American Horror Story: Roanoke Update! Ryan Murphy Spills More Details On Big Twist!

Well, we’re not sure if a spoiler warning is in order here or not. There wasn’t a spoiler warning on the story, and Ryan Murphy pretty much gave the details casually, possibly because we are less than 48 hours away from “Chapter Six”. Most of it is pretty good news…

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So, we got this all from a new piece that is exclusive to Entertainment Weekly. If you want to cut to the chase and read the story online, here’s the link (it’s their scoop, not ours).

Okay! First, Lady Gaga’s primal witch character, Scathach, ties in to Coven. Turns out that RM has confirmed she was the “first Supreme”. He alludes a little more to a Coven crossover, and we have to be honest: Coven was our least favorite season (admittedly, it didn’t help any that it had a tough act to follow, which was Asylum). But that’s just our opinion, and Coven did have some high points  (Misty, Marie LaVeau, and Fiona was pretty fun, off the top of our heads). Murphy went on to say that American Horror Story will return to the Coven storyline in future seasons, but he doesn’t know when that will be.

Speaking of different seasons, we will see more Freak Show. To quote Murphy directly: “Next year, we will be going back to some Freak Show characters, deeper histories and mythologies. So we’re sort of still exploring season 4 in season 7.” Fine with us, especially if we get to see Naomi Grossman as Pepper again!

Taissa Farmiga fans, rejoice! She will return this season! Ryan Murphy told EW.com that he brought Farmiga back in (after her sitting out Freak Show and Hotel) because it was a matter of coming up with the right part for her.

He also confirmed that, though there are only ten episodes (GODDAMNIT!*), the finale will be a pretty big deal. “The finale is the wrap-up to Roanoke but the mythology and some of the characters will continue in subsequent seasons. So it’s the ending but not the ending,” says Murphy. Hmmmm…

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Also, Murphy really stresses that the “upcoming twist” will be the biggest twist the series has had so far. Since we are on Season Six, that is saying quite a bit. We are trying to manage our expectations, but the other fans we’ve heard from are expecting nothing but being completely blown away. Several have said, in fact, they will be really pissed off if it doesn’t make their jaw hit the floor. Horror Boom is still sticking to our “Found footage, plus going behind the scenes of the filming of My Roanoke Nightmare, possibly including some American Horror Story regulars such as Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates playing themselves” theory.

We found another Entertainment Weekly online story that went up after Chapter Five ended last week, with co-creator Brad Falchuck.  In it, he says that fans should be prepared for these next batches of episodes to be their own thing. He explains, “I really think it’s three seasons: it’s like [episodes] 1 through 5, 6 through 9, and 10 is its own thing.” He also stresses, regarding the twist: “No matter what you think it is, it’s not that.”  Well, that certainly doesn’t sound boring! We just hope we get to see Evan Peters again.

Here’s the teaser for tomorrow night’s episode one more time. The “never stop recording, no matter what,” found-footage statement reminds us of the original [REC] (2007). As everyone who has seen the movie will recall, that didn’t turn out well for absolutely anyone**, though we’re glad they kept recording so we could have the living shit scared out of us.

Souce: Entertainment Weekly Online

*Hell, we were really bummed out when we realized “Hotel” would only have 12 episodes. How do you think we feel now? No holiday break! What are we supposed to do now for our “post-Christmas depression”? On the bright side, we still have a chance for the two-part Halloween episode. They’d better not skip it this year.

**unless you count La Nina Medieros, AKA ‘The Attic Monster’

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Our theory is that they spelled out “PIG” on purpose…

 

 

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Ten Scary Things We Learned From American Horror Story: Roanoke “Chapter Five” (SPOILERS)

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Once more, BIG spoiler warnings for the entire season so far of American Horror Story: Roanoke. Especially Chapter Five! And boy oh boy, do we have lots of images for you!

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  1. Evan Peters is finally here on Roanoke! In possibly the best cold open American Horror Story has had since the “Freaks” tribute in Season 4’s “Showstoppers”, we find out he plays an extremely wealthy hardcore art enthusiast named Edward Philippe Mott. In 1792, he made the horrendous mistake of using the Roanoke cursed property to build a huge mansion as retreat for him, his art, and his lover Guinness*.  And yes, he was an ancestor of the narcissistic sociopath Dandy Mott from American Horror Story Freakshow. “Madness always ran in the family,” Doris Kearns Goodwin (as herself) tells us.

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On the night of the blood moon (we get a great shot of it hanging in the sky, crimson and sickly), his paintings get mauled and he freaks out (reacting as a parent would if they found their child’s head on a stick), screaming at his poor staff and then tossing them in the seriously deep root cellar (where they stayed until they had rotted into skeletal remains). Mott does not locate “the thief”. Instead, Tomasyn and her murderous supernatural gang drag him out of the house, impale him with a huge sharpened stake, and then push him into the fire while he is still screaming.

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So none of that worked out for anyone human.

2.  If Tomasyn is really, really pissed off at you during a blood moon, she can summon all her past victims. After the female Thai Ghost girl dropped into frame– about two seconds after Matt and Shelby told her to be brave because they were going to make it out of there– and made Flora scream, we knew they were going to wrap up the “My Roanoke Nightmare” true crime/reality show portion of the season (more on that later) and that we were in for one hell of a fun episode, so we turned of all the lights but our flatscreen, and sat back and let the roller coaster-haunted house thrill-ride begin.

Oh Shit! Run!

Oh Shit! Run!

Right off the bat, the Millers got the scary Thai ghost lady (if you are a Horror Boom regular, you already know we are huge, reverent fans of Thai ghost stories), who scuttles off speedily with poor Flora and eventually lets her go but leaves finger-shaped scars on her arms. The half-naked guy who has a pig’s head stuck over his own and makes horrible inhuman squeals, as well as the hunters who blew each other’s heads off proceed to corral the Millers for “an easy slaughter” while Tomasyn and her gang set the Miller’s cars on fire for good measure. Apparently,  what Elias told them was true: all her former victims were still so terrified of her that she could control them when she needs them.

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Can you find the Thai Ghost Girl in this photo?

Can you find the Thai Ghost Girl in this photo?

3. It turns out that Edward Philippe Mott’s severe social anxiety is what helps The Millers escape from the interior of the house and into the woods. In an extremely welcome return, he appears to them in the cellar (“Perhaps I may be of some assistance.”) and tells them he was the original owner. He leads him through the network of tunnels he included in the building (to smuggle out his beloved and expensive paintings if they were in danger) and tells them that though everything has been taken from him, he has been left with one sliver of grace: his solitude. “I can hardly suffer three more souls,” he explains. He gets them out of there and into the woods not so much out of kindness, but selfishness, but the Millers understandably don’t really give a shit because they just want to get as far away from the house as possible. To make the scene even more unnerving, his face flickers very briefly a few times in the light of his torch, revealing something far from human…

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4. Elias wasn’t killed by the arrows, but it really would have been better if he had just died in the first place. Things do not improve for the Millers after Edward Mott dematerializes in the woods, away from the house as promised. Shelby realizes that in the forest, they are nothing more than prey. But, wait! Flora sees a light! Before they can wonder where the hell they are, they get whacked on the heads by shovels and unseen figures shove burlap sacks over their heads.

Oh Shit! Run!

Oh Shit! Run!

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They end up in the same blood-curdling house where they’d seen the grotesque feral kids suckling the pig (who as I recall was dead or dying at the time–there were lots of flies around at the time, anyway).  It turns out they are all members of the same terrible Polk clan, who are not only probably inbred, vicious, hostile, and insane hillbillys, but are also predatory cannibals! They kept poor Elias (who is terrified of “Mama Polk” and begs Matt to just kill him) alive so they could take his leg and his arm and eat him.screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-8-16-08-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-14-at-8-16-22-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-14-at-8-16-32-pmAs a small mercy for Elias, Mama Polk (Frances Conroy, another welcome familiar face along with Evan Peters) tries to eat a piece of “jerky” from him but spits it out, declaring that it, and Elias, are rancid. She says there’s no more use for him and they promptly cave in his head with a shovel. It isn’t pretty.

Looks like Denis O'Hare needed a head cast made at some point in the production of this season.

Looks like Denis O’Hare needed a head cast made at some point in the production of this season.

Oh, but it gets worse. It turns out The Polk family have had a deal with Tomasyn going back 200 years; they help provide for the blood sacrifice, and she leaves them (and their cannabis crops) alone. Could we mention that Frances Conroy can be really, really fucking scary when she wants to be?  She delivers her most frightening performance–as Mama Polk– on the entire series to date.

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As such, the Polks are going to return them to the dreaded house and the even more dreaded Tomasyn and her large group of murderous pilgrims.

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Oh Shit! Run!

5. Did we mention that Matt means well, but isn’t a rocket scientist when it comes to escape? They ride back in the bed of the pick-up with two of the Polks; Ishmael drives and Lot, played by Chas Bono, holds a shotgun pointed at them (also in the back). Matt makes his move and forces the shotgun away from him and his family, and successfully  (though also possibly accidentally) blows Ishmael Polk’s head clean off (okay, maybe not so clean, but that head is mostly gone).  Then he shoves Lot Polk over the side of the truck, leaving him sort of disabled on the road! Why, this is great news! Matt can simply shove the headless body out of the driver’s seat, grab the shotgun for back-up, hop in with his family, put the pedal to the metal and drive to safety at top speed! The keys are in the ignition, and the motor is even still running! Wait, Matt? Matt? Where are you going, Matt? Don’t run off into the woods, dummy, Lot is clearly not dead and still has his shotgun! Sigh.

Jesus! We thought her foot was actually severed at first.

What is left of Ishmael’s head.

The only explanation we get for this stupidity (other than total panic) is his statement: “I figured I’d rather us take our chances in the woods than be slaughtered like pigs”. Nope, that still doesn’t make sense to us, there was very little chance of them being slaughtered if they had grabbed up all the shotguns and drove out of town as fast as they could, meanwhile NOTHING has ever worked out for them in the woods!** In fact, the woods are not even safe in broad daylight, especially during the blood moon! They run into the woods, huddle up together and hide (sort of) behind a log.  Within seconds, Lot is standing over them with his shotgun pointed in their direction and soon after that, Mama Polk is so infuriated with them killing her son that she brings her shovel down on poor Shelby’s ankle, hobbling her in a gruesome mess.

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Jesus! We actually thought her foot was severed at first.

Jesus! We actually thought her foot was severed at first.

7. Matt’s sister Lee, though, is thinking straight.  “Whatever was going on, it was bad. Matt wouldn’t just ignore my call, especially if he had Flora,” she recalls, and immediately asks the cop leaving the station with her for a ride. When they get near the Roanoke house, with all the murderous colonists plus Tomasyn carrying torches and standing around a blazing inferno of a bonfire in front, she calls out for the cop giving her a ride to stop and tells him to call for backup.  For some reason (possibly because he sees what is going on and says “fuck this, I’m outta here”) he pulls out and hastily drives off, but Lee hears Flora’s screams and heads towards them.

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8.  Apparently, Tomasyn’s son Ambrose (Wes Bentley) is still pissed at his mother for killing him. He has also had enough, because he snaps.  Right before it looks like poor Flora is going to die horribly, Ambrose puts Flora down instead of into the fire and yells, “Nooooo! I shall not stand by and watch thou shed another drop of innocent blood!” Ambrose conks her over the head with a huge piece of wood, then pulls her into the fire with him. When the Millers make their getaway (thanks again to Lee, pulling up in a car and yelling for them to get in) Shelby looks back and sees Tomasyn engulfed in flames, but still blundering towards them.

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Oh Shit! Drive!

Oh, and you know who else is not too fond of Tomasyn? Little Priscilla, who was Flora’s “invisible friend” and probably remembers Tomasyn bashing her head in with a giant rock. Seriously, watch the smile on her face as The Butcher burns.

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“How do *you* like getting hit over the head, bitch?”

9.  Shelby still has nightmares. We get a fake-out at the motel, when Shelby makes her way slowly on crutches towards the door and sees smoke leaking in from under it. She opens it just in time to see a burning Tomasyn before The Butcher buries a cleaver in her skull… then she jolts awake. “To this day, I still have that dream,” Shelby tells us. “I’ve tried yoga, meditation, hypnotherapy… We escaped with our lives, but I never completely got over it. I’m not sure I ever will.”

CHOP

CHOP

10. “My Roanoke Nightmare” as we know it has ended, but we still have five episodes left in the season. Ryan Murphy told us that in episode six, everything would get turned on its head. From the teaser for next episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke, it looks like we are entering (at least partially) “found footage” territory. Cheyanne Jackson, who played the interviewer in the reality-show segments, is seen in what looks like some kind of studio interior telling the camera, “Rolling?  The camera never stops. No matter what anyone says, even if I tell you to stop, keep rolling, got it?”  Cuba Gooding Jr. also made a comment about “breaking the fourth wall”, which leads us to think we might see some of the “re-enactors” such as Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates playing themselves. Notice how we never got any closure on Lady Gaga’s primal witch character, Scathach? We think we might see her again. Hell, the Polks didn’t get killed off either (other than Ishmael), they just drove off.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Evan Peters seemed to be having a blast playing Edward Mott. Nice to see a little snippet in the final act of the episode where he returns and cuts Matt and Shelby’s ropes so they “can make a grand escape”.

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  • If we were in the middle of building a house and heard a loud, horrible sound (the Closed Captions described it as an “inhuman howl”) coming from the woods in broad daylight, we’d dismantle the house and build it the fuck somewhere else.

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  • Doris Kearns Goodwin (who was wonderful to see cast as herself) reports that the “last Mott” died in South Florida in 1952.  That story checks out. Good riddance, Dandy!
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  • So far, the AHS stars that we were told would appear as cast members this season but have yet to see are: Matt Bomer and Finn Whitrock. We wouldn’t be shocked to have a surprise appearance from, say, Gabourey Sidibe, Mare Winningham, Connie Britton, or NPH.

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Aaaand, here’s the rest of those photos! Horror Boom does not own the rights to any of the American Horror Story images in this piece, FX owns the copyright. The ones here are provided for entertainment purposes only.

*Was I the only one that loved it when Evan Peters (as Edward Mott, that is) grabbed Guiness by his collar and pulled him in for a big deep kiss? The icing on the cake is that since Edward was part of the Mott family and had so far seemed pretty arrogant and snotty, we thought when he snapped, “Wait! Come back,” to Guiness it was going to be because he was going to bark some racist order at him. Instead, he passionately kissed him in front of his workers and staff.

**Unless you want to count Matt getting to bang Scathach (Lady Gaga), though from the look on his face, he wasn’t getting any pleasure out of it at all.

Want Intel On Upcoming ‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’ Events? Lookie Here!

OK, so we don’t exactly know every single little thing (and face it, you wouldn’t want to know everything any more than we would) but this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly* features Ryan Murphy and some of his favorite talent on the cover, with a big chunk devoted to AHS Roanoke. He drops some VERY interesting teasers on the episodes to come, and though he’s not dumb enough to give outright spoilers, there is quite a bit of information on what to expect this season, even some specifics about tie-ins to other seasons (hint: they’re not the seasons you’d expect). Here’s some specific highlights from the Entertainment Weekly cover story,  plus some extra goodies!

 

NOTE: SPOILERS INCLUDED FOR AMERICAN HORROR STORY SEASON SIX : ROANOKE. IF YOU ARE NOT CAUGHT UP ON EPISODES ONE TO THREE, STOP READING AND CATCH UP. What the hell are you waiting for, anyhow?

 

 

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Dandy Mott origin story, anyone? Remember that rotten, murderous, rich little prick from Freak Show? Finn Whitrock’s Dandy turned out to be much more dangerous and horrible than Twisty the Clown. He definitely deserved the horrible death he got while the surviving characters watched while happily chomping popcorn. Ryan Murphy says that we can expect the shows to “explain how the Motts began”.  We hope that means we’ll get to see Frances Conroy this season, because we really missed her during Hotel.

Roanoke might seem more stripped down–RM’s rule going in was “no script longer than 36 pages, no cut longer than 41 minutes”**–but we still will get plenty of gore. For instance, he says, “If you ever want to see how you do a human disembowling, watch episode four and you’ll learn a lot”.

You would think Kathy Bates as “The Butcher” and her gang of long-dead colonists (Lady Gaga plays one), along with the murderous bloodthirsty nurses, would provide enough scares. We also get “Piggy Man”, as another horrifying apparition (or is he?), and the EW story refers to him as “one of the main baddies”. Piggy Man, who we saw in one of Dr. Cunningham’s found-footage VHS tapes, is the same one as the legend discussed in Murder House.

While EW was visiting the set, someone was getting set up with a “crotch harness”, but it isn’t for what you’d think after watching AHS Hotel. A character is killed after a very nasty staircase fall.

Here’s the big surprise:  Halfway through the season, beginning with episode 6, everything you thought you knew about Roanoke gets flipped on its head. BIG TIME. Says Murphy: “The show has a huge turn, and the thing that you think you’re watching is not what you’re watching.”  We are willing to bet that is going to include a departure from the mock reality crime show format.

 

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Here, piggy piggy…

 

Our speculation on the big twist? The scope of the show is going to widen, because the fact that the “real” family (Shelby, Lee, and Matt Miller) who “My Roanoke Nightmare” is based on all are alive and appear to be in one piece kind of ruins any suspense regarding who will survive and who is not.  The story in the reality show might seem to wrap up, but we’ll see the evil continuing on outside the show. Maybe Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Sarah Paulson themselves will be haunted, though that could get a little ‘meta’. Maybe we’ll see a little more a little more of Cheyenne Jackson (it took us a while to pick up on it, but he is the interviewer of the documentary My Roanoke Nightmare).

Your guess is as good as ours… and there are plenty of theories to explore online.  Let’s hope the episodes get longer than the bare minimum, and hey, maybe we’ll even see a fish-eye lens shot or two.

We do have a few more miscellaneous nuggets from the Entertainment Weekly cover story.  The whole “The Mist” misdirect isn’t mentioned (though it was pretty clever), but as far as all those involved in the filming and prep leading up to the surprise premiere date, they–and this is a direct quote– “took a blood oath not to reveal anything”.  Scripts got shredded, actual security was hired, and even Sarah Paulson could only get two scripts in advance. Also, several phony semi-leaked plot descriptions were written under the name American Horror Story: Cul-de-Sac. Everything worked, up until some sleazes who wanted a payday from TMZ snuck onto the set and took a few photos, but fortunately, that was only a few days before the surprise premiere. Oh, and Murphy also knows the concept for next season…  and then some.

 

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Oh, and any rabid Even Peters fans who have been really, really upset he hasn’t shown up yet three episodes in? Take a deep breath and try to be patient, he IS signed on for this season. He isn’t even listed as a special guest star, but as a part of the main cast. They may be saving him (along with Finn Whitrock and Matt Bomer) for after the big mid-season switcheroo!

 

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*Source: Entertainment Weekly, “Unlocking American Horror Story” by Tim Stack @ewtimstack, September 30, 2016/Issue #1433

**Not going to lie, this bums us out. The last few season’s extended episodes (“Hotel” was especially generous with these, even though there were only 12 instead of the usual 13 episodes) spoiled us, we guess. We’re going to pretend really hard that we did not only see ten “chapters” listed for this season on the reliable IMDB episode guide, though…

 

 

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AHS Season 6 Teasers Are Now Officially Scaring the Shit Out of Us

Okay, now the makers of the AHS Season 6 teasers seem to be having a contest to see if they can make each other soil themselves with terror. Number 26 was just released, and this writer actually had a nightmare caused by the imagery. All of them have been scary (and very impressive in their creativity), but starting with, oh, number 20 or so, the creative team has been pulling out all the stops. Take, for example, the below, titled “Bathing Beauty”:

But with teaser #26, titled “Bite Me”… well, just watch it. Ararchnophobics, you have been warned.

Because apparently it’s not enough to have a scary, spindly spider scuttling towards you rapidly, they decided to show us one that screams in our fucking faces. As well-crafted and artistic as the Season 6 teasers have been, part of us hopes this is the last one. Or the last openly terrifying one, anyway.

By the way, TMZ has released leaked set photos from the season. We haven’t reported on them yet because Horror Boom prefers not to be linked in any way with TMZ, but we’ll give you a hint: it looks like there might be a Murder House tie-in. Does the word “Croatoan” ring any bells? Also, it looks like AHS will be continuing with their tradition of having every other season be a period piece. AHS Hotel was set in the present, and this time the set photos harken back to what appears to be a colonial era.

More as it comes in! We haven’t heard any official denials about the leaked theme name yet, by the way…

American Horror Story Season 6: The Mist – Actual Leak or Another Fake-out?

We heard a rumor about this a week or so ago and just figured it was click-bait or a PR stunt (and it still might be the latter). Thus, we sort of blew it off. Then, Mrs. Horror Boom here was setting up a series recording on her new Xfinity console and was surprised to find THIS. Oh-HO!

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That’s right! Keep in mind that while this looks very much like a leak, Ryan Murphy and the other AHS producers have admitted recently that “all except one” of the teasers for American Horror Story Season 6 are “misdirects”. They’re all pretty frightening, by the way. The latest one scared the crap out of us and we didn’t even play the audio…

 

Jesus H. Christ! There’s this new one too:

Anyway, the only common theme we can determine so far are 1. Monsters and 2. Creepy-crawly spiders and insects. Which doesn’t really matter anyway, since only one of them is the real theme.

Honestly, this leak could be a “leak” right from Ryan Murphy/FX themselves to throw us off further. “The Mist” is a little too close to the Frank Darabont-directed 2007 film (based on the Stephen King novella) a while back, and that film definitely featured lots of monsters, including some very spider and insect-like ones. It isn’t like AHS to do a tie-in with another, very established horror feature.  Also, would it really leak this soon?

Then again,  Rotten Tomatoes (which is the listing that started the buzz about the leak) listing the full title is one thing. Comcast Xfinity, though, made us take notice enough to pass it on to you.

Any ideas?  Let us know below…

American Horror Story Hotel: Who Do You Think The 10 Commandments Killer Is?

UPDATE 12-7-15:

Well well, looks like most of us were right! Thanks for everyone who voted. Only two more new episodes before the Christmas break, so savor them! Oh, and Evan Peters is stealing every scene he’s in as Mr. March. Nice to see him playing a character who is having fun, for once!

 

So, this week’s episode of AHS Hotel, titled “The Ten Commandments Killer”, has promised to reveal the identity of said serial killer. It’s been a long two weeks, huh?

We’re 99% sure of the identity of the killer, but how about you? Take our poll below and tell us who you think the killer will turn out to be!

Feel free to write in your vote, not to mention tell us your theories!

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‘Hannibal’: Producers Stoke Fan Support with ‘#SaveHannibal’ Twitter Campaign

Welp, as you may have read today, we Hannibal fans got some rotten news: the current season three will be the show’s last, as goddamned NBC has decided to cancel it. On the plus side, however, devoted fans are taking to social media (and more) to try to talk some sense into NBC. This will probably not work, but hopefully it will garner enough attention from providers like, say, Netflix, to pick the show up for another season or two. Check out this Variety piece, especially if you want a link to the change.org petition, which is really picking up speed. You can also call or email Netflix to urge them to pick Hannibal up. Meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed…

American Horror Story Freak Show: How Would You Rate It? Take Our Poll, We Wanna Know!

Well, now that the dust has settled after the season finale of American Horror Story Freak Show, hopefully you can look back and put it into perspective with the rest of the series: Murder House, Asylum, and Coven. You can tell us how you rank it in with all the other seasons, plus we’ve put it some other possibilities (that we’ve heard more than one person say). We would ask you to mainly base your rating on pure entertainment value, but also take into account whether you’d want to re-watch, and… oh hell, just base it on whatever you want. It’s your choice.

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We have grimly resigned ourselves to the fact that nothing will ever top Asylum, but we’re still willing to watch. Also, Asylum would be really, really hard to top anyway.

 

If the many answers start to confuse you (seriously, we started to get confused writing them) just write your own answer (such as: “I liked Asylum best, then Freak Show, then Murder House, then Coven least” or “Freak Show is a tie with Murder House, which I thought was better than Coven but not as amazing as Asylum”); whatever you want.

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Before you decide that Freak Show really wasn't any improvement over Coven, watch the Coven Finale again.

Before you decide that Freak Show really wasn’t any improvement over Coven, watch the Coven Finale again.

We rank Murder House over Freak Show because Murder House, especially this episode, gave us nightmares and Freak Show did not.

We rank Murder House over Freak Show because Murder House, especially this episode, gave us nightmares and Freak Show did not.

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Ten Killer Things We Learned From American Horror Story Freak Show Episode 12 “Show Stoppers” (SPOILERS)

Note: we realize this is not exactly the ideal timing to post, since the finale has aired before this went up, but the delay is due to major technical difficulties over here (such as the goddamned images refusing to load for–no exaggeration– the first time ever since we began Horror Boom in 2012). Pardon us posting at this late date, but better late than never. We loved this episode.

 

 

Now this is more like it!  Episode 12, “Show Stoppers” lived up to the title. The A.V. Club really hated the episode, but plenty of people online disagreed (the IMDB rating average for the episode was 9/10, from 7,000 votes as of this writing), and it was our second-favorite episode of the season so far, surpassed only by Pepper’s swan song, “Orphans”. This was definitely the best (and most satisfying) cold open of the season, too.  Which brings us to number one…

 

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1. If you’re going to get greedy and scam a close-knit group of circus sideshow performers, which includes killing at least one of them, see Todd Browning’s Freaks first. That way, when you’re sitting down to an elaborate dinner with them where you are clearly outnumbered, and they start to make pointed references to how brilliant and perfect a movie it is while staring you down, you can say “Oops! I’ll be back in a jiffy, I just remembered I forgot something in my car,”  slip out quickly and quietly, get in your car, put the pedal to the metal and get the hell out of dodge.  Stanley didn’t see the movie and had no idea what was coming until they brought him a festive-looking yet suspiciously large gift box which featured a jar containing the severed head of someone who illicitly paid large sums of money to him for the bodies/body parts.

 

Darling, don’t spoil the ending for him!

 

2. Reasoning with a gang of justifiably enraged and bloodthirsty people you screwed over will not work. Lying (especially playing dumb) will not work. I wonder, if Stanley had any idea what was coming (see above), if he could have made a run for it as soon as he saw the head of the shitty museum curator and sprinted off to his car at top speed,  he would have had a chance to escape? It would have been better timing than waiting to run until after he got stabbed in the leg so brutally that he could just sort of lunge and stumble out of the tent and start slipping around in the mud. All through the episode–except when I was distracted by something I could not look away from– I was hoping they’d follow the whole Freaks homage all the way through. More on that later.

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3. The freaks will turn on you pretty quickly if you lie to them, no matter what you’ve done for them in the past. While they have drinks in Ethel’s memory and look through her possessions (a little late for that, but fine) they can’t help but focus on what Stanley had blurted out to them while wildly bargaining for escape. “She… killed… Ethel. I’m telling the truth. She killed her.  I helped her cover it up. She’s not who you think she is! She killed Ethel!”  After Paul mentions that he knew Ethel a long time, and she would never kill herself,” they briefly mull it over and come to a somewhat spontaneous decision to kill Elsa for ‘breaking their code’–killing one of their own. Del didn’t count, that was justice for Ma Petite.

Relax, folks, it’s just a magic show!  I can put her back together… watch…

 

4. Jimmy also does not forgive easily. In fact, he tells Elsa and Maggie flat out: “I don’t forgive.” He’s not kidding No matter how sweetly Maggie tries to tell him she will make it up to him, and how they still have a future together, and blah-de-blah (she does seem torn up over what happened to him and her part in it), he doesn’t budge. Can you really blame him? Jimmy tells her she can rot in hell for all he cares and ends up telling her, “If I was you, I’d get the hell out of dodge before I get these new hands.” Later, when Amazon Eve informs him Maggie is dead, his facial expression barely changes. Maybe it was just one too many pieces of really, really bad news and he went numb and dead inside… but we doubt it.

 

You saw what they did to him.

 

6.  Désirée is maybe one notch up from Marie Laveau when it comes to holding a grudge (Marie wins as she becomes immortal and continues to hold a grudge and punish her enemies for over 100 years) . Désirée is still pretty cold when it comes to outsiders, though. She (and all the rest of the freaks) only seem dismayed a bit to see Maggie sawed in half by the new owner of the Freak Show, whose head was ‘full of bees’ after coming back from the war. Paul: “What do we do now?” Desi: “She had it coming.  Steal her jewelry and bury the bitch.”  She was heading up the posse to go get Elsa for killing Ethel, even though as far as I can recall she had known both of them the same amount of time. We loved the scene of them preparing in the caravan;  Desi calling “ETHEL!” to the heavens, draining the remainder of a bottle of booze as the freaks went into kind of a rhythmic stomp, then her smashing the bottle for a makeshift weapon and declaring, “Let’s get our girl some justice!”

You tried to kill my dreams, but they cannot be murdered.

 

7.  Bette and Dot still felt they owed Elsa something, and ended up saving her life by bursting into Elsa’s glamorous tent to warn her of the freak’s “Planning to kill you all day.” Though she more or less waited until the last minute to warn her, she ignored the discovery that Elsa had partially amputated legs and cut to the chase (“You need to leave,” was what she led with). When Elsa tried to protest that what Stanley said were the rantings of a desperate man, Bette (I think) replied, “Who’s desperate now? You saw what they did to him,” and we see the color drain from Elsa’s face.

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8. We find out what they did to “him”, Stanley, in the second-to-last scene of the episode. When Dandy, the new owner of the entire place (eeeeek!)  thanks to Elsa hastily paying him off so she could make a hasty retreat, was strolling grandly around the performance tent after being snotty to all his new employees, he heard a kind of inhuman grunting coming from the wings. He wandered over and there was a slow pan to the contents of a chicken-wire cage. Stanley’s arms and legs had been crudely amputated (along with his tongue, apparently), and he looked like he was hoping someone would just kill him as he squirmed around wretchedly and painfully, covered in feathers, wearing one of Meep’s old hats (nice touch). Dandy unsurprisingly got a big kick out of this discovery.

 

Now the other, don’t rush it this time.

 

9. In an episode full of great reveals, we were blown the hell away when it turned out none other than “Dr.” Hans Gruper, AKA Dr. Arden from American Horror Story Asylum, was the one in charge of making the snuff/torture-porn film where Elsa’s legs were sawed off with a chainsaw. Since it was a flashback, James Cromwell’s son John (who looks just like a younger version of his father) made a return appearance to portray him.  Elsa was lucky they just sawed her legs off and didn’t inject her with about 5 different horrible diseases at once, then later, drag her off and leave her in a child’s playground. Guess Gruper/Arden was just getting warmed up… though when Massimo Dolcefino (Danny Huston) went to kill Gruper to avenge the “Monster In-Chief’s” savage treatment of Elsa, Dr. Gruper was, very unfortunately, ready for him. “He took it personally when I tried to kill him… very personally,” says Massimo as we see flashback shots of Gruper electrocuting his genitals (though I think most people would take someone breaking into their home for the purpose of murdering them personally). Gruper tortured Massimo so long and so brutally that Massimo says though his body healed, his spirit was so broken that he no longer has a soul and has lost the ability to love. Elsa is in tears by the time Massimo has filled in his missing backstory.

10. Speaking of Massimo, who lovingly made such beautiful legs for Elsa and nursed her back to health, he is more than happy to use his expertise to fashion a perfect pair of hands for Jimmy that will fool everybody… and when Jimmy scoffs at him, Elsa shows him her wooden legs, and he shuts up pretty fast.  Massimo has an elaborate blueprint drawn up and everything, but in the final reveal of the episode, we see that Jimmy requested they look like his former “lobster-boy” hands when he could have had the next-best thing to normally formed human hands. Jimmy wanted to be himself. “They’re perfect,” he quietly tells Massimo.

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Jamie Brewer as Chester’s hallucination of Majorie, her best acting on American Horror Story yet.

 

Stray Thoughts:

  • People were talking about the top hat (clue to season 5) on the dinner table during the cold open, but did you see that bizarre bird that was the centerpiece? I swear it had two heads. If you can, watch the scene again. There were four… limbs, for lack of a better word, sticking up, and usually a normal turkey/goose/pheasant, or whatever type of bird you serve up whole only has two. I wonder how many other cool creations for the prop/set dressing department for this season we missed because they were in the background?
  • I’m pretty sure there were more limbs hacked off this season than any other season of American Horror Story, which is no small feat.
  • Paul was the only one who seemed upset over Maggie getting sawed in half, yelling “WHAT THE BLOODY ‘ELL!” when the blood started flowing. The rest of the gang just looked mildly dismayed. We sure as shit didn’t hear, “What have you done to Maggie?” or even “poor Maggie!” from anyone. From what I’ve read online, people either loved this scene (like us) or hated it (sigh), but everyone loved Desiree’s heartless, but hilarious reaction.
  • I could write an entire piece on the genius of the magic-trick-gone-horribly-wrong scene, but I’ll try to shorten my reaction here. Everything in that scene was goddamned gold, from Chester’s costume changing when the lights went down and came back up, to the silhouette of him sawing furiously as we hear Maggie’s screams. Also, due to Neil Patrick Harris performance, I felt sorrier for Chester than I did Maggie. He didn’t kill for the fun of it (like, say, Dandy) or because someone was in his way when he wanted something (like, say, Dandy); he was a soldier who came back from the war “with a metal plate and a head full of bees,” as his hallucination of Lucy says. When he realized what he had done to Maggie, he was horrified (more than the freaks were, that’s for sure). He was upset enough to stab the shit out of “Margorie” when she tried to leave him right afterwards.
  • The magic rehearsal scene had caused me to momentarily forget about  Stanley. However, as soon as Dandy got distracted by the strange noises coming from backstage, I started chanting, “C’mon, c’mon, please, please,…”  and then burst out with “YEAH!” at the sight of at the cage made of chicken wire as I realized that my season-long wish to see someone–especially Stanley–get the Todd Browning Chicken Lady Treatment had come true.
  • The twins turned out not to be as much of a simpleton (or should that be plural? Wording can get complicated when writing about Bette and Dot) as we thought. Exhibit A: they were smart enough not to get in that fucking box.

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TVLine.com Has Exclusive Pics From New American Horror Story Freak Show Episode!

We were going to re-blog this, but instead we thought we’d link to it and remind you that American Horror Story Freak Show airs its final three episodes (sigh) beginning this week. That’s Wednesday, January 7th! Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

Click here for the exclusive TVline.com photos, featuring Neil Patrick Harris as “Chester”, a magician/travelling salesman.

The episode is titled “Magical Thinking”, and NPH will appear in two episodes.

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