Happy Halloween! To mark this hallowest of eens, I tossed around a couple of ideas for a post before settling on a look at that spoopiest of shows, American Horror Story. AHS is the one of the few horror TV shows currently on air; admittedly, the genre may lend itself better to 90-minute movies, so the idea of a “horror show” is much less common than “science fiction show”. It’s been fascinating seeing how the genre is adapted to a weekly serial drama. As part of my celebrations for Halloween, which is a month-long festival for me, I started re-watching American Horror Story from the very beginning, so it would be fresh in my mind. I had plenty of critiques in mind already, but the re-watching experience also led me to something of an epiphany.
This font will forever be terrifying to me.
Hopefully this post is a treat, but the trick is that there are some spoilers.
I obviously have my bones to pick with Penny Dreadful, but from a horror series point of view, I was pleased with its level and style of horror. The clear stand-out performances came from the one and only Eva Green, whose character Vanessa Ives had some extremely notable scenes in which she was possessed by malevolent forces. These scenes got me thinking aboutan extremely common plot device in demonic/spirit possession stories: when possessing a body and in general wreaking chaos in the lives of those around the possessed, a demon loves to ruin everyone’s day by… telling the truth. Truth is something that is extolled as a virtue and associated with goodness and morality, and one of Satan’s many nicknames is “the Prince of Lies”. Yet we consistently see demons using not lies, but rather the truth, when seeking to unsettle or harm humans. Let’s take a closer look.
Major spoilers for Penny Dreadful and American Horror Story: Asylum after the jump. Continue reading →