New ‘American Horror Story’ Season Spins 2016 Elections as the Real Horror Show

By Eileen Sepulveda

Promotional image for “Cult,” the latest installment of FX’s anthology, “American Horror Story.” Photo courtesy of Wikicommons.

Although its sixth season turned out to be a major flop, the seventh season of “American Horror Story,” entitled “Cult,” has so far proven to be one of the best seasons ever. Created and produced by Ryan Murphy and writer Brad Falchuk, the psychological, gory dramatic thriller, which premiered Sept. 5, revolves around the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. The show stands out for tackling issues that are detrimental to many U.S. citizens, such as discrimination against Mexican immigrants and the LGBT community, and the resurgence of white nationalism.

“AHS” fans will appreciate the writer’s careful approach. John Landgraf, the chief executive of FX told John Koblin of the New York Times via phone interview, “It’s a horror piece, so it’s a genre piece, but it’s trying somehow to locate and diagnose the essential craziness of the times in which we live.” 

Chaotic and terrifying, the first episode, “Election Night,” draws the viewer right in. It opens with the exhilarated soon to be cult leader, Kai Anderson played by Evan Peters---an “AHS” fan favorite who is also known for his role as X-Men’s Quicksilver---humping his TV screen and whispering, “The revolution has begun.” Along with his sister Winter (Billie Lourd) and their brother Dr. Rudy Vincent Anderson (Cheyenne Jackson), the three begin recruiting several members of the community into their strange and dangerous cult. By the end of episode 1, Kai’s evil cult has formed. 

Masked as hideous clowns, the cult begins to terrorize the town, going on violent killing sprees. Allyson Mayfair Richards (Sarah Paulson) is also tormented by the cult. Triggered by Trump’s victory, Allyson and her family deal with her many phobias, including coulrophobia. Her wife Ivy (Alison Pill) goes on her own psychological rollercoaster. It takes a toll on the couple’s relationship and inflicts traumatic stresses on their son, 10-year-old Oz---short for Ozymandias (Cooper Dodson), who we learn secretly loves to read “Twisty: The Clown Chronicles.” As some viewers might know, Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) also makes his appearance on “AHS Season 4: Freak Show.” 

As the plot unfolds many of the characters’ identities are revealed and the truths uncovered through many twists and turns will leave viewers dumbfounded right up till the season finale, “Great Again,” scheduled to air on Nov. 14. Beside the constant neck slicing and clown faces, the show brings to life the nightmare that’s become a reality in the U.S.