American Horror Story – Courtesy of FX
Join 1428 Elm’s Lorry Kikta as she re-watches American Horror Story: Murder House and American Horror Story: Coven before the release of the 8th season of the beloved series, American Horror Story: Apocalypse airs September 12th on FX.
AHS: Murder House and effectively the entire anthology series start with a title card that says “1978” in the now iconic AHS font. We open up on what eventually becomes known as the murder house, an actual 1920s Mansion in Los Angeles California.
The house is all boarded up, in all kinds of disrepair, with a mobile made from animal bones hanging from a tree outside. A little girl stands in front of the house while ominous music plays. Then a rock goes through one of the beautiful stain glass windows that is still in tact and we are introduced to young Adelaide Langdon, or Addie for short. She’s a beautiful little girl with Down’s Syndrome, so these little redheaded jerks who I always refer to as “the twerp twins” start yelling names at her as they approach the house with baseball bats. She tells them that they’re going to die.
As Addie keeps taunting the twins, we hear “you’re gonna regret it” over and over. Little do you know upon first watching this episode that these words are basically the theme for the entire season.
The twins go into the house to smash stuff up with their bats, and scope out all the–definitely weird ephemera in the house, including a dead dog and jars with baby heads and other body parts in them, not knowing this will be the last time they’ll get to do anything “cool” and violent again, in this life anyway. This is our first encounter with one of the many “residents” of the Murder House. A baby that doesn’t look like any baby I’d ever seen before up until the first time I saw this show.
More from American Horror Story
- What’s up with season 12 of American Horror Story?
- The other AHS season 12 teaser big reveal (besides Kim Kardashian)
- Where can I watch American Horror Story, and what is it about?
- American Horror Story alumni Evan Peters and Ryan Murphy win Golden Globe awards
- AHS: NYC showcases a very real kind of horror story
Next we are brought back to “Today”, or 2011’s version of what “today” is, which who knew it would be so different? Anyway, after the Today title card we are brought to the inside of a gynecologist’s office where Vivian Harmon (Connie Britton; Nashville, 9-1-1) is getting a check up.
After her doctor’s appointment she comes home and hears someone in the house which scares her since no one is supposed to be home at the moment. To her shock and disgust, she catches her husband having sex with one of his (college-aged) students. She accidentally stabs him with the knife she was carrying to protect herself from who she thought was an intruder.
Some months later and the Harmon family decide to move to Los Angeles. For God only knows what reason, Vivian decides to stay with her husband, Ben (Dylan McDermott; L.A. to Las Vegas, Party Monster, Tales From the Crypt), so the couple and their daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga; The Bling Ring, The Final Girls), and their dog Hallie, drive from Boston to L.A. to look at what becomes their new home.
Little did they know what they were getting into. Even though the realtor tells the Harmons about the previous tenants who died in the house, she neglects to tell them about the countless others that died prior to their untimely demise.
This is the episode where we effectively meet MOST of the key players in the season to come. First I want to discuss Violet Harmon. Sort of molded in the Lydia Deets of Beetlejuice form for modern times, she is the prototype of a “troubled teen”. She doesn’t fit in with the (admittedly horrible) kids at school, she cuts herself, she listens to The Smiths, and says things that her parents would rather her not, directly to their faces. I saw a little bit of myself in the character of Violet when I first watched this episode, and she was what effectively hooked me on American Horror Story.
Well, both Violet and her male counterpart, severely truly troubled teen patient of Dr. Harmon’s, Tate (Evan Peters X-Men: Days of Future Past, Kick Ass). As Ben’s first patient in his new home office, he hit the psychiatric jackpot. Homicidal fantasies, hatred of his mother, fear of abandonment; the kid is an absolute recipe for disaster. Of course, somehow, Tate and Violet end up meeting. Initially he walks in on Violet cutting herself.