American Horror Story : Murder House

American Horror Story¬† is a¬†horror¬†television series created and produced by¬†Ryan Murphy¬†and¬†Brad Falchuk, of which each season acts as a mini-series of it’s own containing a single story. The first season was shown in 2011 and is called American Horror Story : Murder House, about a family who move from Boston to Los Angeles and take up residence in a house that, unknown to them initially, is also haunted by the ghosts of all the people who died in it. These ghosts are tied to the house and can never leave. The cast includes¬†Taissa Farmiga,¬†Connie Britton,¬†Dylan McDermott,¬†Evan Peters,¬†Denis O’Hare,¬† Jessica Lange,¬†Kate Mara, and¬†Frances Conroy plus many good guest stars.

Ben Harmon was caught cheating on his wife Vivien, who had recently miscarried, when he had an affair with Hayden, one of his students. In an attempt for a fresh start he asks for Vivien’s forgiveness and moves the family – their teenage daughter Violet – all the way to Los Angeles where they buy a large mansion. The real estate agent Marcy only tells them that the previous owners, a gay couple, had apparently died in a murder/suicide inside the house. Despite this the Harmons move in and Ben, a psychiatrist, starts seeing patients in the home office. Vivien hires Moira O’Hara a housekeeper who, to men, appears as young and seductive, but, to women, old and matronly. We later learn that the house has had around 20 violent deaths in the house, earning the monicker “Murder House” and is s start attraction on a sightseeing tours. Unknown to the family, all the people who died in the house are now ghosts who also inhabit it and are tied to the house, unable to ever leave (except on Halloween when all dead spirits can roam freely). Their neighbours are Constance and her daughter Addie (Jamie Brewer) become frequent, if sometimes unwelcome, guests. Addie, who suffers from Down syndrme seems to have a supernatural connection with the house and often sneaks in to play with a couple of the ghosts.

Among Ben’s patients is Tate Langdon, a teenager and Constance’s son who falls in love with Violet. We later learn that in 1994 the psychotic Tate had killed 15 students in his school and was later killed in the Murder House by cops when he pulled a gun on them – he too is a ghost. Tate, wearing a ¬†a latex bondage suit (that Vivien found in the attic and which belonged to the dead gay couple who used to live in the house) rapes Vivien at night, a little after she & Ben had had sex for the first time in months, as she thinks its Ben in the suit. As a result she becomes pregnant with twins with different fathers. It is later revealed that Tate’s motive in the rape was to sire a baby for Nora (Lily Rabe), a ghost in house who lost her own child. Another man, Larry Harveya former resident of the house who has suffered horrible burns, also begins inserting himself into the Harmon’s lives, giving Ben a cryptic warning about the house. We later learn that he is Constance’s former lover and his own wife had killed herself and their two young daughter by setting them on fire. Tate had later burned Larry using fuel and fire,¬†as a ploy to punish his mother Constance for having Tate’s younger (and deformed) brother euthanized, just before he killed his school mates and was killed himself. On Halloween night Addie is killed by a hit n run and died outside on the street. After learning that Tate is a monster who killed so many and is a ghost, Violet kills herself, something she doesn’t realize was successful until weeks later when she realizes she cannot leave the house.

Hayden who had come to Los Angeles to blackmail Ben as she is pregnant, is killed by Larry as a “favour” to Ben and wants $1000 for it. Hayden comes back as a ghost and haunts Ben and Vivien. In order to get the baby from Vivien Nora, Tate, Hayden and some of the other ghosts scare her to the point where she accidentally shoots Ben and sound mentally unstable to the cops and is taken to a hospital for the insane. ¬†Meanwhile, Constance enlists the help of a medium (Sarah Paulson) to help her talk to Addie. Constance discovers from the medium, to her horror, that Tate’s child with Vivien will become the¬†Antichrist. When Moira and Violet tell Ben the truth about her being a ghost, Tate being the “rubber man”, and the evil in the house, he has Vivien freed from the asylum. Violet breaks up with Tate after Chad (Quinto), one of the members of the gay couple, reveals that Tate raped Violet’s mother and murdered him and his boyfriend due to their inability to produce a child. Vivien goes into labour at the house and gives birth to the twins in the house, with Moira recruiting the more benevolent ghosts of the house to help deliver the children. However she and one of the twins die leaving Ben alone with the second baby. As he grieves he contemplates suicide to be with his now dead wife and daughter but is stopped by Vivien who tells him to take the baby away from the house. As Ben is leaving the house he is caught and murdered by Hayden, who hangs him to simulate a suicide. Hayden attempts to take the baby, but Constance, helped by the ghost of a lover named Travis take the baby boy from Hayden and Constance hides the baby in her house.

Constance hides the baby and tells the police that Ben killed himself out of grief for his wife’s death and that Violet (whose body is never found) ran off with the surviving child. Now trapped in the house, the Harmons (Vivien, Ben, Violet, and the deceased twin) team up with Moira to keep further families from the house by scaring new residents into leaving. For his actions, Tate is banished by Violet and he is unable to be with her and so hangs out with Hayden. Three years later, Constance (who left town to create a cover story regarding the Harmon child she is now raising) returns to Los Angeles but finds that her grandson (the Antichrist) has murdered his nanny. She slowly walks to the young smiling, giggling boy. She then smiles and touches his hair and whispers, “Now what am I gonna do with you?”

Scary, twisted, enthralling, riveting, thoroughly enjoyable, well written and well acted. This is how to make a horror tv series. Loved it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.