AHS Worth Freaking Out Over

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The nightmarish clown, Twisty, played by John Carroll Lynch.

Helen Burdier, Entertainment Editor

After three seasons of murder houses, asylums, and witches, American Horror Story’s newest season takes the crown as most horrifying because of two words: killer clown.

 The fourth season of the anthology series centers around one of the last remaining circus sideshows in 1952. The ‘freaks’ of the show are played by familiar faces, with Sarah Paulson seeing double as conjoined twins Dot and Bette Tattler; Evan Peters returning as the titular bad-boy-you-can’t-help-but-love, except now with a claw hand; and Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars, the fame-hungry owner of the sideshow.

Another familiar face re-introduced is Kathy Bates, who plays the bearded mother of Peters’ character and Elsa’s henchwoman. Joining the shows recycled cast are real-life people with disabilities, such as actor Mat Fraser, who plays “Paul the Illustrated Seal,” and suffers from phocomelia.

 Along with Fraser, there’s Rose Siggins, who had her legs amputated at age two and plays “Legless Suzy.” Jyoti Amge plays the character “Ma Petit” and is, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the World’s Smallest Woman at 23 inches and 11 pounds.

 The first episode of this season began with the murder of Mrs. Tattler, who kept her conjoined daughters hidden all their lives. After the body is found, the sisters are thrust into the outside world, beginning at a hospital where nurses vomit at the sight of them. The unwelcoming atmosphere at the hospital is juxtaposed with Elsa Mars, who reads about the murder and becomes infatuated with the twins becoming headliners for her sideshow. Major props go to Paulson, who plays each head of the sisters with completely different personalities: Dot is the more serious one, while her sister Bette has her head in the clouds.

In a field in Jupiter, Florida- where the show was filmed- viewers see a young couple making out, and horror fanatics will know that this means something bad is about to happen. After the boyfriend leaves to go get something, a clown that gives Stephen King’s a run for his money and justifies Coulrophobia appears from the bushes and makes his way over. He knocks the couple out with bowling pins, and when they wake up, begins stabbing the boyfriend repeatedly with a pair of scissors.

The show was created by Ryan Murphy, who uses the same “us” vs. “them” idea as his other show, Glee. While, Horror Story obviously isn’t popular kids throwing slushies at kids who sing, it’s ‘freaks’ against the regular people. Like when a police officer comes over and attempts to arrest the twins, Peters’ character kills him. Another “them” character is Elsa Mars. 

Elsa wants so desperately to find her ticket to fame, and sees the chance with the freaks, but she will never be like them- never get the same attention they do. Towards the end of the episode, she performs a song for the two person audience but they are instead focused on the twins. Elsa is a male feminist among females, an iPod among iPhones, a moon beside a planet- she’s with them, but not exactly one of them.

The remainder of the season will continue with the murderous clown, along with introducing new freaks played by Angela Basset, Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, and Matt Bomer. 

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