• Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 699 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 699

Review this tv show

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. 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.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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
    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.
    Expand
  6. 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.
  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 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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!
  11. Nov 28, 2011
    10
    really good. Not very scary but i really like it and strongly recommend it
  12. 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 andOverall 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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 aCompelling. 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
  15. 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!
  16. 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
  17. 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 greatJust 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
    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
  20. 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 neverI 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
  21. 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 theMy 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
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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 cardI'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
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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 ofEverything 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.
    Expand
  29. 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.
  30. 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!
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.