Review: American Horror Story: Hotel, ‘Devil’s Night’

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Devil’s Night, commonly known as “Mischief Night,” takes place on the night before Halloween when children are known to play petty pranks. These pranks usually involve things like toilet paper, soap and eggs but when an episode of American Horror Story: Hotel is named Devil’s Night, you can assume the pranks will not be so simplistic. In fact, when the episode includes serial killers, you can guarantee it.

Tonight marks the return of American Horror Story favorite, Lily Rabe as infamous serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She is amongst the guests at a Devil’s Night party that also includes John Wayne Gacy (John Carroll Lynch), Richard Ramirez, The Zodiac and Jeffrey Dahmer (Seth Gabel). For those unfamiliar with these killers, Wuornos was a prostitute who killed her Johns, Gacy, also known as Pogo the Clown, murdered men and buried them under his floorboards, Ramirez was a Satan worshiping rapist and murderer and Dahmer is best known for being a murderer and cannibal. These seem like exactly the types of people who would be friends with Mr. March (Evan Peters).

Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX
Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

While excellent in the role, Rabe is still a bit too attractive to play Wuornos. That woman was as far from attractive as they get. Try to remember how ugly they had to make beauty Charlize Theron for the same role in Monster. She really portrayed just how obnoxious and strange Wuornos really was.

Lynch was the perfect choice to play Gacy. Despite the fact that we already know that he can effectively frighten us all as a clown (think Twisty), he has the right build and attitude.

I am admittedly not very familiar with Seth Gabel or his work but he looked exactly like Dahmer. I say, with no exaggeration, he was spot on. He was mild mannered and meek until it came time to kill, just as Dahmer has been described.

I have been unable to locate the names of the actors playing Richard Ramirez aka The Night Stalker or The Zodiac. While The Zodiac really just needed to wear a hood and nothing more, Ramirez was probably the only killer at the table that didn’t seem to be a true representation of the real deal. Richard Ramirez was a true psychopath and they tamed him down for Hotel.

Our heartbroken detective John Lowe (Wes Bentley) is the only living person invited to this exclusive party-A homicide detective amongst murderers. John is fed alcohol while he watches in horror as this group of killers teams up to murder a man brought in to the group by Sally (Sarah Paulson). In his drunken state, Sally convinces him that the room is empty and that all of it was just an illusion.

Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX
Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

Alex (Chloe Sevigny) meets The Countess (Lady Gaga) and learns the truth about what happened to her son. She is determined that she, being a pediatrician, will find a cure for his “rare blood disease” but The Countess lets her know that he cannot be cured, Alex can only join him. Not wanting to lose her son again, she decides that becoming like him is her only choice.

We learn that the maid, Hazel (Mare Winningham) lost her son on Halloween night when he was kidnapped by Gordon Northcott. Again, for those unfamiliar, Northcott kidnapped and murdered around 20 children between 1926-1928 in the Los Angeles area. These were known as The Chicken Coop Murders. American Horror Story went beyond obscure for that reference. Northcott makes the seventh serial killer reference in one episode, counting the fact that Mr. March is obviously H.H. Holmes. True crime nerds rejoice!

This episode did very little to expand on the storyline for future episodes. Most of the attention was paid to Mr. March and the serial killer soiree. Alex turning into a vampire is the only true progression to a story that already exists so I expect that next week will expand further into the others. While I am fascinated by serial killers, this was probably the weakest episode thus far. Next week’s episode is about Halloween, so it is bound to be an improvement.

American Horror Story:Hotel airs Wednesday nights at 10PM on FX

========================================================================================================= Ann Hale is the horror editor for Pop-Break.com and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter
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Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80's action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.