something super freaky.
  4. Reviewed by: Kevin Fallon
    Oct 9, 2014
    70
    It’s hardly [his crowning achievement], lacking the aggressive whimsy and emboldened storytelling that’s made him the pied piper to a nation of TV-watching weirdos, mocked and ignored. But there’s a seriousness with which he’s given this first Freak Show outing that actually piques more of a curiosity than trotting out the expected onslaught of spooks, one-liners, and cheekiness could’ve possibly be done at this point in the American Horror Story run.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Oct 8, 2014
    60
    The overall narrative is a bit lacking, just as you don’t go to a circus show in the hope of seeing all the various acts tied together through storytelling. Yes, there’s a murder to hide, a few secrets for each of the major characters, and Murphy’s overall arc of the outcast who holds more humanity than the “normal people,” but I hope the actual storytelling of American Horror Story: Freak Show improves in subsequent episodes.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Oct 7, 2014
    60
    It still has plenty of clever touches in word and picture.... But it’s not particularly scary, and doesn’t even feel that creepy or freakish, despite the sideshow setting and the obvious attempt to emulate one of the eeriest of American movies, Tod Browning’s “Freaks,” from 1932.
  7. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Oct 6, 2014
    50
    Freakshow boasts some extraordinary performances by actors who labor in vain against a sometimes plodding script, weighed down with underwhelming horror moments, way too obvious metaphors about tolerating differences and a pervasively airless claustrophobia.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 59
  2. Negative: 11 out of 59
  1. Oct 18, 2014
    10
    Oh my goodness, I've been waiting so long for this season and I'm not disappointed. The characters are perfects, the story is very good, notOh my goodness, I've been waiting so long for this season and I'm not disappointed. The characters are perfects, the story is very good, not predictable at all, the performance of the cast is awesome and I don't know what to expect next, but I think will be an amazing season. Expand
  2. Oct 23, 2014
    10
    Episode 3 of season 4 review:

    Obviously, nothing can beat this anthology series. it's just too beautiful and amazing. No tv-show could ever
    Episode 3 of season 4 review:

    Obviously, nothing can beat this anthology series. it's just too beautiful and amazing. No tv-show could ever bring a good horror to your tv like Amercan Horror Story. Last episode was simply over the top amazing. I don't know what made this episode so perfect. Is it Jessica Lange singing a Lana Del Rey song? or is it the truly eccentric and astonishing new character; Edward Merdork? And the list goes on! I think every moment of episode three was beautifully done! Can't wait for more.

    Majid Al-Ansari
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  3. Oct 8, 2014
    10
    Por mais que seja difícil de assistir, por se tratar de temas delicados e mostrar a sociedade daquela época como realmente era com relação ásPor mais que seja difícil de assistir, por se tratar de temas delicados e mostrar a sociedade daquela época como realmente era com relação ás pessoas com anormalidades, essa temporada promete ser bastante agonizante. Expand
  4. Oct 11, 2014
    8
    I have watched a few episodes of American Horror Show in its earlier incarnations and I have been repelled by both its content and itsI have watched a few episodes of American Horror Show in its earlier incarnations and I have been repelled by both its content and its throw-everything-at-the-wall style. I decided to give this "freaks" series a shot and I watched the first episode electing to be quickly grossed out by the exploitation of the unfortunate and by crummy production values.

    Have I been wrong all along or is a new person with cinematic talent and some sensitivity in charge this year? The freaks, mostly make-up and/or computer modification are portrayed as largely decent, caring people. The outside world is insensitive, crass, and dangerous. I especially enjoyed Ms. Lang's performance of the David Bowie song. Weird and oddly affecting at the same time. I told my DVR to keep on recording.
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  5. Jan 25, 2015
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The fourth season of American Horror Story had a lot of promise at the start but it got weak at the end.

    Its main problem was the plot and the way how it was narrated. In this season’s plot, a group of freak show performers have to survive the odds. It doesn’t sound exciting at all but that’s not the real problem. The real problem was that the writers don’t know how to narrate its plot into a 13 episode story. The strongest point of the plot was the antagonist of the first half of the season named Twisty the Clown. But when he was killed off in the middle of the season, the antagonist title is given to Dandy Mott which he showed a lot of promise to be a much more scarier villain than Twisty the Clown but he ended up being a spoiled brat.

    The nowhere going plot also affected the character development this season. Like Dandy Mott, a lot of characters showed a lot of promise that they could be complex written characters but they ended up being underdeveloped thanks to its shallow plot narrative.

    The shining light of Freak Show was its acting performance. I would like to highlight Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Finn Wittrock, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, John Carroll Lynch and of course, Jessica Lange. It’s sad that they’re not given much to do with their characters but at least they tried their very best on what’s given to them.

    Another good thing about Freak Show was the way how it was directed and shot. The cinematography really feels like it’s set in the 50s.

    Despite everything that’s wrong with it, I still enjoyed watching Freak Show and that’s why I rated this season a bit higher than I should have but its flaws cannot go unnoticed. I hope they improve its story telling next season and even if they didn’t, they better make it entertaining at least.
    Expand
  6. Feb 7, 2015
    5
    So the quality of each season has steadily declined from the first in my opinion. A sense of scare or surprise definitely seems to have beenSo the quality of each season has steadily declined from the first in my opinion. A sense of scare or surprise definitely seems to have been almost lost this time round so calling it horror is just not right as there barely seems to be anything frightening at all this season. However i do feel some of the reviews have been slightly harsh to rate the whole season before seeing its end and to that end my score is somewhat higher. Expand
  7. Oct 28, 2014
    0
    I've watched this show from this its beginning, I am utterly disappointed with this season. Glee is dead, there is no reason AHS should haveI've watched this show from this its beginning, I am utterly disappointed with this season. Glee is dead, there is no reason AHS should have singing for an empty tent, or at all really. What a sad rip off of the classic "Freaks". And now there's Lord Voldemort!?! Ryan Murphy just stop it. I had a bad feeling when I heard you were directing so I guess my instincts were right. Expand

See all 59 User Reviews

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