“American Horror Story” fans are quite passionate, to say the least. While patience may not be their strong suit — heck, we were a bit bummed Ryan Murphy announced nothing at this year’s PaleyFest — a new tidbit for Season 6 was released online on Tuesday (June 28) which raised a bunch of eyebrows. Sure, there’s still lingering frustration regarding any real confirmation of theme, plot or full returning cast, but we’ll take what we can get!
Like many of you, we have stared at the above logo to figure out any clues as to what the new story will be about. The obvious notion is that the number represents the season and the question mark represents everyone’s confusion. However, with previous subject matter and themes explored on the series, there may be more at play here. Let’s take a trip into Speculation Town, shall we?
A fan theory that has stuck in our heads for a while has been the Dante’s Inferno concept — which would put the series at nine total seasons. If this is where the show is going, level six would be an intriguing one given the significance of the number and its relation to the Antichrist. In Season 1 — better known as “Murder House” — the final episode ended with the birth of said Antichrist, leaving so many possibilities open for a revisit to that story. Since each season is connected, this would make sense.
A plot like this would also work well with multiple timelines and with FX President John Landgraf’s vague hint at the season’s use of flashbacks, we are doubling down on our devilish bets. There’s also Ryan Murphy’s love of horror movie references and homages in his work. “AHS” has done a wonderful job in previous seasons of presenting callbacks and nods to the genre films that have inspired him. From “The Shining” to “Rosemary’s Baby,” the classics have all had a place in this ever-growing horror universe. Season 6 could easily piggyback off of Glen Mazzara’s efforts in continuing the story of “The Omen” — and probably with better results.
“Damien” lasted just one season on A&E, ultimately getting axed by the network for lackluster ratings. One of the main issues in translating Richard Donner’s classic horror film to TV, was tone. While Mazzara and his team were able to bridge the gap from “The Omen” to “Damien,” they soon discovered that using the same slow burn mood and feel of the 1976 movie does not work well on the small-screen.
Imagine if Ryan Murphy took the subject matter and ran with it, though. Not only would the overuse of fish-eye lenses and odd angles abound, there would be levity and gore throughout. Sometimes, the darkest stories work best when there is the right amount of humor added to the mix and Murphy has horror campiness on lock.
The biggest clue, really, was Murphy’s own hint at where the story would go this upcoming season. Telling the audience at this year’s PaleyFest, “If you look at horror tropes, the innocence of children, that sort of wide-eyed entryway into some world is always very dramatic and satisfying.” With the Antichrist appearing as a young blonde boy at the end of “Murder House,” this hint would fit perfectly.
So far, we know that Lady Gaga, Cheyenne Jackson and Angela Bassett will return in some fashion. Jessica Lange has stated she will not return for any further episodes of the series. We can only assume that Sarah Paulson will return in some fashion and previously, cast members like Kathy Bates and Lily Rabe have alluded that they would go wherever Ryan Murphy commands them to. So, at this point we don’t have a full understanding of cast or characters involved.
According to Jackson, filming of the new episodes have already commenced. With San Diego Comic Con around the corner, we can only hope there will be a big announcement soon on what Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck and the rest of the gang has in store for viewers this fall. Whatever it is, it’ll apparently be unlike anything we’ve seen before.