I’ve been watching AHS for a good 6 or 7 years now, so I’ve seen it all! But, why do I think American Horror Story Hotel is the worst?
American Horror Story is, by far, one of the my favourite TV programmes. I love that each series has a different storyline, but that our favourite actors make a return time and time again. I also adore how gory it is, but also that this doesn’t detract from each storyline, which is rich and gripping.
Some people say that most programmes get worse over time, but is this true for American Horror Story? I think not.
Here, I’ll be showing you my favourite AHS series so that, if you fancy skipping one or two to watch the best ones, you can do so with ease. Taking you through each of the AHS seasons, I’ll be giving you a summary and my thoughts on each one. Whether you’ve seen them yourself, and want to get involved in a lively debate with me, or you want to start watching it and need some advice, read on…
1. Series 3: Coven
As I was watching AHS in order, I wasn’t sure which my favourites were. But, the more series I have watched, the clearer my favourites have become. So, what wasn’t always my favourite, but has developed to be, is Coven.
This story is based around a coven of female witches in the real, modern world. When young women start to exhibit their powers, they are sent away to the coven to be taught how to channel them.
The head witch, Cordelia, soon realises that her mother, the Supreme, is waning in power. This must mean that the new Supreme is soon to show themselves. When certain witches begin to emerge as extremely talented and powerful, they are put to the test to prove their abilities… but the tests are dangerous, and not all can survive.
With gore, torture, magic, mystery, death, rivalries, and more, this is perfect for thrill-seekers. Right now, as I read the synopsis of a series I watched around 6 years ago, I am honestly baffled that they managed to fit so much in! But, with such raving reviews from critics, and myself, it’s a true masterpiece.
2. Series 6: Roanoke
American Horror Story Season 6, Roanoke, begins when a couple and their daughter move into their dream home, which they managed to purchase for a suspiciously cheap price. Little did they know the history behind this site; an iconic murder ground during the time of the English settlement in the 1500s.
After moving in, supernatural goings on begin in the house. The inhabitants soon realise that, when the Blood Moon hits, the “ghosts” will come to rid the home of any trespassers, and that includes them. Will they escape, or will they be ripped apart by these bloodthirsty savages?
Then, after all this occurs, it’s not over yet. The second part of the series surrounds a television remake of the goings on in the house. Featuring actors playing the family who move in, they make themselves at home, ready for filming. Little do they know that what happened at the house was no made-up story, and they soon meet the same fate.
I loved this series, especially the fact that it was made up of two parts; the Roanoke story, and the remade version on television. This was a really fun and interesting way to keep the story going. It almost felt like it was two series in one!
Although many were unsure how different it would be from Murder House when the story first emerged, it was completely different. Perhaps one of the most original of them all. American Horror Story cast Season 6 really didn’t disappoint.
3. Series 2: Asylum
Series 2 was based around a horror-filled 1960s asylum, called Briarcliffe Manor, where lesbians and sex addicts were sent to be cured. Run by nuns, we explore the antics and exploitation within the walls of the asylum.
Not only are experiments on the inmates being performed by Dr. Arden, who works in the asylum, but the great mystery of what’s in the forest outside the building continues to haunt us. Meanwhile, we are faced with the underlying story of “Bloody Face”, the rapist and serial killer whose identity remains unknown. We jump back and forth, between modern day and the asylum in the 60s, where this serial killer and his descendant are making waves.
Can our beloved characters escape the clutches of the asylum? Or, will they rot away within its walls? Or, perhaps even worse, will the supernatural beings causing havoc in the woods be their ultimate doom?
As a first-time watcher of AHS, I remember finding this series very scary and gripping. Yes, there were times when I thought, “what is going on?”. But, the majority of the time, it was gory, shocking, and terrifying, all at once. This one was my favourite when I first watched them all but, on reflection, it’s decreased in my esteem, since watching more.
4. Series 1: Murder House
The AHS cast began their journey, with us, right here; with American Horror Story Season 1, Murder House. This played on the classic storyline of a young couple moving into a home that was way too cheap, considering how nice it was. Little did they know that they were moving into a home that housed tens of murders and deaths.
Throughout the story, we see our couple and their daughter discover the dark secrets of the house. With the help of their next door neighbour, and a medium, they learn the house’s dark past.
The house has a supernatural ability to keep the dead trapped there, so each person that dies in the house cannot escape. Each ghost has the ability to show themselves to humans as and when they please. With each new face we meet, we discover what led to their death.
However, these ghosts simply want to be left alone, and will do everything they can to get these living souls out of the house, or else… trap them there for good. This series was fantastic, and certainly enough to keep you gripped. That said, over time, I think it’s been trumped by later series; it certainly did its job of keeping me hooked to watch more, though!
5. Series 8: Apocalypse
American Horror Story Season 8 is the most recent series I’ve seen, and I have to say, it was a great watch. AHS Apocalypse is, you guessed it, all about the world ending, and only a few people – the chosen ones – surviving.
When our main characters find themselves being the only survivors of an apocalyptic nuclear war, they are shut away in a safe house, run by two strange women. Every day, they play the same music, play the same games, and eat the same food, and are forbidden from copulation… is this what existence will be like from now?
When a new arrival appears on the scene, he says he’s been tasked with choosing the people he will truly save. He takes them to be interviewed one by one, where they have no clue whether they will be one of the true survivors, so they’re out to impress. But, there’s more to him than meets the eye, and the truth soon unravels when disaster strikes.
But, it doesn’t stop there, as characters from not one, not two, but three previous series are brought back to the scene. So, actors from previous series end up playing older characters from years gone by!
For example, Sarah Paulson plays Wilhemina Venable, from this season, Cordelia Goode, from Coven, and Billie Dean Howard, all the way from season 1! Likewise, Evan Peters’ old characters also get a comeback; it’s really a fantastic surprise for the viewer.
I think that’s what I enjoyed most about it. It was a little scary, but I also wasn’t expecting to see these much-beloved characters from back when I was 16. A fantastic and original innovation, on the part of the writers, that’s for sure. So, if you want a fresh new story, and a continuation of many of our older stories, this is the choice for you.
6. Series 7: Cult
This series follows the story of the American Presidential election in 2016. After Trump wins the vote, a cult of supporters cause havoc in their neighbourhood, led by misogynistic leader, Kai Anderson.
Meanwhile, Ally has suffered a nervous breakdown, initiated by the devastating loss of Hillary Clinton. When she is attacked in a supermarket, her deep-seated phobias begin to emerge, which alienates her wife and child.
She begins to wonder whether the cultish murders going on around her are real, or just hallucinations. However, when she starts to see links between her attackers, and these cultish murders, she realises it was all real, and must convince the police.
This was a little more of a real life story for me, and there were moments where it shined. However, once I realised how real it was, it somehow became less scary, which always ruins it a little for me. That said, I think the timing of it, regarding the Trump election, was iconic, and definitely played on real-life scenarios.
7. Series 4: Freak Show
This series is based around the real life “freak shows” during the 19th and 20th centuries, and is set during the 1950s. Back then, deformities and birth defects were seen as “freak-like”, and crazy entertainment, like this, was a much-loved day out.
Throughout the series, we follow the loves and losses of the “freaks”, and watch them as they practice, perform, and fail, and new acts make their debuts. With competition brewing, and murder along the way, it’s a gruesome one, for sure.
Alongside our group of main characters, we also follow the story of Twisty the Clown, who was a man who attempted to kill himself with a shotgun. After blowing off his jaw, he now walks around wearing a clown mask, murdering people along the way.
Although I did enjoy this series, I found that they went a little too far. There were multiple times when I felt physically sick watching it, which really doesn’t happen often for me. So, I can hardly imagine what this series would have been like for someone squeamish!
Obviously, this is the whole point of AHS, and I love gore and psychological horror, but this was perhaps a little too far. I think the disjointed and chaotic nature of the storylines, which all got a little confusing, was also partly the reason why this one is rated so low, in my eyes.
8. Series 5: Hotel
Hotel gives me the impression that it’s based around those real hotels of horror created by psychopaths to entrap victims. It seems to me as though the hotel in this AHS series is aiming to keep people locked inside forever, with no escape. Visitors arrive, but they never leave, and even if they think they’ve left, they end up back inside once more.
From the few episodes I watched of it – I reckon I watched at least half of the series before giving up – this is what I gathered. This is the only American Horror Story series I haven’t watched completely. I know, it’s terrible, especially considering the way Apocalypse linked to this series, amongst others.
This may have been because I was watching this one episode by episode while it came out. I always find the waiting to be laborious, and takes away the excitement in some ways. But, I think it was mainly down to the fact that I didn’t feel as though it had much of a story line.
That said, I am willing to have my mind changed. Who thinks I should give it another go?
Do You Think American Horror Story Hotel is the Worst of the AHS Series?
So, those are my favourite American Horror Story series, from best to worst. Do you think I got it right, or are you disappointed to see your favourite series so far down?
Who else can’t wait until AHS 1984 is available on Netflix? AHS Season 9 is due to arrive on Netflix UK in September or October 2020… a long while yet. But, if you’re new to American Horror Story, or have missed some of the seasons, I hope this run down of my favourites will help you decide where to begin.
What do you think of my list of AHS series, from best to worst? Do you think I’ve made any grave errors, or do you agree with my order? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below!