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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 522 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 522

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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. Dec 14, 2011
    1
    A potpourri of the horror genre cliches, helplessly aimless blundering embarrassment. Frantic - and deadeningly boring at the same time. A waste of everything invested in the project, including the viewers' time. I quit watching it midseason.
  4. 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!
  5. Oct 7, 2011
    3
    Bored. Slow. Not scary. Nothing happens. No interest.Forced interpretations, especially Jessica Lange. Very little original argument. Flat characters.
  6. Oct 7, 2011
    5
    Choppy editing; old lady sex; gimp mask; self harming...

    It is either amazing or try-hard trash.

    I need to see another episode to make up my mind...
  7. 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!
  8. Oct 11, 2011
    5
    Very style over substance but still missing major creep factor. What gives with McDermott always being shirtless throughout the entire show. Connie Britton must be missing Kyle Chandler right about now. Ill watch more and further judge but this feels like Halloween tv packaging...this will not sustain a second season.
  9. Nov 24, 2011
    4
    I'll give the show this, it does not have a very obvious initial twist. One can predict things that happens in the middle of the show, yet not towards the end. Sadly, the show does not know how to pull off horror in an effective way. If you were to take the basis for the story and instead of focusing on the events going on around the protagonists you focus on the psyche of them, you could have a potentially good show. However, it takes the former direction and creates a forced, blatant, and apparent horror rather than a subtle, creepy type horror that slowly builds up until it forces someone to want to stop watching. This show isn't worth my time. Expand
  10. Feb 3, 2012
    2
    This show is something on the lines of horrible with no clear direction where it wants to go. With some good acting and cheesy, cliche scares it is the worst FX has ever picked up!
  11. Dec 27, 2011
    4
    I watched the entire season and was not impressed in the least. Why would I want to watch a show with ghosts who act just like living people? What is the point of being dead if you have the same issues when you were alive? Death is more of the same **** Really? Really!?!
  12. Nov 17, 2011
    6
    Aside from a scene near the end of the pilot, this show isn't scary at all and classifies more as a thriller than horror show. Some episodes are very dull. It is still worth a watch for horror lovers like me.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. Nov 28, 2011
    10
    really good. Not very scary but i really like it and strongly recommend it
  17. Oct 6, 2011
    8
    It's certainly freaky enough for me to keep watching, though the pilot wasn't quite as frightening as I'd hoped. I do love that they left plenty of things unexplained. It's reminiscent of The Shining, with a little In Treatment thrown in the mix. Love the cast - the younger Farmiga is terrific, and Jessica Lange? Where have you been hiding? I hope the writers continue to dwell in the perverse, and hopefully they strive for a Black-Lodge level of weirdness. [Score based on the Pilot only.] Expand
  18. Oct 8, 2011
    8
    Surprisingly edgy for non-pay TV. The writers must have had a lot of fun coming up with all the bad things that could happen on just the first episode. Its easy to see how this could be a lot of fun for a few more weeks, but hard to see where they take it from there. Already, the question is clearly "why don't you just move?".
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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!
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. Jun 21, 2012
    4
    Jessica Lange is amazing in this show and that mostly accounts for the 4/10 rating. I love horror. The thing is, horror works best when the viewer is invested in a protagonist who is experiencing the horror. Since everyone on this show is annoying , sick, or otherwise warped, it becomes more of a stylish exercise in creepy images than an actual story one can get into. I was really disappointed. I so wanted to like this show. Expand
  26. 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
  27. Dec 2, 2011
    4
    Intriguing, but ultimately do I really want some of this stuff in my head? Troubling enough that I deleted all the recorded shows after watching only two. The world is warped enough, I could just watch the news, only without the emotional trauma.
  28. 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
  29. Sep 22, 2012
    6
    A wildly uneven show with a lot of potential. AHS throws a lot of horror themes at the wall, but not all of it sticks. Some episodes were intriguing, well-acted, suspenseful (that I'd rate a 7 or 8), and others were wandering, incoherent messes (that I'd rate a 4 or 5). Initially, the subplots and narrative turns keep you involved, but eventually they just seem to be thrown at you just for the sake of it, and it got exhausting to keep up toward the end of the series. If they keep the plot twists at a moderate level, and keep the narrative a bit more coherent, this could be a great show. Fingers crossed they have this figured out come season 2 Expand
  30. 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
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.