American Horror Story: Monsters Among Us Review

On 8th October, 2014, the American Horror Story premiered its fourth season with Monsters Among Us. The show is based in the city of Jupiter in Florida in the year 1952 and revolves around one of the few remaining freak shows and the members are fighting tooth and nail for keeping the business running. The season will concentrate on the conflict between the ‘evil forces’ and freaks because of lack of understanding on the part of the former. There are several cast members including Jessica Lange, Emma Roberts, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Jamie Brewer and Kathy Bates who are returning from other seasons of the show.

As far as Monsters Among Us is concerned, there are no polite introductions that can be expected in American Horror Story. The opening moments of the horror anthology cannot be complete if there isn’t some bloodshed. However, it is the unexpected that keep viewers coming back to the show in October even though they swear in January that they will quit and that’s exactly what Monsters Among Us provides. The season opener has some patience, but isn’t without any carnage. Nonetheless, the carnage isn’t the only thing to be found; characters are established and their relationships are explored.

Typically, most premiers of the show have moved quite quickly and all major characters are killed and resurrected by the time the season is halfway. In contrast, Monsters Among Us doesn’t follow the same pace because things are set in 1952 so they are a bit slower and just set the stage. Viewers are kept waiting until the curtain is suddenly pulled up and we also get to learn about a killer clown. The 20th century setting suits American Horror Story and Monsters Among Us patiently unfurls to show that the freaks are separated from the world and even from themselves at times.

This episode of the American Horror Story highlights the differences that exist between ‘freakish’ and ‘extraordinary’ and where people can embrace their traits without being exploited. Nevertheless, the horror show isn’t without the usual everyday stuff that includes kinky sex and gory violence. Hints of character arcs are also provided as the episode progresses. There are some sensitive topics that will be explored in the season and could garner some criticism for the show. The heroes of the show are Bette and Dot Tattler, conjoined twins who have two arms and legs.

Not much later we meet Elsa Mars inviting the twins to join her freak show. Then we meet Twisty, the grotesque serial clown killer who isn’t connected to the freak show storyline as yet. Now we find Jimmy Darling, who is primarily a lobster boy, but also a prostitute on the side.  Then there is his mother Ethel who is Elsa’s right-hand. The twins are seen as the ticket to keep the freak show alive so Elsa isn’t willing to sell them Dandy Mott. But, Elsa reveals her selfish desire of wanting to be a star and her own physical deformations, which can form the plot of the season.

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