American Horror Story Hotel, “Checking In”: A Review.

Show: American Horror Story.
Season: 5 “Hotel.”
Episode: Premiere.
Created by:
Released: 2015.

This is the fifth season of the popular television series surrounding colourful events and even more colourful people in a sordid and mysterious hotel.

This episode was a spectacular starter to the new season!

From the technical end of things the design of the interior of the hotel was a nice mix of The Shinning, a retro apartment building, and general grandeur going to seed with a flare of pop art thrown in for flavor, the perfect setting for the unfolding story. The music utilized both mimetically and non-mimetically, does a good job of helping to enhance the tone of the story, and from the camera end of things we got some good angle shots, distorted lens shots and tracking shots that were well utilized in presenting the scope and slightly off kilter atmosphere.

Meanwhile the story is inhabited by our lead straight man in all the madness, John Lowe (Wes Bentley) a murder investigator that moves into the hotel at the end of the show. He seems alright as a character, though it’s hard to pin him down as either good or bad this early into the show.

The Countess (Lady GaGa) is an interesting figure with just the right amount of snazzy mystery and bloody pizazz. Lady GaGa definitely owns the part of the uniquely creepy bloodsucking head honcho, and it will be interesting to see how her character progresses throughout the show, particularly in concert with the other characters.

Kathy Bates also returned this season and is engaging from moment one as Iris, the curmudgeon manager of the Cortez. Bates delivers her usual dry wit and brilliant work as an actress in making the character her own; watching her character as the meet and greet face/enforcer of the hotel will be an interesting and enjoyable element of the show.

Speaking of story, It was hard at first to figure out how all the deaths were interconnected, but then they brought in Miss Evers who was the realtor of the haunted house from the first season, and you realize that she alludes to her previous position in season one with the new hotel owner and combine that with the later revelation of characters dyeing and yet are still walking around in the present, and we potentially got another setting similar in its ghostly rules from season 1, except in a hotel. You can find other elements of the first season being utilized such as a demonic rapist in full body material though this time possibly latex and all white with a phallic device, so there are likely not to be any more anti-christs conceived on premises.

This was a creative and engaging start to the season that set the characters and tone for what is to come beautifully, being acted by returning cast members from previous seasons and newer cast applying their talents to this engrossing material which shows some excellent promise for a strong season ahead.

American Horror Story trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NChtI2_c2M

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