May 30, 2020

The resurrection of ‘American Horror Story’ | Television

There is a place, in the ever-running mind of Ryan Murphy, the revolutionized Shakespeare queer of the television narrative, in which Death never rests. It is not just any Death, it is the kind of Death capable of adopting, like the clown of Item, to the last form of any of his terrors of adolescence, and not only of adolescence. American Horror Story (FOX), the series that premiered with his inseparable Brad Falchuk in 2011, has always stepped on the accelerator in everything that terror – without limits and, finally, stripped of testosterone manichaeism that suffocated the role of women and, in General, anyone who was not a white man – can become disturbingly unbearable.

AHS, As it is known by its initials, it has been revalidating the title of strange macabre cult piece since the first season, the so-called Murder House, who told the story of the haunted house whose ghosts could never leave and always, who knew why, sought revenge. One by one, they were taking the still alive to the Other Side, the one in which you were still alive (or looked like it: Murphy has invented the ghost of flesh and blood and the play of mirrors between living and dead that it causes) but you could not Escape from the damn house. But the series has also established a new order in acting. Everything for the first time varies except the cast, the only thing that continued of the series compared to the previous season. That and, of course, the horror (at times, maximum) with which he built the main story.

A main story that always depended on a place. Here is, in fact, the trigger for terror: the closed place that, in turn, contains an imaginary of its own related to a cliché, or some of them, and always duly deformed, of the American Gothic. Thus, in the nine seasons Murphy and his family (he has the great help of Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters and Emma Roberts in the cast), they have reinvented the haunted house (Murder House); The mental hospital (Asylum); the coven of witches, or New Orleans and the hidden (Coven); the circus of monsters (Freak show); the damn hotel (hotel); he reality or the abandoned place besieged by satanic ancestors (Roanoke); Trump's North America (Cult); the post-apocalyptic Victorian bunker (Apocalypse) and, this year, the summer camp with slasher (1984).

However, and despite the almost always impressive script, the interpretation and management of the codes of the last subgenre of terror – a powerfully feminist terror – the enthusiasm of the public had been declining, season after season, especially in the last two (politics Cult proposed a violent feminist revolution, a war between men trump and women hilary, with winks to Mechanical orange and indiscriminate violence; while the very irregular Apocalypse it was locked in an incomprehensible end of the world). The closing of the franchise seemed imminent.

But then it came 1984 and resurrected the formula. Murphy himself marveled a week ago on his Instagram account that, by the sixth chapter of this ninth season, the audience had tripled. "Wonderful. Peting him even after nine years. This fandom It's intense, the best, ”he wrote. And it is no accident that the audience traced specifically now. The first episodes were going through a slasher apparently conventional, to which was added the possibility that two serial killers, one anthological, "eternal", as they say, and a rookie, were in the same summer camp, during the same week and with the same intention, a clash of titans Very Murphy But the sixth, a group of improvised monitors, all taken from ridiculous aerobics classes, consisting of former promising athletes, covered porn actors, an incredibly well-endowed guy with a mustache, a Billie Lourd finally unleashed, and the, by a Once, demure, and therefore, safe, Emma Roberts, they settle in Redwood, a camp, without them knowing it, damn it.

There is nostalgia in this mix: the whole imaginary of the eighties, starting with the heaters, is back, and not the way naive in what is in Stranger Things but in a much more trash, with constant winks to the B series cinema of the time, and not only the B series cinema, but to the classics of John Carpenter and, above all, Wes Craven. There is also an element of the strange: this is, without a doubt, the season in which more dead by chapters there are, and in which these die in more wildly ridiculous ways, but that is not all because there is even fans of the legendary serial killer, Mr. Jingles, honoring him everywhere. And above all, there are an infinite number of unexpectedly spooky comic and intelligent twists – there is even a funny nod to Mindhunter, the David Fincher series on Netflix.

A bit like the way scream – unavoidable reference of all the intelligent terror that has been filmed since its premiere – resurrected the slasher through metafiction, AHS: 1984 It has worked the miracle of returning itself to the crest of the wave reinventing the seemingly impossible to reinvent. How did he do it? Granting the female characters all the power, something common in the fiction of Murphy and Falchuk, but in this case redouble the bet to unimaginable limits that this time more than ever border on the coolest absurdity.

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