For any avid American Horror Story fan, the teaser pictures were a mystery beyond solving. Teasers carried a Texas Chain saw massacre set up, one that pointed out sea monsters. And another that looked like the house Courage the Cowardly dog lived in. Up until the airing of the premiere of the season yesterday, people did not even know what the season was about or the list of actors that were going to star in it.
But somehow AHS used one of the most clichéd horror techniques in their marketing campaign: Surprise! And happily, it worked.
So, this season is in the form of a crime mockumentary drama. There are actors that play the real characters; breaking the fourth wall for us and talking about their experiences. There are actors that enact these characters in the mock drama that we witness.
There were many theories surrounding this season. As it turns out that one was successful in debunking the real theme. The name of the mock series flashes onscreen in the premiere, called ‘My Raonoke Nightmare’. The best part? The theme is based off a true tale.
A charter from Queen Elizabeth I gave the orders for the establishment of the Roanoke Colony, which is an island colony of the coast to now North Carolina. It was colonized first in 1585, and has been regarded as the first British colony before Jamestown, Virginia. The colony was abandoned the very next year and a second try made led to the mysterious tale AHS is following in on.
Sir William Raleigh, along with his family, and John White traveled to Raonoke with 115 colonists in July 1587. After settling in the colony, White returned to England to fetch supplies and consequently came back in 1590. What happened thereafter is spooky. When he arrived, all 115 of the colonists had vanished into thin air, leaving behind the trail of only one skeleton.
What could have possibly happened to the settlers is not entirely in the dark though. Before this British habitation the island was already home to native Secotan and Croatan tribes. White even saw the word ‘Croatoan’ carved into a tree. White also speculated whether the settlers had occupied the nearby Croatoan island. However, investigation revealed otherwise.
There are many theories expounding what exactly happened to those people. Some talk about the settlers being killed by the native tribes, and others that they assimilated into those. Whatever happened, it seems that AHS is out building a season upon their own theory for the incident.
Talking about the episode aired, (spoilers ahead) it entails a confessional account type episode. Yoga teacher Shelby, and pharmaceutical salesman Matt, look for some solitude after encountering gang violence and a miscarriage. They decide to settle in an 18th century house, in Roanoke, North Carolina.
However, strange things start happening, which start from their house being trashed. Matt quickly dismisses the incident to racial hatred. However, more follows, as a freak incident makes ‘teeth’ fall from the sky in place of hail. Shelby is dumbfounded, but Matt blames it on the weather.
But when Shelby is attacked by an unseen force which tries to drown her, the couple calls up Matt’s sister Lee for company. Lee, a criminal psychologist, currently out of service due to her addiction to painkillers, doesn’t believe Shelby. However, in a consequent incident both the women are locked inside their basement with a strange Blair witch Project type footage to watch. The footage is creepy, unexplained and also features the Season 1 piggy man.
Shelby, freaked out to the core now, leaves the house for her safety. However, she hits a woman on the road who gets up and walks into the forest aside the road. Shelby, adamant to get the woman to a hospital follows her, and gets lost instead. She sees weird wooden artifact and hears noises. The last thing she sees is a man in bloody pioneer clothing before the episode ends.
The theme of the whole season to go is still not confirmed. However people believe it will be upon the Roanoke disappearances. Had it been separate episodes dealing with separate series the episode would have ended in a conclusion.
The confessional or ‘real’ characters of Shelby and Matt are played by Lily Rabe and Andre Holland, respectively. The two in the mock documentary are played by Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding. Jr. Lee is played by Angela Bassett.
What’s more is that the season is taking off a connection from Season 1. There is a monologue delivered by Billie Jean Howard (also played by Sarah Paulson), the neighbourhood medium to rid the Season 1 murder house of its ghosts. It goes like this-
“It’s difficult to banish a spirit, but not impossible. The most successful attempt that I know of happened when America was known as the New World… In 1590, on the coast of what we now know as North Carolina, the entire colony of Roanoke — all 117 men, women, and children — died inexplicably. It became known as the Ghost Colony because the spirits remained. They haunted the native tribes living in the surrounding area, killing indiscriminately. The elder knew he had to act. He cast a banishment curse. First, he collected the personal belongings of all the dead colonists. Then he burned them. The ghosts appeared, summoned by their talismans. But before the spirits could cause them any more harm, the elder completed the curse that would banish the ghosts forever. By uttering a single word… the same word found carved on a post at the abandoned colony: Croatoan.”
The cast list is also displayed in the credits at the end of the episode. It includes Evan Peters, even though he hasn’t starred in the first episode. It has been officially confirmed that Lady Gaga makes an appearance in this season. Some are even billing her to have already made one at the end of the Premier episode. But speculations aside, the premier definitely seems interesting in its style of direction and story.
Let’s see what horror the future holds for us, in the much awaited coming episodes.
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