Is ‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’ Better Than Ever?

American Horror Story found great success with it’s midseason plot twist, but is the new story getting a little too dark? Or is the show channeling just the right kind of terrifying?

American Horror Story: Roanoke had some momentum with it’s documentary style storytelling but nothing could have prepared us for the reality TV show switch up. Chapter 6 and 7 brought a different kind of scary because we now knew that no one was safe and that experience seemed much more real. But just like every season before it, the show needs to hit its shock factor somehow, and it looks like this time around we should expect lots of cannibalism and gore.

The one part of American Horror Story that has never sat right with me was the lengths the show would go to stand out. Every season was a new kind of graphic, but you always knew what to expect. My biggest issue was always the sexual assault portion of the show, something that we mostly avoided this time around. Scathach and Matt obviously didn’t have a consensual relationship, but at least this time around there was some form of subtly. 

But where American Horror Story pulled back is also where it replaced it with another level of horrifying. 

Apparently people aren’t truly crazy unless they have some craving for human meat, or at least that’s what the Polk family taught us when they captured Lee, Monet, and Audrey. There were hints that they were cannibals in the early part of the documentary, but it was quick in a way that you could actually miss it if you didn’t pay too much attention. Elias didn’t have certain limbs anymore and the family was serving some suspicious meat, yet it didn’t scream disgusting the way preparing Lee’s leg did. 

Not only did we get a little advice on how to prepare human meat (oil it up and add some spices before you serve it to your guests), we also had to watch Audrey and Monet eating a piece of their friend. I actually had to look away, which I never have had to do before, but something about that was just too much for me to handle.

Now this graphic scene doesn’t exactly take away my appreciation for this new take on the season, especially since it was the Halloween episode.

It reminded me of why I enjoy this show in the first place: there was never any fear of boundaries or taking it too far. Yes, sometimes they would take it too far, for me, and I would get frustrated that some things had to be plot devices every season, but it’s nice to see the show trying something else out for a change. Cannibalism isn’t exactly a huge issue for the world right now, so having it on the show is obviously more for shock factor.

Outside of that, the rest of American Horror Story: Roanoke has been gearing up for some shocking moments. Shelby killing Matt for his brainwashed hypocrisy came out of nowhere, yet finally made the character worth the screen time. While it was very entertaining to watch her go off the deep end after seeing her ex with a spirit that he claimed not to feel anything for, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something weird that we were missing.

TV Fanatic mentioned a potential plot twist that could be coming our way, one that makes us wonder just how much we can trust Dominic in all of this. His shady approach to the show was at first refreshingly honest, but showing Shelby where Matt went was of no use to anyone, and right after that he wanted her to just turn herself in? If he was trying to stir trouble, he took that to the next level and then some. I really don’t like him anymore, and why should I?

If a guy doesn’t offer to cover up your crime, he’s obviously not worth it.

Aside from the obvious, American Horror Story has some compelling storytelling this time around, and I’m really hoping to see that continue on for the rest of the season. But, as a last request, I absolutely need to demand that the Pig Man get more screen time. He’s honestly one of the most mysterious villains; probably because we don’t know much about him, but the freaking pig’s head is definitely a factor as well.

It’s not really asking too much to finally place a face to the snout, right?

American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.

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