HOLLYWOOD—Welcome back horror fanatics! It seems a lot of mystery has been surrounding the theme of season 6 of “American Horror Story” and it has finally been revealed. Let’s just say it seems like a combination of the TV show “Paranormal Witness” and the movie “The Blair Witch Project”.
The episode started off just like an episode of “Paranormal Witness” or any other paranormal experience TV show with re-enactments and interviews with the people who were “really there”. This show is called “My Roanoke Nightmare”. The characters we first meet are Shelby and Matt played by “American Horror Story” veteran Lily Rabe and Andre Holland who was in the movie “Selma”. For me, part of the fun of “American Horror Story” is seeing the veteran actors playing different roles and finding out who the new actors will be. In the reenactments Shelby and Matt are played by veteran Sarah Paulson and an amazing new face, Cuba Gooding Jr.!
Their incident starts off pretty stereotypical. The happy couple moves to the big city and Matt is faced with a near-death incident after being knocked out by a gang member and Shelby loses the baby she was carrying due to the stress of the incident. They decide to move to the country where it is safer, find a nice big farmhouse on ten acres of land and buy it out from underneath some rough looking country locals. The show teases us with a quick shot of a messed up looking body looking at the house from the woods.
In the middle of the night growls are heard from outside and Matt goes to check it out. He finds trash cans destroyed and one thrown over him. Matt and Shelby assume it is the locals since they live in the south and they are an interracial couple. The next day Shelby hears some commotion and finds it is raining human teeth outside. By the time Matt returns from town he is able to reassure her that it was only hail.
Matt is a traveling salesman, so he is leaving the farmhouse on a business trip. Shelby, as a yoga teacher, is used to it and spends her time relaxing and drinking wine. She sees two women in the hall, but chalks it up to imagination until she hits the hot tub where she is pushed underwater. When Matt returns home he is confronted by an unhelpful, unconcerned local cop who chalks everything up to Shelby drinking. Shelby tells Matt it was men in old costumes with torches who pushed her underwater, and once they let her back up they were gone. That night Matt hears the growling noises and when he goes outside he finds a dead pig on the front porch. He decides to hide it from Shelby and buries it in the woods.
Before he leaves on his next business trip he sets up security cameras around the property and invites his sister, Lee, to stay with Shelby while he is gone. The real Lee is played by Adina Porter who played Lettie Mae Thornton on “True Blood” and the reenactment version of Lee is played by veteran Angela Bassett. There is some bad blood between Lee and Shelby since Lee thinks Shelby’s yoga job is a joke. Lee used to be a cop until she got addicted to pain pills after getting shot. This led her to getting fired, divorced, and losing custody of her daughter.
Little ghost tricks are played on Lee’s first night with a knife getting moved on the counter for Shelby and a wine bottle getting rolled into Lee’s room. Matt, 100 miles out of town, receives a security notification on his phone and is able to see on the security cameras men with torches walking onto the property. Lee hears a door open and the women head to the basement where the growling sounds are coming from. All they find is a TV playing a home movie of a guy in the woods encountering a weird pig monster.
The lights go out and the women are locked in the basement as they see shadows around the house and hear people entering the house. Matt starts to drive the 100 miles back to his home while the women exit the basement to find stick figures of humans strung up along the spiral staircase. When Matt arrives the police have already left saying it was just vandalism. The women show Matt the home video which he thinks is a fake to scare them off the property. Matt and Lee think it is best to stay and not let the locals run them off the property. Shelby, frustrated, leaves in the car.
Matt calls her and as she answers she hits a woman in the road. She stops the car and sees a woman stand up from the side of the road in what looks like a historic costume. As she heads to the forest I see we have veteran Kathy Bates this season! Shelby follows her and soon becomes lost in the woods where she encounters more human-like stick figures, a large area of ground that is pulsing and a group of people in costumes with torches. One of them turns to look at her, and welcome back Wes Bentley who played John Lowe in season 5. One of the locals falls at Shelby’s feet with his head scalped, and this was the beginning of season 6!
Until next Wednesday on FX for episode two, horror fanatics!