Blu-ray Review: ‘American Horror Story: The Complete First Season’

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CHICAGOFX’s “American Horror Story” was one of the most addictive programs of 2011 (and my choice for the 7th best) and that season is finally here in time to catch up before the October 17th premiere of the second season of Ryan Murphy’s Emmy-winning hit. So creative, so edgy, and so mesmerizing, “AHS” is just daring storytelling, further evidence that FX is giving talented people freedom to express themselves in ways that other networks just are not. Blu-ray rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

The show rules (and read our full review of the premiere for more reasons why) but what about the Blu-ray release? It’s good, not great. There’s a commentary on the premiere but I would have loved more dissection as the season went along (and got better as it got more intense). Features include a bit on “The Murder House,” which is just a short film based on the tour group that visits the setting of the show in-season. It’s a little silly if you’ve seen the show since it mostly just captures what we already know about the show but with a shocking amount of jump cuts, flash edits, and bad cinematography. Imagine a tour guide narrating the trippy opening credits. Honestly, I couldn’t even make it through it.

Much better is the 24-minute “Behind the Fright: The Making of American Horror Story.” Yes, it’s mostly just talking head footage that was used to promote the show but this is a smart cast that understands why Ryan Murphy’s creation works and how to discuss it in a featurette. Two other featurettes capture specific elements of the show and “Out of the Shadows” is far and away the best piece of bonus material. Over 15 minutes, the conceit of the show — that those who die there can’t leave — is examined through the characters trapped there and interviews with the stars who play them. It’s fascinating stuff for a fascinating show. I can’t wait to see what they do in season two.

American Horror Story: The Complete First Season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 25, 2012
American Horror Story: The Complete First Season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 25, 2012
Photo credit: Fox

Brace yourself for an addictive thrill ride! American Horror Story is TV’s most original new drama, a deeply stylish psychosexual haunt devised to keep you on the edge of your seat. The Harmon’s (Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton) fresh start in a new home deviously twists to reveal discoveries of love, sex and murderous revenge. Featuring a Golden Globe-winning performance by Jessica Lange, Season One scares up a host of engrossing extras.

StarClick here to buy “American Horror Story: The Complete First Season”

Special Features:
o The Murder House Presented By Eternal Darkness Tours Of Hollywood
o Behind The Fright: The Making Of American Horror Story
o Overture To Horror: Creating The Title Sequence
o Out Of The Shadows: Meet The House Ghosts
o Audio Commentary On The Pilot Episode

“American Horror Story: The Complete First Season” stars Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Jessica Lange, Denis O’Hare, Frances Conroy, and Alexandra Breckinridge. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 25, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

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