American Horror Story: Coven
Third time’s the charm?
Release Date: 20 October
2014 | 18 | 595 minutes | £ 29.99 ( Blu- ray)/£ 19.99 ( DVD) Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Creators: Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy Cast: Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare, Taissa Farmiga
Horror Story’s third season performs the now familiar reshuffle, moving Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters et al into new roles and a new scenario. It’s still a gory hoot though.
Zoe Benson ( Taissa Farmiga) has a particularly rubbish supernatural power – everyone she has sex with dies. She’s packed off to Miss Robichaux’s Academy to master her abilities. But if she’s expecting magic sweets and games of Quidditch she’s in for a disappointment: the heads of the coven are engaged in a power struggle, the ghost of a serial killer haunts the building and virtually all of her classmates are dangerous lunatics.
It’s the usual jumble of plotlines, then. Where Coven wins out over last year’s Asylum is the increased sympathy with its diverse cast of outsiders and a keener focus on the themes of abuse and prejudice. There isn’t a moment as outrageous as Asylum’s dance sequence ( a clunky cameo by Stevie Nicks tries and fails to best it), but there’s nothing else like American Horror Story on TV. It’s awkward and annoying at times, sure, but it’s also subversive, funny and a law unto itself.
A trio of featurettes ( 37 minutes): “Zombie Halloween” is a behind- the- scenes piece on the Halloween episode; “Enter The Coven” explores the characters; “Meet Ms Nola” looks at the locations and sets. Will Salmon
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