Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have come a long way since the early days of American Horror Story, a show which, at first, seemed to be their way of proving that they had more up their sleeves than musical high school comedy-dramas. Indeed, eight seasons in, and frankly, we’ve seen some absolute bat shit craziness. We’ve had the highs of Asylum, we’ve had the lows of Hotel, and we’ve had journeys far and wide in between.
And so, as we rumble through the circles of hell towards a decade of horror, it seems that in Apocalypse, all the bizarre threads that have been laid before are finally beginning to piece together.
Beginning with one of the show’s finest opening episodes, in which nuclear bombs rain down across the globe, we are then taken on a high-octane journey from nuclear bunkers to the (apparently) long-awaited return of the witches from Coven. Along the way, we have cannibals, a robot Kathy Bates, and one of the sexiest antichrists ever put to screen.
I’ll be the first to admit that when it was announced that Apocalypse was to be a continuation of Coven, I wasn’t particularly enthralled; Coven, for me, was AHS at its weakest, often feeling more like Sabrina the Teenage Witch (the original series), simply replacing Salem with a mute Evan Peters. Apocalypse, however, proves to be the Coven that Coven never was, giving the witches a genuinely intriguing storyline and showcasing Sarah Paulson and Emma Roberts at their best, though once again over-using the phrase “Seven Wonders” (thus completely ruining that Fleetwood Mac song).
Highlights, as always, include Kathy Bates and Evan Peters chewing up the scenery with aplomb, as well as an outstanding episode which revists the Murder House from season one, finally tying the Langdon family into the grander AHS mythology.
After a rather marmite last few years, Apocalypse brings American Horror Story back on form for a truly shocking and intriguing tale of survival, whilst still managing to keep its ever-satirical edge. Hopefully as it wraps up its final two years, this momentum will keep on rolling towards a worthy ending to what has, so far, been a delightfully macabre roller-coaster of terror.
Created by: Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
Starring: Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Adina Porter, Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, Cody Fern, Emma Roberts, Cheyenne Jackson, Kathy Bates, Joan Collins
Music: Mac Quayle
Number of Episodes: 10
Episode Run time: 38-56mins
American Horror Story: Apocalypse is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.