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Showing 1-10 of 3,710 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 5,585 reviews
on October 24, 2015
There may not be much agreement over which season of American Horror Story is the best, but Season Two, Asylum, wins my vote hands down! The season is a sadistic pastiche of demon-possessed nuns, Nazi doctors, serial killers, prosecuted lesbians, alien visitations, and one lovable pinhead named Pepper. Oh, and lots of caning of shapely male buttocks. A little something for everyone!
The acting is, of course, over the top....the usual gang of AHS stalwarts; Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto, and Lily Rabe all play their characters with malicious delight, and Evan Peters is the tortured innocent and the brunt of much of the abuse. Sarah Paulson's role as the lesbian undergoing some "unconventional" conversion therapy is particularly impressive.
I work in a former asylum building that was completed in the 1820s, and it looks much like Briarcliffe, albeit with less blood, fewer demons, and no Nazi doctor hiding out in the basement (at least not to my knowledge!)
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on June 2, 2016
Of all the different seasons of American Horror Story, this installment remains my favorite. It is crisply written (with the fatal flaw of the alien abduction arc), beautifully acted and gorgeously filmed. Sister Jude (played iconically by Jessica Lange) at first comes off as the total stereotypical nun - rigid, humorless, doctrinaire - but soon emerges as a complicated, all-too-human mess. This complex transformation occurs with all the major characters, with stunning results. The mixture of past, recent past and present has a deliberate jarring effect on the viewer - maddening, if you will. That this all happens in a lunatic asylum, filled with all the confinement, uncertainty and barbarity (though usually not on the part of the inmates) makes this season so visceral in its impact. I would give it five stars were it not for the cheap deus ex machina alien storyline which really removed me from the horrible reality of it all. Overall, though, this is a season to keep and rewatch compulsively, madly.
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on June 9, 2015
The other 3 seasons of American Horror Story were good, but Asylum blows them away. I would recommend watching the other 3 seasons first if you can, because you'll just be disappointed with them after watching Asylum. Its so good because its so bad. While Coven, Freak Show and Murder House were all good and different, they just pale in comparison. Asylum has about every bad thing you can imagine in a mid 60's Asylum where there was little oversight and few rules on how they operated. You have the sadist medical doctor, the secretive psychiatrist, the mean, stern warden and the possessed nun and thats not even including the inmates!
Jessica Lange is great in all 4 seasons, but Sarah Paulson is the real star of seasons 2-4, her role in season 1 was limited.
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on May 21, 2016
The idea of the show--a completely different story line each season acted by a largely ensemble cast--is brilliant. Very good actors telling stories that can actually sustain over 13 episodes. More TV ought to be structured this way. Regarding this season--insane inmates of all sorts, torturous nuns (and nuns being tortured), a nun possessed by the devil (and therefore behaving in a decidedly un-nun-like manner), Nazi's, alien abduction (and return), ax murderers. Not a lot they didn't put in here. I really liked the twists and turns this season's story line took. Haven't watched season three yet, but this one, season one and season four have all been really good. If you like horror that actually makes you think a bit, you won't be disappointed.
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on April 23, 2016
AHS returns for the second season in 2012 and I was a fan of Murder House as well but it was very different in tone. Was a bit skeptical about the show but decided to give Murder House a try being a fan of horror as far back as the early silent films and Universal Monsters to modern American horror (Psycho, The Exorcist, The Shining, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and finally understood the hype. Didn't know much about the show to be honest until Coven aired on TV and saw parts thinking it looked interesting but I'm glad I gave it chance as each season is good in it's own way. Murder House had some shocking moments but seeing all the classics as well as some newer horror classics, it didn't quite shock me like everyone else I knew that saw it. Murder House was a well crafted series with superb writing but wasn't nearly as terrifying as I expected. As I moved onto Asylum on Netflix it was everything I expected Murder House would be. Asylum is far scarier and darker then Murder House with some truly terrifying moments. James Cromwell as Dr. Arthur Arden who's an ex-Nazi is one of the most evil characters in the series that only Kathy Bates in Coven might surpass. The part where one of the patients recognizes him as he claims he's an American citizen reminds me a lot of a part in The Twilight Zone episode "Death's Head Revisited", could be an influence for Ryan Murphy although probably a coincidence. Asylum is centered around an asylum (really?) where each patient has a backstory of being there including Evan Peters returning as Kit Walker who thought he had been abducted by aliens and Lana Winters committing herself for homosexuality (takes place in 1964) who's also a writer for an opportunity to get a good story which the 2 characters stand out the most. Zachary Quinto is probably the most memorable as psychiatrist Oliver Thredson who won an award as well. His character is likeable but his true self is revealed soon (still not as horrible as Arthur Arden though). Joseph Fines plays Timothy Howard well and Jessica Lange of course returns here as Sister Jude. Asylum has a truly outstanding cast and Lange plays a main character here which Murder House was mostly focused on the Harmons. Lange's character here is very different from her first as her character is very strict and stubborn to even hating her at times yet has a good side to her as well and is in a more vulnerable state after getting committed herself and taken care of by Kit after the shock of it all after the asylum is shut down. Lange played her best character in AHS who was also the most challenging and complex of her characters. Evan Peters also played a very different character than Tate which is the only time he really played a good character opposite of Tate.
Asylum was better than the first season and almost perfect except for one small flaw, the aliens which aliens in horror is fine and sci-fi horror is one of my favorite subgenres but it doesn't blend with demons and ghosts. It's not revealed until the end however and isn't the main focus which I can get over as the horror aspect is being committed and not being able to escape the asylum. The writing is truly outstanding as well as some truly terrifying moments, it isn't the supernatural elements here but the disturbing experiments/mutilations of Arthur Arden that aren't just buckets of blood and guts in a slasher but are realistic, terrifying and nightmare inducing. Asylum doesn't only live up to the first season but surpasses it and is some of the best horror/suspense ever played on TV. I'm a diehard fan of horror and suspense TV from classic shows including Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Thriller but AHS is up there as well as one of the best shows in years. Asylum is well written, disturbing and tense that keeps you on the edge of your seat and never lets up.
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on March 16, 2017
Love this show! I am on season two so far episode 4, I really liked season 1 but something about season 2 is a lot better. I just don't care for the alien part thats hinted at. Don't feel it's needed. Still, this season has a much more realistic sense of horror and it really keeps you intrigued. I can't wait to see the rest of the seasons! Very much recommend this show to anyone who may be curious about it.
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on February 22, 2015
The best AHS season hands down. A true horror story. It takes pure evil (demons) and stereotypical evil (Nazis) and somehow makes them the LEAST evil people in this show. A pure human serial killer/rapist manages to make Satan look like a relatively good guy (girl?). A true horror story is one that makes humans the monsters in the face of traditional evil. This is also very unique in that it combines religion, science, and aliens and somehow combines them seemlessly. It's beautiful. Angels, demons, nazis, aliens, and crazy people...this is the crowning achievement of American Horror Story and I don't think any future season can come close.

Also, Zachary Quinto. That alone gives this season 3 stars. With everything else, truly a 5 star show.
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on April 24, 2017
There were only a few things that make me cringe while watching the other seasons of AHS, but thankfully... those scenes didn't ruin the drama, suspense, and conspiracies rising in Briarcliff as I watched the entire series!

It was well-done; felt like each season of American Horror Story could very well be a long movie for me to watch constantly!!!!

...My only complaint was that I noticed scratches on one of the disks; it would pause on different scenes repeatedly.
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on December 29, 2016
Asylum is the most impressive and cohesive season of the six American Horror Story seasons so far. There are unsettling, even shocking scenes in it that are unlike anything that has ever been on TV: it's a wild, gripping cauldron of a series, centered around abusive asylums, sadistic clergy, Nazi doctors, Anne Frank, serial killers, a murderous Santa, lobotomies, demonic possession, exorcisms, sexual aversion therapy, even UFO abductions. It has all-out A to Z performances by the legendary Jessica Lange and on-the-rise Sarah Paulson, and compelling turns by Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Zachary Quinto, Lizzie Brochere, and James Cromwell, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of the sinister Doctor Arden. The Season 2 finale, "Madness Ends," which lifted Paulson to new heights as an actress, ended the series in a breathtaking way that revealed there was always a grand design behind the risk-taking show's rollercoaster approach; the finale is, for my part, the greatest of all AHS episodes.
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on September 8, 2016
OMG!! I thought the first season was fabulous. Then came the next season....just as good! I loved the plot twists, the dialogue, the what-ifs...!!!! And the cast...what can I say!! They are a perfect blend of professionals who are, obviously, having fun. But the crowning jewel of the series is Jessica Lange. She is pitch-perfect as the evil nun, Sister Jude. She goes from malevolent to remorseful with flair. I can't imagine any other actress who could have pulled this off. She deserves another Emmy!!! I can't wait for S6!!!! Please, Jessica, make a cameo appearance!!!!
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