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American Horror Story: Season Six (Roanoke)

Review by CJ

Director:
Bradley Buecker, Michael Goi, Jennifer Lynch, Marita Grabiak, Nelson Cragg, Angela Bassett, Elodie Keene, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Alexis Ostrander

Writer:
Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Tim Minear, James Wong, John J. Gray, Akela Cooper, Ned Martel, Crystal Liu, Todd Kubrak, Josh Green

Starring:
Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding Jr, Lily Rabe, André Holland, Angela Bassett, Adina Porter, Kathy Bates

Other notable appearances:
Denis O’Hare, Wes Bentley, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, Finn Wittrock, Cheyenne Jackson, Lady Gaga, Leslie Jordan, Chaz Bono, Trixie Mattel 

Running time:
37-44 minutes per episode

Number of episodes:
10

 

When a young couple move to the country after a brutal attack in Los Angeles, they find the country life to be far more spirited than they had hoped. This is their story.

American Horror Story’s sixth season, Roanoke, is easily tied with its predecessor AHS: Hotel as my favourite seasons in the series. The characters, setting, execution (and executions), story and cast all come together to deliver 10 engaging episodes. No filler, all killer. 

I loved the docudrama feel to AHS: Roanoke. While I didn’t love the found footage style in the second half of the season, that’s my personal bugbear with that genre as a whole. And, in its defence, AHS: Roanoke has a compelling enough story and actors who are talented enough to avoid most of the things I find truly painful about found footage works.

AHS: Roanoke incorporates all of the weirdness, horror and obscurely connected characters that viewers of seasons 1-5 have come to enjoy. I squeed when the asylum from season two was mentioned and geeked out when a connection to Freak Show was loosely made. 

The acting in AHS: Roanoke is great and the cast bring their characters to life superbly. Special commendations to Kathy Bates — whose character is incredible from the get go and only gets better as the going gets on — and Sarah Paulson — who is always exceptional in the AHS series. 

Having just finished watching season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race I was incredibly excited to see Trixie Mattel’s cameo in the tenth episode. It was short and sweet, just as a cameo should be. 

While each season of AHS is a standalone story, I do recommend starting from season one (Murder House). There are so many tiny easter eggs in each season that trail back through the predecessors and successors, that part of the fun is spotting them. 

AHS is perfectly suited to lovers of fiction that leans towards the macabre, the twisted and the spooky depths of humanity. Enter at your own risk and enjoy the ride. 

Rating:

“The living cling to life above all, but the trophy misprized is to die in peace.”

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