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  • Pilot
  • Customer reviews



on December 1, 2011
This is by far my favorite new show of 2011 (after Game of Thrones). In fact, it is one of my favorite shows period. The first episode confused me and will probably strike most people as flat out weird, but after the initial shock, you realize with each passing episode just how unique and compelling this show is.

American Horror story follows a family of three as they move into a new home called "Murder House" by the locals. Since the 1920's, people have been murdered in various ways and their spirits have stayed behind, trapped in the very place they died. In this case, the ghosts from all eras can take physical form as well as vanish in an instant. You slowly learn about the past of each spirit, which adds another element of depth.

The writing is always clever, twisted and surprising. I wouldn't call AHS scary (at least to me), but the music and visuals make for one of the creepiest viewing experiences I've ever had.

The cast is perfect in every way. You won't find much better acting on the big or small screen. Jessica Lange deserves a nomination of some sort come next year. There are also a bunch of guest stars from other popular movies and TV shows.

A little warning about the content. This FX show is really rough for a non-premium station. They push the sex, language and violence further than I thought they would be allowed to. It doesn't bother me, but this may cause some people to tune out. Not the majority it seems because it has already been picked up for a second season and it is the most watched debut show ever on FX.

Time flies watching American Horror Story. It is the only show I can think of that ends way before you expect it to. I always hit the info button thinking I've watched half of the show tops and it reads 58 minutes. It gets me every time.

If a mix of horror, suspense and drama is your thing, you have to experience this truly bizarre and beautiful creation.
463 helpful votes
464 helpful votes
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VINE VOICEon November 5, 2014
If you like a lot of creepiness, sex, psychotic activities, mad scientists, dead things (including babies) and just plain haunted house thrills then American Horror Story, Season I, Murder House is for you.

The Harmon family: Ben (Dylan McDermott, Vivien (Connie Britton) and Violet (Taissa Farmina) cross country from Massachusetts to LA after mom has a miscarriage and dad has an affair. They move into a mansion that has a history of bizarre deaths by murder or suicide. Neighbor Constance (Jessica Lange) has a habit of dropping in unannounced and seems to know a little too much about the life and lore of the previous occupants. My favorite character is the housekeeper Moira (Frances Conroy/Alexandra Beckenridge) who comes along with the purchase. She appears old and matronly to the women of the house but Oh-la-la seductive to the men.

If you’re looking for a little cringe worthy TV viewing and like to be frightened this first season of American Horror Story will have you leaving the lights on at night.
1 helpful vote
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on April 1, 2014
I'll preface this with saying I saw episodes of Season 3 before seeing Season 1. That said... well, Season 1 left me flat. There was some good and some not so good. I kept thinking and secretly hoping that SOMEHOW Season 1 would give me a clue to the characters in Season 3. That is, considering many of the actors are in both seasons.

The story line bounced around from good to blah as quickly as the cuts which were there for the original advertisements when shown on television. Sometimes the story was excellent, other times it waned into the world of "What were you thinking?".

Try as I might, I couldn't finish the entire series but have relished each and every episode of Season 3.
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on December 4, 2013
Love this series, but this is just to let people know this DOES have Special Features:

• The Murder House presented by Eternal Darkness Tours of Hollywood
• Behind the Fright: The Making of American Horror Story
• Overture to Horror: Creating the Title Sequence
• Out of the Shadows: Meet the House Ghosts
• Audio Commentary on the Pilot Episode

I post this because, speaking for myself, I only really buy blu-rays for the special features, and noticed the page on here says this has none. Hope this helps sway someone in to buying this great series. :)
5 helpful votes
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on October 15, 2015
I'm behind the times in watching American Horror Story. I was curious and gave it a try. This show has been on my thoughts since finishing season one it a few days ago. It was not what I expected. For someone seeking a horror fest, this season might not be satisfying (I haven't seen the subsequent seasons, so cannot compare scariness). I'm not much into horror; that is why it took me so long to watch this show. I do, however, enjoy haunted stories that focus on character and what makes or breaks them. There were scary element to American Horror Story, it is set in a haunted house, yet I found the show more sad (in a tragic way) than scary. American Horror Story, season 1, is set in an early Twentieth Century California small mansion. The house is inhabited by the spirits of those who came before. Most of those suffered heartrending fates. These heartbreaking stories haunt my thoughts as I consider the "what ifs" of these characters. I thoroughly enjoyed American Horror Story, season 1, for the stories told. The quality of the acting and overall writing made up for the few frayed storylines that were left dangling.
1 helpful vote
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on October 31, 2015
Remember the "if it's too good to be true" cliche? Keep that in mind when you are buying a house. Ben, Vivien, and their teenage daughter Violet move to LA for a fresh start. The family was derailed after the loss of their unborn baby, and I guess moving across country into a creepy old house always fixes everything, right? I mean, it did for those people who moved to Amityville! Things get freaky pretty quickly after move in day. Their neighbor Constance (brilliantly bizarre performance by Jessica Lange) and her adult child keep popping over and you know right away that something "ain't right" about them. The house is a major character in this story, and it's former occupants just can't seem to stay away. The ghosts that are stuck in the house are like malevolent mosquitoes - annoying and blood thirsty. Episode 12 of Season I was disappointing because it's nothing but a lo-o-ong resolution, because the climax of the series is in episode 11. Otherwise, I would have given the season five stars.
1 helpful vote
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on August 27, 2015
I admit I worked my way backward on AHS, beginning with Season 4 and going in reverse to 3 and 2 and finally Season 1. So, that probably influenced how I viewed Season 1, and at least subconsciously, comparing it to the other seasons. And that's probably why Season 1 gets only 4 stars rather than 5; it's good, and I liked it, but the later Seasons are much better, especially Season 4.
Nonetheless, it is impossible to quibble with anything that contains a Jessica Lange performance like this; Frances Conroy is consistently amazing and Evan Peters is terrific throughout all 4 seasons playing a wide range of characters. Zachary Quinto sets a nice stage for who he was to become in later seasons and Taissa Farmiga really grows on you as the episodes progress.
Again, it's not totally fair to compare this to later seasons but, the writing isn't as strong as it gets to be in later years, and the ending (no spoiler) was a confusing mishmash that didn't resolve things very satisfactorily.
Bottom line, I looked forward to each episode and I am ready for Season 5.
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on January 4, 2013
Thanks to having Amazon Prime, I am the newest addict for this amazing show.
Watch the first episode and (fair warning) you will be too.

Jessica Lange was always a favorite of mine but she absolutely mesmerizes in this, in spite of being a lady "of a certain age". I cannot believe how time has not only not hurt her, but has even added immensely to her looks and acting talent, which was always fantastic anyway. Her acting here is hypnotic and has won her yet another Emmy to add to her collection, this time for best performance in a television series, and I must say this, it is most definitely well deserved. I cannot believe the quality of her acting here, it must be seen to be appreciated. Her role here started as a very small one, but when her brilliance was seen, she was given much more script, to become a lead character.

A cast of eccentrics, all of whom have a connection to a lovely but extremely haunted old Victorian mansion, all become tightly wedged into the intrigue and drama (and outright horror) that pervades every second.

The intro to each episode, and the soundtrack, have to be the absolute best that has ever adorned the television screen. This is a brand of creepiness that I've never encountered anywhere. How can old photographs of babys and toddlers inspire such a blend of horror? Maybe it's the large lab jars of tiny heads, hands and legs that are flashed on the screen, and the strange horror on the children's faces. I wish I had twenty minutes of that intro soundtrack. It's just delicious and creepy, totally brilliant.

Who or rather what is living up there in the attic all these years? And is that school shooter a ghost, or a warm blooded very alive boyfriend for the oddly appealing adolescent girl, who is a "cutter"?

What exactly is the mother pregnant with this time? Who or what impregnated her, dressed in that latex head to toe costume?

And on and on the bizarre plot twists go, each one seemingly more strange than the next. The storyline is fantastic, the acting is all over the top brilliant, and the settings are very much a part of the action.

I can't praise this highly enough, nor can I ever get my fill of it. This story of American Horror is spine tingling, albeit gruesome, fun every single second.
2 helpful votes
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on February 1, 2017
I started watching this by recommendation from my daughter. I immediately was hooked. The characters are complex and multi-faceted, the storylines within are very compelling, and the acting is awesome. I loved all the little intricacies contained in this and look forward to watching more.
1 helpful vote
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on November 12, 2015
It started out scary. Interesting characters, good audio-visual effects, believable back story. Even when the "stock" family moved into the "stock" "murder house", I reminded myself of all the positive reviews the series got. The first three episodes had some really creepy moments and kept the sinister vibe going. The intrusive neighbor lady and her even more intrusive daughter kept me on edge, waiting for their next unexpected zig or zag. The difference in how the housekeeper was literally perceived by the the wife and the husband was also a great addition to the creep factor. The dead people were well acted, but by the Halloween episode, the sheer number of ghosts/dead people in and around the house, overwhelmed the well-worn plot. By the end of that episode (5?), I expected to see Herman, Lily and Grandpa exit the Munster-Mobile, soon to be joined by Gomez, Morticia and Fester.
1 helpful vote
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