So, how you all feeling today? Any nightmares about clowns? For some (like me) it is an unfortunately regular occurrence. However, I am a glutton for punishment because even though I find them terribly disturbing in general, I am heading to see It this weekend and I spent my night watching the premiere of American Horror Story: Cult which decided to continue with their own horrifying versions of these supposedly fun and lively bunch of performers.
Though Murphy’s complete vision for Cult is just skimming the surface right now, clowns play a heavy role this season due to the paralyzing fear of our main character, Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson). Suffering from Coulrophobia, among other things, Ally is having a hard time keeping it together after she learns that Donald Trump has won the 2016 election. The stress of the new incoming President causes Ally to slip back into a state of hysteria, triggering her coulrophobia and causing a complete meltdown on election night in front of their friends and the nanny. Who, by the way, promptly quits and flees the country in fear of the President Elect.
Ally and her wife, Ivy (Allison Pill) not only need to find a new nanny for their son Oz (Cooper Dodson) but need to get Ally back on her medication to quell her increasing anxiety. It doesn’t take much to trigger her fears, as a simple trip to the grocery store and seeing a cashier wear a “Make America Great Again” hat sent her into a full-blown attack and seeing clowns, murderous clowns no less, everywhere she turned.
On the other side of this little Michigan town, Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) and all his blue haired glory, celebrates the election of Mr. Trump by dry humping his television and doing something really weird with cheetos. (Man, I dunno, that scene you just have to watch). Let’s just say, he was really happy. Kai believes that the world is on a path to being made right and that it is time for all out anarchy against those who have, in his eyes, only brought down the country.
With Kai, is Winter (Billie Lourd), and she doesn’t exactly seem as happy with the election results. Whatever her agenda in all this is, isn’t quite clear. She is being groomed by Kai to do and say all the right things to land the job as the new nanny to the lesbian couple Ally and Ivy, for their son Oz.
Kai later runs into Ally and Ivy as they bicker on the street about her mental condition. It wasn’t clear if he was stalking them (that’s my guess) or not, but he “accidentally” spills a drink on them. Ally lashes back calling him an asshole, furthering the confrontation. Let’s just assume this will be the first of many.
Once Winter has been granted the job of watching little Oz, Ally and Ivy go to the restaurant they own for a romantic dinner, and to reconnect with each other. The stress of Ally’s phobias and breakdowns is starting to crack the foundation of their marriage. Which, only gets worse when another one of Ally’s phobias manifest – trypophobia, the fear of things with holes – while they are having dinner. (I fully blame that scene for never wanting to eat a quiche again…)
So while his moms were out having dinner, Ozzy’s new babysitter got to work on the kid’s psyche by showing him dead bodies on the dark web (seriously, this chic could give Lizzie Samuels a run for her money as World’s Worst Babysitter). Oh, and I should mention that during this really whacked out episode, we learn that even though Ozzy’s mom is deathly afraid of clowns, he seems to be a little obsessed with them… well, one in particular; our good old friend, Twisty. More on that in a second.
Ally and Ivy decide to call it a night and head home to relieve the new sitter. When they turn on their street, it is covered in first responders and cop cars. Frantic to find Ozzy, Ally continues to scream at everyone until her son shows up and tells her how he saw clowns murder their neighbors. Yup, clowns murdering their neighbors. Winter plays it off, telling Ally that Ozzy is making it all up and that he saw nothing. Though, we don’t really believe that, right? Of course, Oz saw the clowns killing his neighbors. So did Winter.
Can’t wait to see what their next adventure in babysitting is.
- Ally is legit crazy. Ivy is legit done with Ally’s crazy.
- Ozzy’s mom’s crazy seems to be rubbing off on him a little bit.
- Kai is certifiably crazy. But no one can quite do crazy like Evan Peters, so he is absolutely fantastic in this character’s shoes.
- Twisty showing up, even in the pages of a comic book being read by a little boy was the highlight of the episode. I am always down for more Twisty!
- Sarah Paulson is great, but I hope this won’t be 13 episodes of her crying constantly about clowns.
I have been famously hard on American Horror Story over the seasons; some I have loved beyond measure, others I’ve thrown things at my television in frustration. Watching all but one season, I try to enter into each new chapter with a positive and hopeful outlook that not only will I be scared to sleep with the lights on, but that I would be gloriously entertained by ghosts, gore and hideously crafted monsters. The scariest part of this season, from what I can see, will be the way these characters utilize fear and cause it to spread among the masses.
That kind of fear is very real and palpable in the current climate of our real lives, so if you were going to have a horror-genre series based off of that kind of fear monger story telling, this is certainly the time to do it. To quote Kai Anderson, “If you get people scared enough, they will set the world on fire.”
What did you think of “Cult”? Did it do enough to get you to tune in again? American Horror Story: Cult airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.
Writer of stories, watcher of TV. I am an avid horror and sci-fi junkie who’s been riding with the Winchesters since their dad went on a hunting trip in 2005. Current obsessions are The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files and The Dark Tower movie. Find me on twitter – @jryan_author – for your daily dose of sarcasm and poems about my unnatural love of coffee.