Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Signs of the Cross [American Horror Review]

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Trespassing. Temptation. Evil. Sin. Last night's American Horror Story made me feel like I was a fly on the wall in a confessional, a space that always intrigued me as a little Catholic schoolgirl (who/what was on the other side of that dark metal grate? What would happen if I lied about cursing or forgot how to say my Hail Mary? ... Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus...).  Last night, my worst fears were born into reality, as the creators of AHS fully uncloaked several of its villains from their goodly guises. The night was all about revealing secrets - secret sins, secret pasts, secret desires.

Dr. Harden's Nazi war crimes, rather obvious from the start. The psychologist's latent homosexuality. The possibility that Kit really is a killer in the dark recesses of his mind. Shelly's slaughter of her family. AHS last night concentrated on blurring the lines between secret realities and public fantasies, publicized secrets and intimate fantasies. Not to mention the invasion of people's private lives by public fantasies of what is right and what is wrong (how disturbing and utterly depressing was that whole aversion/conversion therapy scene?). As for the inclusion of Anne Frank in this episode, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I find exploiting her personhood, especially if it involves doing violence to this character in the next episode, ethically and morally problematic (your thoughts?).

What AHS pointed out so poignantly last night is that "sinners" who ask for forgiveness are often not forgiven. They are destroyed. Violently. And, even worse, sinners in positions of power are often given free rein to sin (Who is that Father cat, anyway? He sure doesn't smoke like a priest.).

And with that, AHS sucked me right back in. Oh, one more thing, haven't people learned yet they don't really want to know what's behind locked doors? Bluebeard, anyone? Yikes.

More next week. ~Alice
Post a Comment