Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story: Coven

Third time’s the charm?

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Dvd & blu- ray -

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

Amer­i­can

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

The X Fac­tor au­di­tion wasn’t go­ing well.

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