October 6th, 2011
10:32 AM ET
I think it's safe to say that FX's "American Horror Story," from two of the creators of "Glee", is the weirdest show we will see this season by a mile.
Dylan McDermott ("The Practice") and Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights") star as the Harmons, who move into a cheap, old, picturesque home with their teenage daughter. When they find out the reason the house is so cheap is due to a murder-suicide, the daughter, Violet, says, "we'll take it."
So far, so weird. But let's back up just a bit to the first five minutes of Wednesday night's premiere, which were genuinely terrifying. Two kids who wander into the house in a flashback to the 1970s are warned they will die in the house, and wouldn't you know it, that's just what happens.
The pacing of the episode was going pretty well about 15 or 20 minutes in, including the reintroduction of the now-adult girl who warned those boys. Her mother, played by Jessica Lange, was camping it up like nobody's business. (The girl who seems to know an awful lot about the dangers in the house has Down syndrome, an issue that has been touched on in a sensitive way on "Glee" but comes dangerously close to offensive here.)
Then, things go a bit off the rails. McDermott's character, Ben, was recently caught cheating by his wife, Vivien. When Vivien comes across a kindly old housekeeper, Ben sees her as a beautiful young woman. At various times during the night and day, Ben wanders the house in the buff, and the housekeeper eventually tries to seduce him, something his daughter ends up seeing.
If that's not enough, we're introduced to the Rubber Man, something of a mascot in the promos. Supposedly, a ghost has taken over a fetish suit owned by the previous owners. It's not long before... well, the ghost is having sex with Vivien. Or maybe it's her husband she's seeing. Or she thinks it's him. Not really sure.
And then there's the man with burns all over his face, who chases down Ben in a David Lynch-ian style sequence and warns him about the house. You see, he ended up burning his entire family to death, because the house made him do it, or something.
Is this enough to make the family move out? Nah. Violet's horrifying incident in the basement with one of Ben's patients, a homicidal teenager, and the creature who killed the kids in the '70s, isn't either.
Oh, and did I mention that Vivien is now pregnant, apparently by the ghost? Or not?
There are a lot of scares, as well as bizarre imagery that seem to be there just for its own sake. That's not to say there aren't moments that work. For example, Lange's character telling the housekeeper, "Don't make me kill you again," is a line for the ages.
I will also confess right here to loving Lynch's "Mulholland Dr." and hating his "Lost Highway." "Twin Peaks" is a work of genius, no doubt. So I'm not completely turned off by this sort of thing, as a rule.
At some point, though, all of these scenes and elements need to fit together in some way, and so far, they're not. And it would really help if the characters were more likable (I have yet to find anything likable about Ben).
Okay, horror fanatics, time to weigh in. Did this show genuinely scare you, weird you out, or even make you laugh? Share your reaction on iReport or in the comments.
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.