Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dollar Bin Horror Review:American Horror Story-Episode III-"Murder House"

By Eric Polk-
I'm starting to really enjoy this show after a questionable opening.

The Harmon's finances take a blow, tying their remaining money up in the house, making moving immediately impractical. Moira continues to sexually harass Ben and he attempts to fire her. Moira convinces Vivien that Ben is sexually harassing her and threatens to sue if they fire her. Ben begins blacking out and waking up in the yard with no memory of his actions, including digging a hole in the grass.

While being mocked by Constance, who shot and killed her cheating husband and Moira in the house in 1983, Moira becomes frustrated that she is "stuck" in the house. Hayden surprises Ben by suddenly appearing at his doorstep; she is keeping the baby and moving near him, determined to tell Vivien and continue their affair. While in town, Vivien begins bleeding after hearing of the house's original owners: a crazed surgeon and wife, Nora, who provided illegal abortions in their basement, until their bitter marriage ended in murder. At the doctor's office, Vivien explains that the bleeding stopped when she returned to the house and that they plan on moving. The doctor says the baby is fine but advises against moving, because the stress could cause a spontaneous abortion. Thinking of Hayden, Ben passes out, and the doctor runs his blood work, later informing him that she found traces of an opiate that causes memory loss. Vivien tries to sell the house and unknowingly interacts with the ghost of the surgeon's wife. Later, Ben confronts Moira about poisoning his coffee with the opiate. Hayden appears, unhinged and frantic that Ben has ignored her. As he takes her outside to calm her down, Larry appears and kills her with a shovel, explaining that he did it to help Ben and stop him from becoming a murderer. Ben is distraught, but Larry convinces him that getting rid of the body is the best option. Larry finishes digging the hole, at the bottom of which are Moira's remains and buries Hayden over them. Ben builds a gazebo over the spot. Watching, Constance taunts Moira, telling her that now she is stuck here forever.

I'm noticing a dial down of the non-stimulating eroticism that dominated the first episode in exchange for more trippy scares that seem to be becoming the show's trademark. I was so happy that we finally got to see an origin story of the house, very enjoyable. The soap elements are still there in all its unappetizing glory but the horror is overtaking the show's flaws quite handily.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I've really been enjoying it as well, really think it's gotten better with each passing episode.