Written by: Wesley Thomas
This may be my favourite season of American Horror Story to date! Hotel pushes the boundaries in several ways.
As usual, we have a very talented cast including, for the first time, Lady Gaga. Not only does she rule the world of music, but her acting chops are remarkable. Her role is complex, to say the least. A countess who likes to rule and be admired. I found myself hating her character, then in the next scene, loving her. You follow her on a rollercoaster of an emotional, sexual, bloody ride.
Let’s not forget the handsome Mr. Matt Bomer. He had a small role in season 4 (Carnival) that led to a recurring role in season 5. He is as great of an actor as he is beautiful. He is love-struck and wounded through the majority of the series.
Sarah Paulson isn’t bad either. And by that, I mean she is sensational. Hypodermic Sally, a drug addict with severe emotional problems who gives us so many powerful scenes. All she wants is to be loved, but seems doomed to be alone for eternity. Her needy nature becomes unsettling. The boundaries she is willing to break to find a soul mate are truly terrifying.
And of course, Kathy Bates is phenomenal! She plays Iris, the mother of Matt Bomer’s character. She transitions from devoted, loving mother, to a merciless woman on a mission. Despite initially only being there to look over her son, she develops a kinship with Liz Taylor (Dennis O’Hare). This power couple go from strength to strength.
Speaking of Liz, a straight crossing dressing male who identifies as female is exotic, powerful, and undeniably captivating. There is a lot more than meets the eye with Liz, as you eventually find out.
So, that’s the ‘normal’ cast. But we also have the appearance of serial killers! As a fan of true crime I was ecstatic at the arrival of well-known serial killers popping up, as well as one that runs the show. In one particular episode, we witness an annual meeting of some of the world’s most infamous serial killers. This is surreal, bizarre, and excellent. Easily, my favourite episode of the season.
Let’s not forget, this is a horror series. Therefore, heaps of blood, death, and chills are injected into every episode. Not to mention, unseen and explosive twists and turns as you try to escape the Hotel, but find you are beginning to enjoy the madness.
It has to be mentioned that this show is revolutionary in many ways.
One, it explores gender fluidity, sexual orientations or lack thereof.
Two, we look deeper into the fine lines between love, power, devotion, and hate.
Three, in the horror world, it takes multiple sub-genres and tangles them into a horror puzzle that we just love to solve.
Also, props go to the makeup department, both special FX makeup and more subtle makeup to give the undead a pale glow. Also, I can appreciate that a great deal of effort clearly went into choosing the location and the actual hotel, as well as other settings used.
As I expected, the costumes, especially Lady Gaga’s are strangely sensational. But all costumes are superb.
Overall, this season ticks all the boxes, and then some! I eagerly await the next season and how they will bring horror lovers more great, unforgettable TV.