Amer­i­cAn Hor­ror Story: roAnoke

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 2016 | 18 | Blu-ray/dVd/down­load

Showrun­ner ryan Mur­phy Cast evan Peters, Kathy Bates, an­gela Bas­sett, sarah Paul­son

Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story is as un­kil­l­able as the slasher mon­sters it ref­er­ences. Ev­ery year it res­ur­rects in a dif­fer­ent form, with new tricks to de­light/an­noy its au­di­ence. But sea­son six is more trans­formed than usual, with showrun­ner Ryan Mur­phy tak­ing big risks – with mixed re­sults.

AHS is di­vi­sive at the best of times, but Roanoke’s ex­tra-meta four-act struc­ture about a haunted-house re­al­ity show, de­liv­ered through a found­footage for­mat, split fans faster than Kathy Bates’s meat cleaver.

There are still plenty of fa­mil­iar el­e­ments to keep things grounded (well, as grounded as a show that ref­er­ences Blair Witch, The Shin­ing and its own mythol­ogy in the same scene can be), with char­ac­ters and lo­ca­tions from pre­vi­ous sea­sons ran­domly show­ing up.

De­spite the un­usual for­mat, this is prob­a­bly the most fo­cused AHS has been since sea­son two, with a clear nar­ra­tive lead­ing a straight path through the usual madness. As such, we can’t help but won­der if this re­lease will change haters’ minds: sep­a­rated into weekly in­stal­ments, Roanoke frus­trated, but as a com­plete, binge­able ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s as uni­fied as the best of the se­ries.

Ex­tras A cast and crew Q&A from Pa­leyFest 2017, and three min­utes of pro­mos. Sam Ashurst

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