• Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 600 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 600

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  1. Jan 3, 2013
    6
    The first season of American Horror story caught me by surprise. This is the first show of it's kind that I have seen. I have long been a fan of the horror genre, but have failed to find anything of it on the small screen that looked appealing. So when I heard of it on Facebook I didn't wait a second longer than I needed to.-

    -After watching the first few episodes, I was genuinely
    scared, not shocked by something jumping about, but actually frightened inside. The atmosphere was spot on, but what really drove it were the characters and mysteries. Unfortunately, for the story to move forward it was required to be less scary. What I mean when I say this is that the mysteries and spooky things needed to be solved and explained. The way that they were solved and explained were truly great, but unfortunately for the genre of the show, the explained is not scary. True fear lies in the unexplained.-

    -Is this to say that the show was bad in it's later episodes? The characters were evolving, the plot was moving, and threads were being tied. The show was doing the right thing. However, this is a horror show, with the very word being the second in the title. Because of this drop of fear the show did lessen in quality. But do not take that to say that the show got bad. It got less good, but never fell into bad.-

    -After stories lose their starting fear, they usually rely on the 'fear of the situation'. The second season of this show has that down to an art form, but in this first season I feel little or no fear in the situation. The only time I felt this fear was in the second to last episode, where in the big plot twist occurred.-

    -The first season of American horror story was not bad, on the contrary it was quite good. It started with a lot of momentum, but even after losing that momentum it remained a great and memorable show. If I had to pick the best things from the show it would have to be Jessica Lange, who gave a stellar performance, and the opening music/intro. Wow, the opening music and intro. No matter how many times I hear it, it gives me chills.-
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  2. Jul 23, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Just watched in on Netflix and after the 3rd episode I had to write a friend, "1st one sets it up, 2nd one explains it and the 3rd one goes down!" Was so excited, should've known I was jinxing it.

    1st off, how in the hell can a gay man write a story that is so blatantly and homophobic? Why is it EVERY Hollywood gay couple on TV requires one man must be a complete flamer? And to top that off, the gay couple is the ONLY home owners murdered by anyone but their family, much less having a poker shoved up your ass. I was blown away. The most obnoxious anti-gay scene I've ever seen on TV was written by a gay man. F'you Ryan Murphy.

    2ndly, you could totally tell they had NO idea of where this story was going with most of the characters. There were so many plot holes, so many aspects that weren't cohesive and so many characters acting out of character.

    Sorry, but this show, while still excellent for what's on prime time these days, was a huge disappointment since it seemed to be setting itself up to be one of the best shows in a long, long time.

    The only comparison I can come up with is the first couple of season of The Walking Dead. At least TWD had consistent story telling.
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  3. Oct 26, 2013
    6
    This show is different. Really different.
    It took nearly whole seson one to figure out if I like it at all.
    Truth be told, the first thing that drew my attention was the cast. Can't be that bad with that cast, I thought. After the first episodes, I wasn't that sure anymore.
    And now (that I started watching season two) I'm completly in love with Jessica Lange's acting and the strange
    ways the stories go. Expand
  4. 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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  5. Oct 24, 2013
    4
    Estoy de acuerdo que el termino horror aclara el tono de la historia, pero los lugares comunes son abundantes, y no existe un verdadero respeto hacia el papel o personaje como fantasma. (más allá de tener "superpoderes como gasparin"

    Dos o tres momentos celebres, no más. (aplausos para Moria)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Jan 7, 2014
    5
    Dark Shadows and Once upon a Time had a baby and they called it-American Horror Story.
    I can't believe that people prefer this Programme over Walking Dead or Grimm, The pilot clip plus the Home invasion were good starts but the rest of the season was mediocre with things and scenes done before in other shows or even on the Big Screen. Now, Coven-S.3-(Different rate) is far superior
    than S.1- having several powerful female characters incl. Angela Basset who does a great performance as the Voodoo Queen. Ok Topics touched on the shows are the Basic things Americans and their Idiosyncrasy can't get over with (e.g) Racism, Nazism,Slavery,Satanism (Well Witchcraft) lunacy, so, and so.etc
    Still I can't comprehend the recent BUZZ over this T.V. show
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  9. Feb 2, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm writing this review in the hopes that, if you have any inclination to watch it for similar reasons as I, you might be spared the misfortune of doing so. After the actual story was revealed and I wasn't just trying to piece together what exactly was happening, I finally realized that it was just another rendition of the same tired old mad scientist, possessed house, killer ghost, Antichrist, and eventually, I'll assume, all of the other yawn-inducing horror plots that I've come to loathe. And to think I'd expected, due mostly to the description, some sort of semi-philosophical consideration of evil. What are people's motivations when they commit unspeakable murders? What drives a rapist to rape? These were the questions I was hoping to have answered. "Satan told 'em to!" or "They're a man." or "They're going insane." is about the best you can hope for from this show. It's not an in-depth exploration of mankind's capacity for evil; it's a shallow rehashing of the same dismissive explanations that everyone resorts to when their brain has to work hard and they'd rather put an end to that because, gosh golly, it's just got so many other things to do! Or, at least, that's what it tells you so it doesn't have to second-guess itself or use logic, god forbid. There was only one character that I actually liked and I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to since he was a man. Did I mention that this show was written by feminists? The misandry is strong in this one. The writers did deprive me of enough information that I had to watch nine whole episodes to figure out what the show was going to be about. Tricking me into watching nine whole episodes of something I hate is a remarkable feat. For that, the acting, the costumes, and the possessed house itself (It's a pretty cool house. It's kind of a Victorian thing.), I give this show 2 out of 10 stars. Everyone did the best they could with what they had. Unfortunately, feces encased in gold is still feces. If you go any deeper than the epithelium of this show, you'll find that that's what lies beneath: boring, recycled feces. Expand
  10. Apr 14, 2014
    10
    Замечательный сериал, актеры, сценарий, спецэффекты, режиссура!
    Сериал о странной и в тоже время заворажуюющей любви.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. Oct 14, 2014
    10
    American Horror story is my new favourite show. Nothing is expected. The story itself is a compelling story that draws your attention and the show has no 'boring bits'. I was intrigued the whole time watching it. So amazing, recommend to anyone!
  14. Oct 22, 2014
    4
    The most frightening and intriguing part of the show is the psychotic clown; the actual "Freak Show" is more or less a filler for the rest of the program.
    The core strength of AHS Freak Show is that the performers are the relatively "normal" ones, while the other townspeople are the "monsters."
    However, the most crippling part of Freak Show is the "extra treats" used to bring in the core
    demographic; blood and sex. Every episode so far has plenty of it. The clown shoving scissors through the back of someone's neck and decapitating him; the twins have a chat about masturbation; Lobster Boy is drafted by a group of women for his "talented hands"; etc. It's been done, and its mundane in the year 2014.
    If it's not already obvious, Dandy will likely be the white-faced, fanged clown that was depicted in the opening AHS Season 4 trailer.

    Interesting format for the 4th season; considering other programs have been universally criticized for broadcasting on this topic.
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  15. Oct 31, 2014
    5
    Honestly the only season that was worth watching was 'Murder House' and 'Asylum'. The story is not as freaky as expected. Only 3 episodes this season, hope the rest are worth watching.
  16. Nov 20, 2014
    0
    Holy **** this season is awful. It's American HORROR Story. Not American Musical Story. Least scary season and I thought Coven was awful. I'm really going to stop watching this. This season has SO much potential to be scary.
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.