• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
American Horror Story Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 487 Ratings

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  • Summary: After a miscarriage and nearly breaking up, Ben and Vivien Harmon (Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton) move from Boston to Los Angeles with their daughter to start a new life in a house with an eerie past.
  • Genre(s): Horror
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Oct 5, 2011
    I loved the pilot, mostly because I could never predict where the story was going, a rarity in prime-time TV.
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Sep 30, 2011
    It's funny and moves blindingly fast, barely giving you time to blink or gulp--Dark Shadows for the PlayStation age. [10 Oct 2011, p.39]
  3. 80
    The show may be ridiculous, but the humiliation and panic feel real. And there's something to be said for surprise.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Oct 5, 2011
    The hot mess of American Horror Story is berserk to a fault, though it does have an unnerving originality compelling us to watch while we cringe, or perhaps smirk.
  5. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Oct 5, 2011
    Viewers who like the horror genre and the offbeat Murphy/Falchuk approach, and who are willing to put in enough serious time to absorb all the nuances, will fall in love.
  6. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Oct 5, 2011
    It's fun to look at, but there's not a lot of substance underneath.
  7. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Oct 4, 2011
    It doesn't work as a character drama and it's tiresome more often than it's freakily scary.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 100
  2. Negative: 4 out of 100
  1. Dec 4, 2011
    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 Expand
  2. Dec 22, 2013
    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!
  3. Oct 6, 2011
    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. Expand
  4. Nov 1, 2011
    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. Expand
  5. Jan 28, 2013
    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. Expand
  6. Feb 22, 2013
    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
  7. Dec 14, 2011
    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. Collapse

See all 100 User Reviews

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