This article contains spoilers for American Horror Story, Chapter 2
By Jay Hunter – American Horror Story: Roanoke returned for it’s second episode last night, in somewhat of a more subdued second episode. Whilst interesting elements remained, making it a fine haunted house story, the seasons cracks are starting to show very early on.
Episode two saw pig sacrifices and more horror movie cliches, walking the thin line between homage and plagiarism. Opening where we left off last week, Chapter two begun with Shelby Miller (played by Sarah Paulson) stumbling across a sacrificial sermon led by Kathy Bates, complete with cringeworthy “seize her” line.
Whilst it’s nice to see American Horror Story playing things safe for their standards, many of these seems like a rehash of Murder House, which may be intentional, but it comes off as bland and uninspired. The house has many layers of dark history, with this episode mainly focusing on the backstory of two nurses who used the property to execute people in the twilight of their lives.
Of course the main problem for the season is nobody ever feels like they’re in danger, with the meta reenactments, it’s hard to forget that all of these characters will make it out just fine. The show is clearly attempting to bring in new characters to combat this, however I’d be surprised if AHS killed off an 8 year old girl.
Naturally, all the characters money is tied up in the house, but when there’s animal sacrifices and human executions happening before your eyes, it’s hard to believe you wouldn’t suffer your mother in-laws couch as a temporary alternative.
Barring a few good scenes and nods to movies such as The Shining, Roanoke is becoming another haunted house story which is far below standard in todays market of Conjuring’s, Lights Out and Insidious.