This American Horror Story review contains spoilers.
American Horror Story Season 6 Episode 9
Teenagers do asinine things. This is fact. Still, you have to be a special brand of insane to film yourself running around notoriously haunted woods, looking for an even more haunted house, with a smartphone and a selfie stick.
Anyone with a fraction of brain left would choose living another day over 20 thousand more Twitter followers. Enter the Roanoke Army, a group of cyber teen superfans who are must be so starry-eyed from watching too much YouTube. You either have to be extremely brave or extremely stupid to pull a stunt that involves trespassing on private property and almost tripping over bloody and sometimes disemboweled corpses. Someone obviously doesn’t know the meaning of “based on a true story” even when said true story involves cannibal hillbillies and phantoms with cleavers.
Crawling around in those woods after dusk during the last day of the Blood Moon is the desperate audition of someone who would literally die for internet fame. Even more disturbing is the adolescent bravado of thinking that it’s actually possible to go up against a serial killer possessed by a vengeful spirit and think you can take her on. This is far more sinister than risking your reputation by streaking across the beach at midnight on spring break. The whole thing ends up in a sort of Blair Witch found-footage throwback that looks so unnervingly real, it should make any sane human value staying alive over going viral.
Let’s not blame everything on a bunch of exhibitionist high school kids who probably don’t want to admit that they still go trick-or-treating. Police incompetence can be frightening. The donut-brained detective who interviews them needs to be dunked in hot espresso, since he clearly can’t understand the difference between the living, the dead and the undead. Every season of American Horror Story has suffered from zombified police officers who clearly don’t believe in paranormal carnage until bodies pile up at the morgue. Normally Id’ draw the line at keeping your iPhone on film mode in the interrogation room, but that served him right.
This is it if you were wondering when Tiassa Farmiga was going to emerge from the woods in her much-anticipated cameo this season. How long she survives is something else entirely.
Last episode’s False Alarm Piggy Man turns out to be macho actor and ex-Navy SEAL Claude, who obviously should have never taken a dead man’s advice to scare up some more viewers for in his reality TV trainwreck by showing up in a rubber mask that could pass for a butchered swine. He unfortunately also listened to Sidney when it came to disconnecting his cell phone from everything but the camera function. Assuming your costars’ livid mascara-streaked faces are the result of a genius makeup crew is something to the left of ignorant. Assuming you can gun down bloodthirsty supernatural forces like an enemy battleship is just delusional.
Far from hunkering down with only Claude’s machismo to deal with, Lee and Audrey now have to go back to the seventh circle of hell, aka the Polks’ garage of horrors and makeshift marijuana greenhouse. Last time they left behind a camcorder with incriminating evidence as well as Monet (who was last seen fleeing into the forest with one of the cannibals at her heels). Whether this has gone from a missing persons case to a homicide investigation is to be determined until she’s found bound and gagged. Clicking on the camcorder reveals the chilling answer to another murder mystery—and the killer has already vanished, run into the ghost of the druidess in the woods, and taken a ravenous bite out of something’s still-beating heart. Déjà vu yet?
When you’re at the mercy of the ghost butcher wielding a very real cleaver and a new Butcher baptized in blood, you know there’s going to be an onslaught of gore. This episode pretty much takes everything grisly that has happened (so far) in Season 6 and threw it into the bonfire of one fiery, delirious, and downright ghastly ritual sacrifice that makes Freddie Krueger look like Santa Claus and almost pardons Vlad the Impaler. What is supposed to be iCloud footage from one of the YouTube stars’ phones reveals grainy footage of eerily uplit faces ablaze with vengeance as the flames rage. Not the sort of thing you’d want to be filming on a smartphone. If you were still alive.
Ryan Murphy isn’t done torturing us. Just as the faux-reality show notice promised several episodes ago, there is one survivor.