Review: American Horror Story: Freak Show

Written by guest contributor Cameron Gallagher

After having watched Hotel, and just coming from Coven, I skipped Freak Show, because I was waiting for it to come to Netflix. Coven, has been my favorite of the entire shows run so far with the magical sense of horror and a compelling plot to go along with it, but after watching Freak Show, I have a new favorite.

Freak Show follows the story of a Freak Show (obviously) and their leader, Jessica Lange, and basically it is all of the insane things that come with a new addition, Sarah Paulson, a two-headed human, and how she basically creates the fall of the beloved Freak Show. This show had a lot of things going against it. Coming off a season like Coven, there is a lot the show would have to accomplish in order to not push away its viewers.

3-disturbing-new-posters-for-american-horror-story-freak-show6I think this show really flourished in its storytelling and visuals.  In previous seasons like Asylum and Murder House, the stories seemed to be sewn together, just barely hanging on by a thread and seeming a little too convenient for my liking, but Freak Show raised the bar for really bringing in multiple stories, and having them all fall nicely together, and being not only coherent, but VERY entertaining.

This is by far the best visually of the series. Everything from camera movement to the color palette of the series blew my mind. The style was pushed so heavily by the production team, you can feel the authenticity in its costumer design, sets, and cinematography. Every time I would see the circus tent, I would imagine what it was like to be there and the warm and hot feeling the Florida air had. It created a very surreal feeling.

The acting was phenomenal, as most of the seasons have been. Particularly the character of Dandy Mott. The psychological depth and hatred you had for this character… made you love him. You basically watched the beginning and formation of a serial killer, and it was incredible to watch how his character would justify things and his recklessness. I was very impressed with Finn Wittrock’s performance in the role.

Jessica Lange’s narcissistic backstory seems to be getting a little repetitive, considering all of the seasons have really had that same message behind her character, and the show can be a little slow at some times, but it was made up for in its acting and production value. AHS gets it’s well deserved 4/5. Make sure to check it out yourself and enjoy!

Score: 4/5

American Horror Story: Freak Show Directors: Various Writers: Various Studio: FX Episode Total: 13