Even though there are often too many similarities between The Amityville Horror plotline and that of FX’s new series American Horror Story, the pilot still sparked with originality. From the critically acclaimed writers of the Nip/Tuck and Glee television series, American Horror Story is the freaky culmination of probably too much time writing witty quips for Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
The premise of the show revolves around a large house that has seen several families, including the violent ends to a few of them. Much like the history behind “Amity house,” this house holds everything from vengeful ghosts to an array of insane neighbors that are set in their creepy ways. Giving their relationship another shot after a miscarriage and infidelity, Vivien (Connie Britton of Friday Night Lights and Spin City) and Ben (Dylan McDermott of The Practice) move into the home with their daughter, Violet (introducing Taissa Farmiga).
Haunting and sprinkled with moderate gory flare, AHS has several storylines operating simultaneously. The fights between the lead couple are segwayed by the story of the house itself. Ben sees a maid who isn’t there; Violet schemes on a bully from her high school with the help of an amazing performance by Tate (Evan Peters); and the cupboards, cabinets, and appliances open freakishly while Vivien’s back is turned. Several horror titles come to mind when reintroduced to these plot points. Whenever Violet is on screen in her angst, it reminds me near exactly of the daughter in Thirteen Ghosts; Vivien’s several brushes with ghosts or supernatural elements throughout the house echo the Paranormal Activity series; and Ben’s visions are straight from both the Amityville Horror saga as well as Stephen King’s Rose Red.
This isn’t to say these fear-striking decisions shouldn’t be repeated conventions, it’s just interesting to see these writers tackling so many different plotlines at once; yet the outcome speaks to their writing prowess. The twist of an ending, which I won’t reveal, throws the audience into a tailspin waiting for the next episode in the series which will air Wednesday, Oct 12 on FX at 10 p.m. If you haven’t seen this pilot, IMDB is offering the entire episode until the next one airs on Wednesday. Visit here to view: http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi293772825/