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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 568 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 568

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. 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.
    Expand
  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. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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!
  12. 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!?!
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  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. Collapse
  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
  31. 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
  32. Apr 5, 2012
    5
    Upon watching the first episode I am both confused yet still interested. To me, this isn't a horrible show, but, I do not understand the plot. Some of the characters are annoying and they throw a lot at you in the very first episode. We are introduced to so many characters at once that it is hard to keep up. Overall the story and the jumpiness of the camera work make it hard to keep up with what is going on. I will continue to watch the show but for now I'm giving it a 5/10 because I have no idea what's going on. The show features 2 of my favorite actors and I want to see more of them. Expand
  33. Jan 14, 2013
    6
    It's a good show but the last 2 episodes are rather boring and the ending was just awful. The entire build up all season and for such an anti-climatic ending really sucks.
  34. Oct 21, 2013
    5
    For the first few episodes this show seems good. It starts, some weird stuff happens, and then its ends. That's all it is, but it's somehow good. However, after a few episodes the novelty wares off and the fact that nothing actually happens makes it boring. It does have a story but it's too slow paced, instead focusing on random creepy things happening and trying to use the music and tone to make ordinary things seem disturbing. Expand
  35. Oct 23, 2012
    5
    I'm no stranger to movies, shows and videogames that take a lot of analysis to fully appreciate, but I can't fully wrap my brain around this one. Not every story needs to resolve perfectly, but at the end of this story I didn't feel like I knew much more than I did at the beginning. It was more of a mashup of little horror stories that they tried to pile into one canon, one house even, and it just didn't work for me. There was no solid direction nor point, tons of characters that didn't bring anything important to the plot except to add yet another unnecessary layer to the already mile-high stack of them, and if that's not enough the majority of the characters are two faced and change motives at random just to throw the audience off. I didn't think it was all bad, as it did have some glorious moments and clever scenes... but I'm not sure if I'll be checking out season 2. I didn't hate it, just feel kind of indifferent. Expand
  36. Sep 19, 2012
    7
    The show is a strange mixture of funny, dark and mind-twisting. It will rise so many questions which you'll want to be answered so badly that you'll even forget about the common and irritating plot twists and you'll ask yourself: "What the hell is going on here?!" and like so untill the very last episode of the season where each question is slowly yet clearly answered.
    The flashbacks that
    retell the past events that happened at the scenes of each season are often fun and bring a dose of depth to the storyline. Expand
  37. 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.
  38. 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.-
    Expand
  39. 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.
    Expand
  40. 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
    Expand
  41. 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
  42. Oct 8, 2014
    10
    American Horror Story: Murder House is possibly my favorite of the bunch because it never ceases to entertain. There is a new twist almost every episode and hardly any boring parts to the plot of the show. The acting is superb, the gritty scenes of horror are well shot and it's actually kind of scary!
  43. Oct 9, 2014
    1
    The 2014 season is pitiful. Rather than introducing us to a cleverly written plot the show inundates us with unnecessary violence and sex during the first episode. This is the first season that I found myself annoyed by Jessica Lange. In all previous seasons she did a fantastic job. This season it feels like she is over acting and putting on a weak imitation of Meryl Streep with that awful German accent she is using. Expand
  44. 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
  45. Mar 24, 2013
    6
    From the very start American Horror Story is an absolute mess. Almost every episode see’s the writers throw event after event on screen resulting in a script and direction that are all over the place as well as a plot with more holes in it than Swiss cheese. Despite the fact that this should by all rights make the show unwatchable I continued viewing all the way through to the finale as within a few episodes I did genuinely want to find out about the shows central mystery and, aside from the occasions when it gets bogged down in trying (and failing) to realistically portrayal a marriage breaking down, it could certainly never be described as boring. Try not to think about it too deeply and you’ll probably enjoy yourself. Expand
  46. Oct 6, 2011
    8
    A strange, funny and creepy series that keeps you watching. The acting is great and the show is intriguing. I can't wait to find out all the secrets and mysteries that the show is hiding.
  47. Oct 26, 2011
    8
    Good acting (non from protagonists) Well scripted,you won't understand if what's going on is actually happening or not. Watchable and non boring at all.
  48. Oct 7, 2011
    5
    The creators of this show employ a whole lot of horror gimmicks to scare the crap out of you. It works. Of course, there has to be some sort of pleasure to compensate for the anxiety of watching a horror show. In example, with most horror movies, at the end you have the pleasure of solving the mystery or watching your favorite character come out okay. In contrast, by the end of the pilot episode of American Horror Story, nothing was explained and no one was deemed safe. Personal cost: anxiety. Benefit: get to marvel at some talented actors and directors. Hmm. I can get the same benefit by watching most HBO or AMC series without nearly as much anxiety. The show needs more payoff.

    Further, a mystery surrounding just one house can't possibly support 60 episodes. David Lynch might be able to get away with piecing together a bunch of random spooky scenes, but Twin Peaks had an eccentric, languid beauty that was a pleasure to watch and makes this show appear manufactured. Still, American Horror Story is certainly more creative than most stuff on TV, and the actors are fantastic, so it deserves some recognition.
    Expand
  49. 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???).
    Expand
  50. Jan 31, 2013
    8
    I really like this show. The tone and feel of both seasons are very creepy. The plot may not be the best, but with great acting and execution, this is one of the best shows on TV.
  51. Oct 6, 2011
    7
    I love the atmosphere and the music and performances but this show is going to have to do more than throw weird images at me every week. How about a coherent story? Some type of narrative?
    Seems like Murphy just glued a bunch of stuff together.
  52. j30
    Jan 24, 2012
    8
    Overall this is a very good show with a just a few filler episodes. The writing is good and they probably have one of the best casts in a TV right now particularly Evan Peters, Taissa Farmiga, and of course the fantastic Jessica Lange. When Hollywood is putting out more Saw sequels than I have fingers, it's refreshing to see some good horror shows out there like AHS and The Walking Dead.
  53. Nov 14, 2011
    7
    Television is one of the least diverse genres out there. We see comedy, drama, and crime shows. That's pretty much it. So it's great to see a horror series on TV other than THE WALKING DEAD.

    I enjoyed seeing the familiarity of AMERICAN HORROR STORY. Some things are directly connectible to widely-known horror films (for instance, both the demon baby theme from ROSEMARY'S BABY and the
    demon child theme from THE OMEN are held); while other themes don't seem fully original, but they do not feel easily related to horror films.

    The music used in this program is phenomenal and new. It is not consistent with the same type, as it ranges from an eerie tapping on bells with no instruments accompanying, to piano music that reminds us of John Carpenter's classic soundtrack to HALLOWEEN.

    As for a recommendation, I'd say this should be for horror fans only. It is a chilling twist on the classic "haunted house" sub-genre, and at that it is likely to keep horror fanatics watching, but terrify anyone else.
    Expand
  54. 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
  55. 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
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
    Expand
  60. 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.
  61. 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!
  62. 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
  63. 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.
  64. 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
  65. 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.
  66. Nov 10, 2011
    8
    Good acting, good directing, good photography and good plot. The show is certainly captivating and unpredictable. Let's be honest. Unpredictable just does not happen that often in tv shows any more. If only it'd move a little faster.... Still, definitely worth the watch,
  67. 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
  68. 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.
  69. 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
  70. 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
  71. 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
  72. 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.
  73. Feb 22, 2013
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. American Horror Story is one of the hottest shows on television, but it's origins may surprise you. This innovate, unique drama, has similarities to several different shows, but most closely resembles Tales From The Crypt. Unlike Tales, the American horror stories each last one season instead of one episode. From season to season the story changes as does much of the cast, but one thing remains constant, it has some of the smartest and most daring people behind it. You may know the creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, as the guys who brought you Glee, but American Horror Story couldn't be more different. In this series they show a dark twisted side that they could never get away with on network television. As I said the story changes from season to season, so I can't really do a review of the series, but I can tell you about season one. The first season of American Horror Story introduces us to Los Angeles's famous murder house, which since it's creation, ninety years ago, has known nothing but death and heartache. The house is purchased by Dr. Ben Harmon, who knows nothing of the houses history. Dr. Harmon is moving his family across the country to give them a second chance after mistakes and personal tragedies. The story is gripping and easy to follow, but what I liked more were the flashbacks that told the history of the house and explain all the weird stuff that's happening. While the cast features some very experienced, award winning actors, it's a combination of Jessica Lange and Evan Peters who makes this show what it is. Lange is a veteran actress known more for her roles on the big screen, while Peters only just made an impression on me a couple of years ago in the film Clipping Adam. Their unique yet different styles and personalities are the reason this weird show works. In the same way they are able to connect with every character in the show, they are also able to connect with every member of the audience, and that's why they are two of the three cast members who are back for the new story, Asylum. American Horror Story is not like any other show you've seen on television, in fact, I'm pretty surprised they are able to get away with some of the stuff they are doing. It's hard to find a good TV show based on the Horror genre and when you do it's usually a lame comedy. Shows like the Munsters and the Addams Family are legendary, while shows like Harsh Realm and Freaky Links just fizzled out. American Horror Story is different though, as it's innovative and pushes the limits of what you can do on television. It's a show that is most definitely not for everyone, but if you're a fan of the unusual and tired of things like Twilight and The Walking Dead, that go absolutely nowhere, check out American Horror Story, you should be pleasantly surprised. Expand
  74. Dec 27, 2011
    8
    It sort of fizzled out towards the end of the season, as it seemingly got lost in what it really wanted to achieve. It is, without a doubt, one of the best new shows on television right now and has already established itself as one of my new favorites, but I can't help but feel let down by the slow, awkward pacing of the last few episodes. The brilliant cast coupled with the sheer originality of the plot-line keep this show from falling under the category of mediocrity. American Horror Story shines on so many levels and only time will tell if future seasons continue on that path. Expand
  75. 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.
  76. Jan 27, 2012
    8
    Two things will most likely apply to American Horror Story (AHS): One, is the fact that people are going to eiither love this show or hate it. The second fact is that whether you love it or hate it, AHS is a show that is definitely none like you will ever see. For me, it was at first shocking and then compelling, to the point where I put this show at the top of my watch list. Whether you like it or not, AHS has a lot going for it. Just about all of its production values are top-notch, cinema quality. The production design is dazzling, the cinematography is more movie-like than TV-like, and the acting is superb, whether it's Jessica Lange as the weirdo neighbor next door, Connie Britton as one of the two main leads, or Dylan McDermott as the other main lead. They all show some of their best work here, along with the entire cast. Ultimately, AHS is for horror fans, especially those fed up with plain Jane slasher movies and routine haunted house films. There is some real depth to the story here and there is much going on, both thematically and in the narrative. The genius of this series is that, according to producers, the story will begin anew with every season--new characters, new storylinme and new house--an element that allows AHS to re-invent itself over and over, hopefully with the same shock and awe that we have seen here. Expand
  77. 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.
  78. Jan 28, 2013
    8
    The polar opposite of its second season, American Horror Story: Murder House starts off weak and finishes incredibly strong. Jessica Lange and Connie Britton are the hilights of this freaky first season.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. Oct 21, 2012
    8
    If 'American Horror Story' is dismissed for anything, it should be for its utter ridiculousness and messy, scattered first few episodes. It also, on the whole, rarely delivers any scares (this is coming from a certified **** All that being said, the show is basically a huge bet that pays off massively for viewers willing to stick around for the latter episodes, where the plot begins to become coherent and involving. The acting all across the board is top notch, but, of course, top honors have to go to Jessica Lange. She's just plain amazing here and we have needed her back for quite some time. Another thing I must note: I love it when a major network will take a chance on a crazy idea that might not necessarily work (and sometimes doesn't). It proves that they still care about things other than viewership and value creativeness and originality. FX is a great example of my ideal network (you've got Louie, Justified, Archer, Sons of Anarchy, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, among others). Overall, 'American Horror Story' might not be all that scary and is frequently a giant mess, but the show is consistently enveloping and engaging for fans. Can't wait to start watching 'Asylum'. Expand
  82. Oct 21, 2013
    7
    Although extremely entertaining and very engrossing American Horror Story is in a way over complicated. As interesting as all the deaths in the "murder house" are there are so many that certain characters that die seam unimportant and unnecessary. Also despite it's creepy moments and surprises there are never any huge surprises or really horrifying moments. All and all I'm glad I watched this season but there is certainly room for improvement in future seasons. Expand
  83. 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
  84. 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
  85. Mar 13, 2014
    7
    A decent enough show and far more entertaining than I had first thought it would be.

    I really did like the whole psychological horror angle with a touch of the supernatural. Not relying on CG and effect and focusing more on clever writing. However, it perhaps under plays this a bit too much fir the first half of the season and to be honest, I found it very boring at first. But from the
    second half onwards the show seemed to find its rhythm.

    Decent enough performances from most of the cast, especially from Evan Peters and Jessica Lang who really steal the show.

    Overall:
    While I wasn't completely blown away by the first season, I will continue to watch the show hoping they improve.

    Side Note:
    If they are going to make a horror story around ghosts, they shouldn't be afraid to make them act a bit more ghost like. (The last few episodes, they seemed to get it, but for most of the earlier part of the show it felt a little cheap.) There isn't any harm in a little CG, if used sparingly and at the right moments.
    Expand
  86. 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
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. Jun 12, 2013
    8
    The first season of American horror story had great plot, great actors, some interesting twists. It was scary and frightening at some points. I really liked this tv show. If you like this kind you will really like this little story. American Horror story Murder House. Says much right?
  90. 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
  91. 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
  92. 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.
    Expand
  93. 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
  94. 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)
  95. Nov 7, 2013
    8
    Sometimes I find the show too graphic and disturbing, but the storyline and writing keeps it interesting. It also certainly helps to have such stellar actors such as Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates (though I think Bates' character doesn't equal her talent).
  96. 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.
  97. 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
  98. 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.
  99. 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
  100. Jan 21, 2014
    7
    Just finished watching S1 on Netflix.

    The show started out strong but by episode 3 I had begun to lose interest.

    The show relies on scaring you more than telling you a good story, which is a shame because the cast, especially Jessica Lange, is highly talented. As the season progressed, the writing became sort of lame and in turn made the show very predictable. (I am speaking
    specifically about the final episode, which could not decide when it should end.)

    There were a few good twists in the season, but at times it was hard to keep up with every backstory of the characters involved.

    The main question I walked away with after watching the show, was how some of the spirits in the house age over time but others do not. For example, Tate Langston should have been nearly 40 years old but was still a teenager, while Moira the maid had aged normally.

    Overall, the acting is great, which is what kept me watching because the story itself I felt left much to be desired. I'm gonna give this one a seven based mostly on the acting.
    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.