Review: American Horror Story: Hotel, Series Premiere


This is the day we have been waiting for! American Horror Story season 5 has finally arrived and this time it is in the form of Hotel.

The show takes place at Hotel Cortez, run by the short statured and short tempered Iris (Kathy Bates). Upon first glance, the hotel is beautiful and unsettling with its dark vintage style and seemingly empty hallways but, once you have been inside a little while, you find the hotel is far from deserted.

The first fifteen minutes of the premiere episode “Checking In” give hope for a terrifying season, giving us monsters crawling out of mattresses,Village of the Damned look alike vampire children and a murder scene that seems to be straight out of Seven. You should probably prepare yourself if you have a weak stomach as there is a pretty disturbing rape scene and quite a bit of blood.

Photo credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX
Photo credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

The hotel has its own Room 237 and Room 1408 equivalent in Room 64, which is apparently where Iris takes hotel guests that she does not like. The guests that stay in that room experience supernatural visitations and horrifying tortures, some at the hands of the resident junkie “Hypodermic Sally” played by Sarah Paulson.

American Horror Story: Hotel guests include several returning stars that we have loved in past seasons. Cast members that have been involved since season one include Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters. Back for their second, third and even forth time cast members include Kathy Bates, Wes Bentley, Matt Bomer, Chloe Sevigny, Denis O’Hare and Angela Bassett.

New big name cast members you may recognize include Madchen Amick of Twin Peaks notoriety, Cheyenne Jackson from Glee and, of course, the one and only Lady Gaga who needs no introduction.

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

I suppose what everyone is wondering, and have been skeptical about, is how Lady Gaga fares on such a show. She actually fits in pretty well so far. She is one half of a murderous duo, her other half being Matt Bomer. They go out to pick up couples to indulge in orgies with but the results are a little bloodier than their guests expected. While you think Iris is running the show, everyone seems to be terrified of Gaga, whose character is named The Countess Elizabeth. It is safe to assume she is supposed to be Countess Elizabeth Bathory, whom you might remember from history as the Hungarian Countess known for murdering young women and bathing in their blood out of belief that it made her appear younger. If Gaga is, in fact, supposed to be Bathory, it would appear the blood did keep her younger as this show takes place roughly 400 years after her death.

This season could really go either way at this point. It could start strong and end a little weaker like Freak Show or it could stay strong the whole way through like the first two seasons did. Hotel has a lot of potential and I would love to see it stay on the path this premiere has carved out. I suppose we will find out in a week.

American Horror Story airs Wednesday nights at 10PM on FX

========================================================================================================= Ann Hale is the horror editor for 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

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.