New Horror Story falls short

By Mia Dexter

(SPOILERS) The sixth season of American Horror Story premiered last Wednesday as a bit of mystery. The network or producers didn’t release a theme, plot or a complete cast list to get everyone pumped and excited for it. They just shared a collection of teasers that misdirected you and didn’t actually have anything to do with the show at all. Using a creative way of advertising like that really sets high expectations and puts a lot of pressure on the show to deliver.  Which it didn’t. Overall, the premiere didn’t wow me like I thought it would. It was just average. None of it was initially scary. There were some themes that were a bit disturbing at times, but that was about it.

This season was entitled, “My Roanoke Nightmare,” and was laid out as a nonfiction series, but also alludes back to “inspired by true event” movies such as “The Conjuring” and to “Blair Witch Project.”

It tells the story of a supposed supernatural thriller, told through interviews and reenactments. You’re introduced to an interracial couple, Matt and Shelby, who decide to move away from the big city to a rural area after a traumatic experience of losing their unborn baby. They buy a large house in the boondocks of North Carolina that just screams “HAUNTED” because why wouldn’t they.

Shortly after they move in is when it starts to go downhill for them. Shelby sees people walking through the hallways, someone allegedly drowns her in her hot tub and teeth start raining from the sky. Matt then brings in his sister, Lee, who is an ex-cop and struggles with drug addiction.

In the interview, Shelby and Matt are played by Lily Rabe, and AHS alum and Andre Holland, who is currently in the Cinemax show, “The Knick.” Angela Porter plays Lee. In the reenactments, the couple is portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson and Angela Bassett. We also caught a glimpse of Kathy Bates and Wes Bentley, but it wasn’t clear on who their characters are.

It’s very evident that this has something to do with the the disappearance of the Roanoke colony back in 1587. It also could refer to season one, when psychic Billie Dean Howard, also played by Paulson, tells the story of the Roanoke colony. There was a familiarity between “Chapter 1” and season one, and just because of the actors. The idea of a troubled couple, looking to start a new life, moving into an old creepy house can’t be an accident.

“Chapter 1” ends with reenactment Shelby lost in the woods, the ground warping and twisting, as she is surrounded by people with pitchforks and torches. It was a strange sort-of non climatic ending.

The premiere didn’t do much to motivate me to watch the rest of the season, but the Internet did. Some of the fan theories on Tumblr and Twitter speculate that each episode will have a different story with different characters and actors, and then they will eventually all tie together. It would make the show a surprise from week to week. That’s probably the only thing it has going for it anyway.

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