• Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
Season #: 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24

Where To Watch

Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Oct 7, 2015
    75
    As an actress, Lady Gaga wears clothes very well. That’s not the dis it seems. The extended 90-minute premiere doesn’t give her much chance to act, or speak, for that matter.... As Dr. Alex Lowe, John’s estranged wife, returning player Chloe Sevigny provides a welcome balance to the over-the-top bloodletting, but as good as she is, the bad soap opera dialogue just proves Murphy and Falchuk have no interest in writing “normal,” whatever that is. They’re here to deliver spectacle.
  2. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Oct 5, 2015
    75
    The cast is mostly terrific, of course, including Mare Winningham as an unhinged hotel maid. The exception, unfortunately, is Lady Gaga.
  3. Reviewed by: Spencer Kornhaber
    Oct 8, 2015
    70
    If this all sounds immensely convoluted and sadistic, well, welcome to American Horror Story. But there’s reason to hope that this will be among the better messes the show has served up.... Hotel’s premiere returned to the frightening essentials--death, desire, and property deeds.
  4. Reviewed by: Amber Dowling
    Oct 7, 2015
    70
    It’s a visual, visceral romp into what is being set up to be another haphazard foray into the world of horror, as imagined by Murphy and his writing counterpart Brad Falchuk. The show has rarely made sense in terms of story, and this is no exception.
  5. Reviewed by: Kevin Fallon
    Oct 7, 2015
    70
    Hotel is as deranged and uneven as ever, making watching Gaga’s performance a positively nerve-wracking experience.
  6. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Oct 7, 2015
    70
    AHS: Hotel more obviously resembles the first two, better seasons of American Horror Story than it does the latter, lesser two.... John provides the note of contrast and relief so delicious in the early goings of a scary story: the skeptical person who does not yet know fear, and who, for just a little while, is safe to hang around with.
  7. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Oct 6, 2015
    70
    Early on, Hotel hasn't hooked me with its storytelling, but it's always fun to see what the series does with its repertory acting company and with new additions. Throw in the normal grotesquerie and visual panache and that should keep me going for a while, even if all of the humor appears to have been funneled into Scream Queens.
  8. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Oct 6, 2015
    70
    American Horror Story: Hotel is cluttered, unfocused, ridiculous, and silly, but it is very self-aware and stunningly confident at the same time. Murphy and Falchuk almost dare you not to join in the chaos, and it certainly feels more assured than the inconsistent “Freak Show.”
  9. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Oct 7, 2015
    67
    Hotel is a lavishly produced, energetically made copy of a copy of so many things, all at once, including itself. The shock is gone, the pop is fading, and all that’s left is gaga. Is that enough for you? Then there’s a room for you at the Hotel.
  10. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Oct 6, 2015
    67
    Like the previous four "AHS" editions, the fifth is a visual feast (which is probably the wrong word here, but you get the idea). Everything--everyone, and not just Gaga--is eroticized, too. Even the shadows are seductive. A shame that it all feels so grim and joyless.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Rorke
    Oct 7, 2015
    63
    When Lowe is around, AHS almost feels like a real story. In between, the show serves as an excuse to show off production designer Mark Worthington’s stunning sets and scantily clad--and unclad--male actors.
  12. Reviewed by: Kyle Turner
    Oct 6, 2015
    63
    [Lady Gaga] purrs like no other American Horror Story cast member has, turning the arch dialogue into something spellbinding, maybe even sexy.... More interesting than its tepid attempts at horror, and its even lousier ones at humor, is that American Horror Story is examining history through subjective perspective, art, architecture, and so on.
  13. Reviewed by: Isaac Feldberg
    Oct 7, 2015
    60
    It’s both aware of its chaos and totally unconcerned with taming it--and whether or not you have an appetite for whatever fresh hell Murphy and Falchuk have cooked up this season will largely depend on your ability to just sit down and enjoy what American Horror Story has already become: a threadbare yarn, extravagantly told.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Oct 6, 2015
    60
    That set is easily the most interesting thing about the show so far.... In Ms. Lange’s absence, the role of malevolent den mother appears to have gone to Lady Gaga, and that’s a pretty steep drop-off. Other members of the Horror Story repertory company return and continue to do amusing work, however. The story they inhabit this time around barely comes into focus in the first episode, which plays like a series of vignettes with only the loosest of connections.
  15. 60
    The overall picture is just a little too busy, too dense. The first episode of Hotel--the only one available to critics--is so busy trying to set up its divergent cast of characters it ends up being confusing and exhausting.
  16. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Oct 6, 2015
    60
    Filled with arresting imagery, much of the action takes place in a beyond-creepy L.A. hotel.... There’s almost an indifference to story--after the premiere, it’s hard to see a huge motivation to watch in order to unlock the show’s lingering mysteries.
  17. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Oct 7, 2015
    58
    Aside from the always sterling production design--there is one audacious sign of hope in this otherwise trite Hotel.... I wouldn't go so far as to say Gaga's talent adds much to the proceedings, but her presence--and the manner in which its captured — certainly does.
  18. 50
    I found the first episode (the only one sent out to critics; gosh, I wonder why) confusing, tedious, annoyingly precious, and often ostentatiously brutal, with even clunkier-than-usual dialogue (more so than previous seasons; consider yourself warned), but also darkly beautiful, deeply weird, and (sometimes) exhilarating.
  19. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Oct 7, 2015
    50
    Unlike some seasons of “AHS,” Hotel lacks dark humor, at least in tonight’s initial outing.... Visually, the premiere episode is a stunner, from the hotel set to the use of a fish-eye lens on the camera that squeezes so much into the frame.... Heavy on atmosphere in its early going and light on plot, a storyline starts to kick in around the premiere’s halfway point.
  20. 50
    [Creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk] want to horrify and disgust their audience, pushing well into the realm of slasher porn as perversions, sexual and otherwise, bleed into pleasure killings. Disturbing us is the point, of course, but good horror stories go beyond grotesqueries and gore. American Horror Story: Hotel may do that.
  21. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Oct 7, 2015
    50
    The new AHS is, alas, mostly an exercise in style. Its flimsy plot, at least this early in its game, is something left over from a bad Ross Macdonald novel.
  22. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Oct 7, 2015
    42
    Its graphic and constant violence, including some very bad treatment of those two Swedish girls, is gratuitous, upsetting and prurient.... AHS: Hotel has the subtlety and texture of Gaga’s ill-considered meat dress.
  23. Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    Oct 7, 2015
    40
    American Horror Story: Hotel looks fantastic.... But as we've come to expect from Murphy, Falchuk and AHS, the storytelling is derivative; the scares are non-existent; and it's all about style without much substance.
  24. Although the first episode runs for a bloated 90 minutes, it provides only scant hints of a main plot thread.... So once again, I'm confronted with an AHS season that appears to be more gross than engrossing. Alas, I may not be able to check out of the Hotel Cortez, but at least I can change the channel.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 537 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Oct 7, 2015
    10
    Ryan Murphy is back to his magnificent creation of a show which uses the same formula as previous seasons but is able to reinvent itself in aRyan Murphy is back to his magnificent creation of a show which uses the same formula as previous seasons but is able to reinvent itself in a way that preserves the show and the recurring cast. This time we are treated to the debauchery set in Hotel Cortez. While the plot is thin, the set up of different characters including veterans Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates, and of course the introduction of Lady Gaga, serves to enthrall the viewers into watching this season. Ryan is no fan of subtlety as many of the scenes are in your face. However, this blatant exhibition of gore is what fans of AHS in general come to expect. I will definitely continue to check in for the rest of the season. Full Review »
  2. Oct 7, 2015
    10
    Lady Gaga truly has shifted global politics, fashion and life as we know it. Her power resonates here in ways that lessor acts such as KatyLady Gaga truly has shifted global politics, fashion and life as we know it. Her power resonates here in ways that lessor acts such as Katy Perrie just cannot keep up in. An artist, a legend, a musician, an actor and also the best selling female artist to debut since 2004; Lady Gaga really is one of the greatest parts of this show.

    American Horror Story coming together with Gaga can only mean good things. They are a perfect fit and director Ryan Murphy seems more driven than ever to make this season work after the failure of last season. Many of the acting world's biggest and brightest stars populate this season and are going to make it one for the books!

    Buy Applause on iTunes.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 7, 2015
    10
    From the snippets and online readings, I really enjoyed this season so far, its something new and brings a lot to the table ;] every characterFrom the snippets and online readings, I really enjoyed this season so far, its something new and brings a lot to the table ;] every character throughout the episode has developed a very interesting background despite not showing a lot. Full Review »