Review – American Horror Story: Hotel

The Hotel Cortez located in Los Angeles, California.  An old style hotel that has never been modernized and a dead zone for cell service.  Checking into the hotel is basically a death sentence, not only because of the murderous ghosts running all around the place, but also because of the vampires who have decided to call this place home.


Detective John Lowe is on the case of locating a serial killer who appears to be killing based on the Ten Commandments found in the Bible.  His marriage is rocky since his son disappeared five years prior and after an incident that terrifies his wife and daughter, he ends up leaving the house for a time and stays at the Cortez himself while still trying to continue his investigation on the serial killer case.

Meanwhile, the hotel comes into new ownership by a man with a fashion empire.  The Countess, the vampire queen who practically owns everything, decides to take the opportunity to seduce this man to acquire all of his wealth.  But the ghosts in the hotel are restless, and the other vampires need blood.  Guests in the hotel rarely check out.

This season was quite different as compared to the previous four.  It had a much darker atmosphere and feel about it, and at times it even felt like a different show, due in part to the fact that several of the main cast who were usually in all the other seasons did not return for this one, or the ones who did didn’t have quite as large a part as in previous seasons.

This season had more murders, more gore, and more sexual content than the previous seasons, so that also contributed to the darker atmosphere.  Much of it felt very hopeless; not that the others seasons didn’t have hopeless feelings, but you have the sense that nothing can go right for any of these characters.  They just keep digging themselves into deeper pits of despair with their every action.

While I don’t think I ever flat out hated any of these characters and I did sympathize with most of them, I was never really able to feel like I could root for them and see them get through it, mostly because they were making horrible decisions all throughout.  It was a tragedy playing out, really.

I got really excited a couple times while watching this season because there were references to season 1 as well as a character that showed up who was in season 3.  Seeing familiar sights and faces and hearing about things that happened from previous seasons always makes me excited, because while every season is a brand new story with brand new characters, you can still see that everything is connected and get a little bit of familiarity from the old stories.

I also quite enjoyed the references to other horror movies such as the Shining and the most obvious one was Se7en with the whole Ten Commandment killer.  They also directly mentioned the movie Nosferatu, which was to be expected with the vampire angle.

I feel like the story in this season had a real lot going on all at once and at times could be just a little disjointed or ignoring one plot thread to focus on another and in the end we didn’t get to see perhaps everything we wanted to see get tied up in the end.  It wasn’t an unsatisfying conclusion, but I feel there were a few missing elements regardless.

All in all, I enjoyed it.  If you enjoy hotel horror, anything with vampires, ghosts, or serial killers being pursued, this is a season you probably don’t want to miss.

It’s Devil’s Night, tonight.  The time for all the best killers to gather in one place and share their stories.  You’d best stay in tonight if you want to be safe.  Happy Halloween.


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