AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL

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American Horror Story (AHS): Hotel is the latest in the wonderfully gratuitous horror anthology series drawing on The Shining, Psycho and Salem’s Lot to name a few; but does it measure up with its predecessors? Starburst finds out!

AHS: Hotel centres around LAPD Detective John Lowe (Wes Bentley) investigating a series of murders all connected by the Ten Commandments. The investigation itself, as well as his own crumbling personal life, draws him to the Hotel Cortez, which is riddled with its own secrets including: The Countess (Lady Gaga) a decades-old vampire who is manipulating the hotel’s new owner (Cheyenne Jackson), the dysfunctional relationship between receptionist Iris (Kathy Bates) and her ex-drug addict son (Matt Bomer), the legacy of the hotel’s original owner, James Patrick March (Evan Peters) as well as the vendetta of ex-Blaxploitation actress Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett). Their lives intermingle as Lowe draws closer to the Ten Commandments Killer.

To start with, sincere credit must go to Lady Gaga’s acting ability. In what could have been a largely superficial capacity, she creates a character with all the seductive, campiness of Julie Newmar and Delphine Seyrig (Daughters of Darkness being a heavy creative influence); you can’t predict whether she will kiss you or rip your throat out! In fact, AHS has always been blessed with an excellent regular cast: Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Angela Bassett and Denis O’Hare are always challenged to do new things with new characters and it is always entertaining.

However, Hotel feels more predictable than previous series; the premise of haunted inhabitants in a haunted building is very reminiscent of the first series (whether this is intentional, with AHS becoming a shared universe) Hotel needs more unpredictable meat on its metaphorical bones.

Overall, Hotel is not the best AHS series, but is certainly not the worst either. Is this a good series to draw in new fans? Absolutely! The performances make up for the slightly repetitive storyline and the extras are standard fare with behind-the-scenes featurettes to explore the series further.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL /  CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: RYAN MURPHY / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: CHEYENNE JACKSON, EVAN PETERS, LADY GAGA, KATHY BATES, SARAH PAULSON / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 24TH
 


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