‘American Horror Story’: Roanoke’s Chapter 5 Is Magnificent Movie Magic


After a surprising first four episodes, ‘American Horror Story’: “My Roanoke Nightmare’ turns in its best outing this year with ‘Chapter 5’. Welcome back to the American Horror Review.

The following review contains spoilers for “MRN”: Chapter 5. You’ll want to check out the episode before Horror History class starts. Welcome students.


More from American Horror Story

When American Horror Story began running ads for its sixth season, the marketing had everyone talking. Featuring many different red herrings, no one knew exactly what the season was going to be about. But one thing I knew for sure–it was going to be uniquely different from the pack.

With Chapter 5, AHS: “My Roanoke Nightmare’s” fifth outing, we get the best episode of the season thus far. Sure, Chapter 1 is freaking fantastic. and others with remarkable strengths, but none has done what Chapter 5  does. Which is, basically, a short film in itself. That said, let’s break this horror story down shall we.

Kathy Bates as “The Butcher” in “My Roanoke Nightmare”: ‘Chapter 5’ – Courtesy of FX

Firstly, Chapter 5 is pacing its story like a professional runner in peak physical shape. After opening with an interesting cold open, which does play into the narrative, while featuring the underrated Evan Peters, the main narrative starts. And Horror Historians, does it ever start.

Better cold than the heat from the butcher’s flames- Edward Phillipe Mott

Once it’s starts, this baby never lets up because there is little fat on this bone. Also, what helps Chapter 5 stay the course is its focus on Matt, Shelby, and Flora.

Not only does the episode focus on them, Chapter 5 stays with them as they are the subjects of every story beat. There isn’t any leaving the team once the cold open ends, and this is an underused storytelling technique.

Moreover, the acting is hitting an all-time high in Chapter 5. Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, and Cuba Gooding Jr. are all turning in beyond stellar work here. While the cast has been wholly believable since the beginning, I’ve yet to be as stunned as I am with their work in Chapter 5. American Horror Story mainstay Even Peters is also stellar.

Next: Aaron Paul Rebuilds Dead Wife in ‘Android’

So, is this the end for Shelby and Matt? Will the butcher have her day? Are they rid of the house and fully away from the blood moon? You’ll have to keep attending american horror history class at FX to find out.


Nelson Cragg‘s Chapter 5 is a benchmark episode of American Horror Story. After being on air for five plus years, “MRN”: Chapter 5 ups American Horror Story’s prestige as cutting edge programming that handles filmmaking fundamentals well. If you’re a consumer of American Horror Story, you’ll devour Chapter 5 like sweet Halloween candy. 


Check out a preview of

Chapter 6

below, courtesy of FX:


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“My Roanoke Nightmare” impressing you or not? Let the other American Horror Historians know what you think in the comment section below.