• Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 537 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 537

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  1. Nov 29, 2011
    9
    Most people like to say "AMERICAN HORROR" in the same breath as "WALKING DEAD". Two TV shows about scary things. I'll tell you why AMERICAN HORROR STORY is six times better:

    Story - by far AMERICAN HORROR, a more compelling story arc with great use of setting up mystery with horror along with utilizing flashback's that tie up all questions. It's always entertaining and never dull.
    Walking Dead feels as if they're dragging out story arcs to the point where there's too much down time. The subplots/love triangles and such side stories are making me feel like I'm watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy. Acting - no doubt AMERICAN HORROR has some the cream of the crop acting. When I watch it, I don't feel like I'm watching someone act the way I do when I watch WALKING DEAD.

    Suspense - not only is every episode of AMERICAN HORROR suspenseful, but almost every other scene is as well!

    Cinematography - every camera angle is well thought out in AMERICAN HORROR. Not only that, but the quality looks better/filmed better: better lights/darks/contrast (not to mention better sound)

    Consistency - there hasn't been a bad episode of AMERICAN HORROR, while there's been plenty of lackluster episodes of WALKING DEAD.

    Opening Credits - i used to think WALKING DEAD had the best opening credits with awesome textures and whatnot... until AMERICAN HORROR came out. Great textured visuals, creepy shaky imagery, dark-audio and twisted editing.

    Sum-up - on paper, i'd choose Walking Dead. But after watching Walking Dead, it's just too much. I love zombies as much as the next person, but I'll be the first to say we all like zombies BUT in small doses: two hour movie... thirty minute zombie scene here... there....etc But not for a season, let alone three. We all loved Newman on Seinfeld. He's the best - in SMALL doses! We wouldnt want a TV series about Newman.
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  2. Oct 6, 2011
    10
    This show did a good job at keeping viewers wanting more. Other than the show "Supernatural", this is the only show with a horror theme on basic cable. The Pilot is one of the best I've seen the fall season so far. This show is an example why well written shows and good actors makes for great television.
  3. Nov 18, 2011
    10
    This is like a mix between Twin Peaks, The Sixth Sence, Amityville, Poltergeist, The Others, The Shining and many many other great Horror classics. Its a well thought out show with some of the best acting on TV. Jessica Lange and Frances Conroy are just spectacular!
  4. Dec 10, 2011
    9
    This is by far the most entertaining show in years. It's scares are genuine and not forced, it's well written and masterfully executed by an amazing cast. Watch this show!
  5. Dec 1, 2011
    10
    Absolutely wonderful. Terrific sense of foreboding with a perfectly menacing atmosphere while still managing to be emotionally affecting on many other levels. This is what horror can and should be. http://themuddoctor.blogspot.com
  6. Oct 28, 2011
    10
    Probably the ONLY good horror show on tv. I loved the pilot and am literally counting the hours until the next episode airs. If you get a kick out of horror this show is definitely for you. Even if you're not into horror you might still appreciate how well written the storyline is. Do check it out, its different from anything out there.
  7. Nov 18, 2011
    10
    Amazing show, the best, most original show of the whole season, absolutely in love with this show and Jessica Lange should be getting her Emmy any day now. If you like Horror, suspense and drama this is the show for you! Two thumbs up!
  8. Nov 28, 2011
    10
    really good. Not very scary but i really like it and strongly recommend it
  9. Dec 28, 2011
    9
    Overall a very strong first season. The show is trashy. It is crude, it is unrelenting in its march towards entertaining the audience. And that's why its one of the few shows i chose to stick with through the full season. Pure entertainment. While at first I was afraid that the writers had written themselves into a corner and were struggling for a direction, things picked back up and came in for a strong and occasionally moving finish. Expand
  10. Oct 5, 2011
    10
    Great! Amazing even, the plot was good, with a lot of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat (or cowering under the covers). American Horror Story makes you eagerly await the next episode, while in the mean time keeps you guessing. With TV full of crime dramas, reality shows, and cheesy sitcoms, AHS is a lovely, yet horrifying, taste of something different.
  11. Oct 30, 2011
    9
    Compelling. You can try as hard as you want to turn off that television set but it's just too good. The pure genius of it is enticing and mesmerizing. Ryan Murphy played his cards brilliantly with this one. The concept and development of each episode is sheer phenomenon. The actors/characters to the plot of the story were spot on! Murphy serves us a mixture of suspense, terror and a risqué feel to it. Absolutely a MUST SEE. Broken barriers and way out there. Now that's good TV. Expand
  12. Nov 26, 2011
    9
    I've been riveted by this show since it started this year. My only worry, is how they'll move to a second season. It's interesting how this particular house is haunted, but it seems like the story lines may not be able to be consistently good in the future. How will this show move forward? I'm pulling for them, but I won't hold my breath!
  13. Nov 26, 2011
    10
    Great show for regular tv it's a show for adults you never know what's gonna happen next the characters are for good and there are so many twist and turns they can go with it
  14. Dec 14, 2011
    10
    Just an amazing show. The fact that each episode could pass for a decent horror movie on its own should tell you something about the quality. Also, as far as horror and TV go together, I've never seen a show pull off a serialized storyline. Usually you'd get something like Tales from the Crypt or Hitchhiker where each episode is its own story. American Horror Story gives you a great singular story each episode, but they are all woven together as part of a much bigger plot. THAT is good TV, period. But to accomplish that in the horror genre... it takes some skilled writers and producers. Props to anyone involved. Expand
  15. Oct 6, 2011
    9
    The pilot episode was dark, disturbing, and thoroughly entertaining. The acting was exceptional, with Connie Britton delivering the stand-out performance. The only problem I had was with some of the "spooky" editing techniques; these came off as more annoying than frightening ("Helter Skelter!").

    It appears that critics don't really know what to make of this show, as they seem pretty
    evenly divided on it. Those who don't like it cite how uncomfortable the show makes the viewer feel as a negative aspect. I view this as a positive, since this is clearly what they are going for. This one might take a few more episodes to find it's audience, but I'm pretty confident that it will be successful. Expand
  16. Jan 1, 2012
    9
    I remember thinking many parts of the first few episodes were pretty bad but this is one of the most entertaining shows I've ever watched. The best thing by far is jessica Lange, but the writing and story develop really well as you work through the season. Not perfect by any stretch, but highly enjoyable viewing for anyone who likes their horror wit a few giggles thrown in. I've never before started watching a seasverse right over again after finishing it but did with this. Expand
  17. Dec 21, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Brilliant season and exquisite season finale. Exhibit A. What other show would literally kill off its entire starring cast in the first season? Exhibit B. Jessica Lange in one long, devastating take. Exhibit C. More story twists in one episode than most shows manage in an entire series. Expand
  18. Oct 7, 2011
    9
    My wife and I watched this off the DVR before we went to bed. The show was actually quite frightening, and my sleep was little uneasy, which doesn't happen much with horror shows/movies. It is a blend of paranormal and psychological horror. The rubbersuit reminded me of the Alfred **** series with the ghost under the sheet. The only reason I gave it a 9 was I don't know how long the show can keep going before the theme and ideas become monotonous. Expand
  19. Dec 26, 2012
    10
    Definitely keeps you guessing the entire time! The plot is fantastic and keeps you wanting more after every episode. The twist at the end is hard to see coming.
  20. Dec 15, 2011
    9
    every week. the show gets better and better, the story is complex, but you can follow it, you think you will get a LOST type "non-explanation" but every week more is revealed. This show reminds me of LOST more then any other show, and thats a good thing. Every thing about this show is thought through and entertaining, you can tell the actors are having fun in their roles, everything about this show is amazing, i can't wait for it to come to DVD so i can watch it start to finish in one sitting. it is an amazingly crafted story, i hope season 1 ends with the completion of the current story, and they do a season 2 with a brand new story. Great job coming up with original TV (its so rare these days...) Expand
  21. HoX
    Nov 24, 2011
    9
    If you're searching for something new, especially if you like horror movie and TV series, American Horror Story is exactly what you're looking for. This series bring to the horror series scenario something new and very different. While the other horror series are focused on one or more characters hunting ghosts and monsters, in AHS the main characters are the house and its story and it is a story full of mysteries.
    In the first two episodes you discover the Harmon family and the other characters related to the house, but if you'll wait the third episode, you will learn the house's secrets, so that you won't like to wait a week to know what's happening after (especially in the episode Halloween, split in two parts, episodes 4 and 5).
    The most shocking fact? It is done by the same author of Nip/Tuck (ok, their both crazy shows) and Glee (What???).
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  22. Dec 4, 2011
    10
    i am so obsessed with this show. its so good! the story is amazing there's so many branches where the story extends. its well done. the show is somewhat creepy but its never meant to be "Scary" yes there are some scary parts but not many. the acting is superb, and its just one of the best shows out now!. if you like shows with a good story, many characters, action, suspense, some what scary scenes. this is the show!. AMAZING! Expand
  23. Oct 20, 2011
    9
    I'm quite surprised about the low score this show is getting.. although after 3 episodes it's hard to tell.. everything does indeed depend on whether the creators manage to pull it off over a whole season, and keep the story of the relationship interesting. As for the eeriness/creepiness/thrill of the show: it's superb! Instead of relying on gore, it plays the freak/suspense card á la **** meets Lynch. Loving it! Expand
  24. Oct 5, 2011
    9
    Brilliant pilot, beautiful show. Subtle, dark, and creepy. Lots of room for twisted plots and frightening character revelations. There's been a serious void in the nauseating onslaught of network premiers that American Horror Story boldly fills.
  25. Oct 6, 2011
    10
    I thought the pilot was amazing!! It is fascinating how it is pieced together through it's disjointed images and scene editing. The cast is at the top of their game and have the right material to be great with. Just like with Nip/Tuck, Murphy has a natch for writing great characters in extraordinary situations. This is one of the best pilots i've seen and i can't wait for more.
  26. Nov 20, 2012
    10
    Just the right amount of thrills. It's not often a TV show written as good as a great horror movie comes along. Great casting, acting and directing. Recommended.
  27. Oct 7, 2011
    9
    Everything worked for me. Its cast is excellent, the writing is solid, the style is ambitious, and there is truly nothing like this on television. Even the small details like the opening credits and the use of Herrmann's Vertigo score felt pitch-perfect. To base a show with the central motif of fear and how it motivates and molds people is inspired. It's also one of the oddest blends of genre I've seen since Buffy -- the script was genuinely funny at times for all the right reasons, it's appropriately creepy, hit resonating dramatic notes, unashamed of its sexuality, and it has a delicious surreal element. Boy do I hope they can keep this level of intrigue up, because it will easily become one of my favorite shows. This is the perfect blend that I wish True Blood could balance.

    Best pilot of the season, easily.
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  28. Oct 8, 2011
    9
    Great show for fans of freaky show. Sort of a Supernatural mixed in with a little Carnival. Super risky too as far as basic cable goes. Some of the lines were hilarious. Over all entertaining and I personally would call it a total mind f***!!! Hope they keep dishing out new episodes.
  29. Oct 12, 2011
    9
    I'm looking forward to seeing where this show goes. So far, good acting, compelling storylines. Definitely drew me in. All that and Jessica Lange, too!
  30. Oct 13, 2011
    10
    I was hooked from the beginning. It has just enough eeriness and intrigue to keep you guessing...the characters allow you to become involved in their lives quite quickly. Definite must see....can't wait to watch the next episode
  31. Oct 20, 2011
    10
    Well I love this show, so disjointed sometimes you think your losing the plot or storyline then wham scared half to death by some mad vision. My partner doesn't have nightmare but following the first show they did a full on graphic ripping someones head off and blood all over the place. This is one of the best new shows this year, can't wait for the next episode.
  32. Oct 21, 2011
    10
    Impresionante serie de la mano de Ryan Murphy creador de Glee. Esta serie de terror aspira a convertirse en una serie de culto si sus capitulos siguen la estela de los 3 primeros ya que la serie mejora cada semana. Jessica Lange esta extraordinaria en su papel de vecina "plasta" y los continuos contratiempos (terrorificos en su mayoria) hacia la familia estan extremadamente cuidados.

    10/10
  33. Nov 1, 2011
    9
    AMERICAN HORROR STORY is a shocking, intriguing and weird TV series that never fails to astound it's viewers with it's fantastic episodes and brilliantly acting.
  34. Dec 29, 2011
    10
    This is a rare show that sticks with you long after you've seen it. Not only is the story brilliantly written, each episode is directed and produced with a team that really believes in their story. Everything is polished! Even the actors and actresses are top-notch! I'm partially sad that the series is getting a reboot next season only because I loved the characters in this season. Though, it's true, this seasons' story arc has been told and would only dilute a perfect ending if they were to continue it. Expand
  35. Nov 24, 2011
    10
    Erotic-charged horror. Every episode is better than the previous one. An addicting show. Great writing! Twisted, dark and crazy ghost story. I can't get enough.
  36. Dec 4, 2011
    10
    At first blush I thought, not another fantasy/horror show in prime time's cable lineup, but it was clear within a few episodes that this is something completely different. A great show for the horror buff, American Horror Story has fantastically woven all of the elements of traditional horror with those of true American horrors into the plot lines. Character development drags a bit, but that is expected when it comes to current television. Expand
  37. Dec 4, 2011
    10
    really like this series, great characters, acting and sense of foreboding. the characters all feel natural in their world, no one dimensional parts. The story might be similar to The Shining, but with layers of detail that keep coming, with each episode about different people who stay as mysterious as the story itself
  38. Dec 12, 2011
    10
    Where do I even begin to describe this terrific series? Each week the suspense is turned up another notch, which forces to bring the viewers back. It is one of the rare horror series to actually work on television, and it is done perfectly. Just when you think you know what is going on, another shocking secret is spilled. American Horror Story is one of the best new series of the year. And will someone please give Jessica Lange an Emmy nomination for her work on this show!? Expand
  39. Dec 15, 2011
    10
    This is a fantastic show and I hope that there is a second season!!! Can't wait to see the last episode. Writers have outdone themself with this one Brilliant Highest score possible 10.
  40. Jan 18, 2012
    10
    Holds it's viewers attention, not scared to take risks, excellent acting and does not pander to main stream at all therefore it has a lot to offer then just the "same old same old." More for an audience that is not scared to enjoy the risks it takes and are not scared of a more adult themed show. Bravo.
  41. Mar 4, 2012
    10
    When trying to stay surprised or scared out of your mind, AMERICAN HORROR STORY is one to keep in mind. While trying to follow the already set story line and maintain its scary image, this show really did please me. After watching the first season, I can conclude that anything can happen in this show.
  42. Dec 12, 2012
    9
    The first season of American Horror Story is something television desperately needs; variation. Excellent acting performances throughout (special mention to Jessica Lange and Zachary Quinto) complete with intertwining stories that leave you guessing at every moment. Even when you think you have something figured out, you often find out just how wrong your assumptions were.
  43. Apr 28, 2012
    9
    American Horror Story is a wonderfully bizarre and brilliantly acted horror anthology that is filled with twists and turns and shocks, and will keep you hooked from start to finish. This is by far Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's best work they have created. I can't wait for season 2.
  44. Sep 28, 2012
    9
    Being very bored and desperate for something even remotely entertaining to watch, I came across this series on the Internet and aside from my initial 'what an awful name for a show' thought, decided to give it a try. All I can say is that this is such a brilliant series. I love the acting, the plot is elaborate yet understandable and well thought out, the characters are solid and the structure of the episodes are both engaging and original. I love films but generally don't enjoy TV shows/series but this had me hooked after the first episode and I watched every single one in the space of two days. Really, really impressed and definitely worth a watch. Expand
  45. Nov 5, 2012
    9
    American Horror Story embodies the realities of modern life (depression, birth issues, infidelity) and mixes them into a deep horror mythos that makes the flawed characters the focus rather than unnecessary special effects, too much blood or insane violence that has recently become what makes up the so-called horror genre. In focusing on the characters and their everyday lives within the construct of the Expand
  46. Dec 29, 2012
    10
    Not a subscriber to TV for the lack of any quality, intelligent or original programming, I found this New show on Streaming. It was absolutely the BEST series I have ever seen and it opened a new door that I hope other Shows and Movies will aspire to. The Best Part is Jessica Lange who steals the show with her intelligent and powerful presence. I loved most of the characters. Piggy Piggy was the worst of the shows, honestly how some people gain any fame is beyond me. Perhaps the continuity was a little off but it didn't matter since the entertainment and suspense made up for it. Again, I hope that it sets a new standard for the Dreck that comes out of hollywood these days. I have watched this season over and over which again is something I never do but I just found myself addicted and drawn to the unusual and dark theme and the actors are absolutely superb. I will become a true fan of this new series. Expand
  47. Mar 6, 2013
    9
    Excelente! una grandiosa seria de horror psicológico, su historia con sus giros inesperados es lo que lo hace genial! mezclando lo paranormal con la locura es lo que hace a American horror story una excelente serie.
  48. May 2, 2013
    10
    Best serie of all, this is just awesome, i can't wait for a 3rd season, people who watch this is intelligent, this is so scary and dramatic, fun, i love this tv serie.
  49. Jun 26, 2013
    9
    American Horror Story is different than the usual horror genre, which is great, I like this series because of its difference, it is not your typical horror genre (haunted house) it is way scarier and much complicated and the second thing that made me love this series is the acting, which is great and phenomenal. In some parts of the series it falls apart and it runs very slow which disappoints, but it picks up very quickly with one crazy scene that will make you go WTF. Expand
  50. Oct 9, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. There are a few things that come to mind when one finishes the first season of American Horror Story.
    Some might include: Why is this show so messy? Why is this so cheesy at times? Most of all the question that haunts is Why can't I stop watching this?
    Believe of not, for the most part, all of those questions have a positive answer. The structure and character development of the series is incredibly messy, sometimes clearly unintended. However, it is also one of the most compelling elements about the series. It corners viewers and makes them sit tight as the story progresses while the viewer tries to tolerate the curiosity. The show is full of cheesy revelations and outcomes that could have been so much better by introduction of new characters or crazier twists. Rather than cheesy, one could use the term non-shocking. For example, when the audience discovers Tate is the Rubber Man. It can be a great disappointment for people whose high expectations, for what presents itself as a show with no limits on its madness, shows the Rubber Man as a tormented teenager who is in a limbo between good/evil. These are all minor flaws, however. The most important question about this show, and most important answer, is that the audience can't quit this show because of the raw transparency of human nature the characters present. Whether a viewer relates to the adulterer Ben Harmon, the tormented VIvien Harmon, misunderstood Violet, lost Tate, Mischievous Moira, a horrible mother like Constance, or any other character, it is undeniable that these characters show the audience the reality about human nature. As the show progresses, the audience begins to set aside the horror elements to the story and view the flaws of a dysfunctional family/families.
    That right there, is what gives the show its ultimate strength. The audience doesn't start watching American Horror Story with any intention of learning how to be a better person. However, it is inevitable to watch a family whose misfortune as endless until their sad perish, and still see them laugh as they prevent families from going through the same events. It shows that one chooses how to look at situations, either escape them or deal and learn from them. It shows the audience that it is better to laugh than mourn. It also shows however, that many can make the same mistakes over and over again. As Constance finds her abducted child, who killed his baby sitter, and sits on a chair. The audience can set aside the fact that this is a demon baby, presumed the Anti Christ, and see that the fact is that Constance is a horrible mother. No matter how many times a horrible mother tries to have a different outcome using the same raising tactics, she shall fail. So if you are a viewer who is up to for a crazy 12 episode series of horror, philosophy and family lessons, you will enjoy every step of this ride.
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  51. Feb 2, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Love, Love this show it manges to capture a dark side of me the first season 7/10 the rest 10/10 the story lines are amazing and the quality of acting is great the current season 3 covers the true story off Mrs Delphine LaLaurie as cruel vile woman who is famous in New Orleans for her torture and cruelty towards slaves and the ancestors of her captives seeking revenge upon her the writer need to keep up the good work i learned a small piece of history watching this, the actors need to stay and continue the amazing job WATCH THIS NOW ! its booth entertaining and intriguing . Expand
  52. Nov 14, 2013
    10
    After 3 seasons, the writing countinues to impress me, it's amazing how the same actors can create a new atmosphere and make me forget about the old stories. The series is plot twist after plot twist, I love everything about it.
  53. Nov 19, 2013
    10
    I was initially hesitant to even just take a first look at the pilot, but reviews were saying it's good so I gave it a try. And while it didn't start really well, I feel like the show gets better episode after episode. The finale is definitely one of the most satisfying conclusion to any show I've ever seen. The twist was not too predictable which makes it very enjoyable to discover. Didn't think Murphy or Falchuk has it in them! Expand
  54. Dec 26, 2013
    9
    A house that has been cursed with the death of almost every previous resident, The Harmons move in to "The Murderhouse". I was shocked when i realized this show was created by the same people behind Glee. The Characters are some of the best in this series. This is a show that makes you think, all the way to the end. A great show that should not be passed up.
  55. Dec 22, 2013
    10
    Finally a show worth a darn to watch on tv. I just started watching this show two days ago. I couldn't stop watching. I've finished season 1 and I'm half way through season 2 . Scary, freaky, gory, and sexy. Lots of sex and pretty people even some fetish was brought into the show. It's a mind fuc* for sure. Those that are saying it's like Walking Dead are crazy. This show blows Walking Dead out of the water! Expand
  56. Jan 6, 2014
    10
    I am addict of this show.It's so interesting.I can't go away from a show.This is show for like amity ville,the others and so on.I rely like Jessica Lange because she is cool actor and a singer.
  57. Apr 14, 2014
    10
    Замечательный сериал, актеры, сценарий, спецэффекты, режиссура!
    Сериал о странной и в тоже время заворажуюющей любви.
  58. Apr 19, 2014
    10
    This was a great season filled with drama, action, and of course horror. Although it's evident that in some of the episodes are meant to be scary, it doesn't deter from an excellent storyline with phenomenal acting.
  59. Apr 22, 2014
    10
    American Horror Story is like a box of surprises, where you think you know what direction it will take, but is surprised by what really goes on. A mix of horror, suspense, an intelligent touch of humor and exaggeration that makes it special and worthy of being assisted.
  60. Jun 4, 2014
    10
    I first started watching AMERICAN HORROR STORY when the first season came on TV. No one believed me that it was so interesting and captivating. There is a thick plot and you really have to pay attention to detail. It is hands-down my favorite TV show of all. Season one was unbeatable, then season two was also very good with an unpredictable story, then we have season three. season three was horrible they could have taken coven like a baton in a relay race and ran with it, but sadly they did'nt. Coven was not your typical American Horror Story season. It was not what the typical AMHS fan would have hoped for. other than that I really love American Horror Story and hope that season four is better. Expand
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. 80
    The show may be ridiculous, but the humiliation and panic feel real. And there's something to be said for surprise.
  2. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Oct 5, 2011
    50
    American Horror Story, from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk of "Glee" and "Nip/Tuck," is a very standard creep-fest, an aggressively stylized mash-up of familiar haunted-house movies including "The Amityville Horror," "The Haunting," and "The Shining."
  3. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Oct 5, 2011
    91
    I loved the pilot, mostly because I could never predict where the story was going, a rarity in prime-time TV.