American Horror Story: Hotel is just damn gross and nasty

I had my first experience of American Horror Story and I am neither convinced that I liked it, or that I will continue watching because it is just nasty, grim and nonsensical. It is hard to enjoy a show where depravity and perversion are the name of the game, especially when you don’t know anybody or understand that the hell is going on.

I have never watched AHS before, and decided to tune into Hotel purely because I love Lady Gaga and I want to see if she can act. She is absolutely the highlight of the show for me as The Countess because you cannot take your eyes off her. Her clothes, her make-up and diva persona just command the screen and I feel like I get her character a little bit and I want to know more, whereas most of the others I don’t care for. She was perfectly cast in my book.

Gaga is not really given a chance to show off her acting skills and is mostly used for sexual ends in the pilot. She and Donovan (Matt Bomer) are vampires (it would seem) and they lure people back to the Hotel Cortez for sex and blood, lots of blood. The foursome bloodbath was a big visual spectacle that will certainly catch the attention of the critics/media but I preferred more normal moments, like when she interacts with a young boy at the end.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL -- Pictured: Kathy Bates as Iris. CR: Frank Ockenfels/FX

There is a serious lack of substance here. I know it’s only the pilot so they can’t heap everything on us, and they need to keep the mystery alive, but what is going on? And who are these people? They introduced the vibe and the key characters but a lot of f**ked-up stuff happened without any explanation and context. I know we should get that later but I want it now goddamn it. Where’s the sense of plot?

I personally found the creepy, disfigured man reaching out of a mattress terrifying and the rape of Max Greenfield‘s character was brutal and disturbing. Not only was he raped, but by a demon-type dude (apparently called The Addiction Demon) wearing a metal drill-bit strap on while junkie Sally (Sarah Paulson) watches on. Oh, and she’s apparently dead by the way?! Yes, WTF. I assume Greenfield character Gabriel, who I excited about, has also been finished off way too soon.


Another key role is hotel manager Iris (Kathy Bates) who is revealed to be Donovan’s mother, and she killed Sally by pushing her out a window. As you do. Then there is Detective Lowe (Wes Bentley) who is chasing down a serial killer that may or may not have a connection to the hotel. He lost his son in a fairground years ago and turns out, he is staying in a hidden children’s game room in the Cortez.

For me, Hotel seemed to be all about the visual. They employed a fisheye lens for some of the interiors which made it hard to focus (I guess that’s the point!) but the Hotel itself looks amazing, especially its grand foyer. It is very heavy on guts, gore and sex and all in a gross, disgusting way. It is like torture porn. So much rape and murder and drugs – what is left to do in the rest of the series? The only thing making me want to come back is to see what The Countess does next – I want to know her backstory, her relationship with Donovan and Iris and how the Hotel became such a hive of depravity.


  1. I have to agree – it’s just too damn twisted and nonsensical. But Gaga’s fantastic and I’m really intrigued so I’ll be sticking around for a couple more episodes at least.


  2. Nothing but homosexuality, homosexuality homosexuality…..and gore.



  1. […] and I see things through to the bitter end. But I had my reservations about Hotel from the pilot (my review here) and gave myself a few more episodes to make a decision. The following episodes may not have been […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: