Opinion: The creativity of ‘American Horror Story’ is declining

This season of American Horror Story began on a captivating note. During the first episode I found myself adequately terrified by Twisty the Clown in exactly the way I had hoped to be, but what if that excitement died along with him?

King, Nathan. Circus Tent. 2007. Creative Commons. Web. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

clown pumpkin
Twisty the Clown pumpkin designed and carved by a fan.
Courtesy of creativecommons.org

This season of American Horror Story began on a captivating note. During the first episode I found myself adequately terrified by Twisty the Clown in exactly the way I had hoped to be. I could hardly sit still as he looked at the camera and bounded right towards me after having stabbed a man to death. Twisty was eerie and mysterious. He added just enough suspense to the show. Viewers had no idea where he came from since he obviously wasn’t with the freak show in town. He was just “evil without a cause” and that sent horrifying chills down my spine.

That all ended a few weeks ago when the show revealed that Twisty the Clown did in fact have a cause, a heartbreaking one to say the least. Viewers discovered that Twisty was once a happy clown but had been unfairly mistreated by his coworkers due to his low intelligence. He was left with no job and no family which drove him to attempt suicide. He then began stealing children and murdering their parents because he remembered his days of entertainment when children loved him.

Twisty thought the kidnapped children would want to be with him.  In his eyes, parents held the children back and made them unhappy. Killing them would be freeing the children of their captors. After this reveal, I felt a bit sympathetic towards the clown. When he died in the end of that episode, I was happy for him to be relieved from his misery. I had begun to feel worse for Twisty than for the victims he had actually murdered. What I didn’t realize in that moment was how empty the season would be without him.

Now that Twisty is gone, the show seems to be using blood and guts in an embarrassing attempt to achieve a fear-factor. American Horror Story is taking the easy way out. Of course watching someone get their arms sawed off alive will make viewers uncomfortable, but that’s simply because most of us find watching our fellow species spill blood everywhere to be disturbing. This is in no way a creative move on American Horror Story’s part but instead a simple way to make viewers uneasy.  I went from sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next to being completely grossed out. The suspense died with Twisty. I didn’t cover my eyes during this week’s episode due to real fear; instead I covered my eyes because I didn’t want to watch my dinner reappear on the floor.

The gruesomeness is only worsened by the character causing it. Dandy Mott is a spoiled man-child. His personality is so annoying that I find it hard to feel any emotion towards him besides anger and the longing for him to leave the screen. Unless you’re terrified by 500 dollar suits and perfectly manicured hands, Dandy isn’t very scary. He seems to be murdering because he thinks it’s cool. Similar to a childish peer-pressure, he saw someone do it so he thought he might as well give it a try too. All the while his mother knows and yet seems to think there is nothing she should do about it. Instead she continues life as usual in her posh mansion.  She dismisses her son with an “oh well, that’s who he is and he can’t help it” kind of attitude. Even after Dandy told his mother that he wouldn’t murder if he could become an actor and express himself, she didn’t want him to act. Apparently it’s better to have your son be a murderer than an actor. Now we see where he got his annoying personality from.

The only thing left to consider at this point is where on earth this season could be headed. I’m still holding on to the hope that there will be a turnaround within the show. At the very least I’m counting on the fact that Dandy won’t be able to continue his murderous streak too much longer. He is much too foolish to achieve the perfect crime.

The next few episodes will determine whether or not the show will pick back up again or if the creativity of this season’s American Horror Story is doomed to remain in the grave with Twisty the Clown.

Leah French is a Journalism and Electronic media major.

Edited by Jessica Carr

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