‘Horror Story’ given vampiric lens, hotel setting

Dark show horrifies its audience with brutal murders

By Mike Thomas, Scene Editor

Come and enjoy a night at the Hotel Cortez, where treachery lies in every room. The fifth season of the TV series “American Horror Story” is based in a hotel full of vampires and psychopathic killers.
For the past few seasons, it would take “AHS” a few episodes before the story started to make sense. However, this season the first two episodes are really good. The cast is stellar with some new and returning members, including Lady Gaga.
She is somewhat of a replacement for one of the main stars, Jessica Lange, who was in all four of the previous seasons. Lady Gaga plays the owner of Hotel Cortez, and is a vampire that’s been alive since 1904. Her character is a cool, calm and collective vampire, but is still sadistic in the mind.
The way Lady Gaga portrays Elizabeth is how she would act in real life. Her chill personality fits perfectly in her role. The vampires don’t have fangs, but they do drink blood when they either stab or slit the throats of their victims. There is also a lot more sexual content this season.
Sarah Paulsen and Evan Peters return and both are just as sick and twisted ever. This is really the first time Paulsen’s role (Sally) is a serial killer in the series, and she plays a solid junkie. Peters plays the former owner of the hotel, James Patrick March, but this time his character is sicker than Tate. He is a self-taught architect, who enjoys killing his workers and guests just for fun.
Then we have the protagonist, Detective John Lowe (Wes Bentley), who lost his little son at a beach fair. Now his little boy is roaming through the cracks of Hotel Cortez. We can suspect that the little boy has been turned into a vampire because he has stayed the same age since his disappearance. Even though Lowe looks innocent, we can suspect that he is not. In “AHS” no one is an angel. Each surviving character has a dark past.
The scenery and the background of the Hotel Cortez is dark and creepy, but at the same time it displays beautiful architecture. The background has a nice old school design to it. It looks like an updated 1920s hotel. Hotel Cortez is really a food bank for the vampires and killers. The normal people who work at the hotel do what they can to get the guests to stay there.
One of the best parts of the first episode is getting to hear a nostalgic song from the band She Wants Revenge — “Tear You Apart.” It was good to see the back story with some of the murderers who live in the hotel and brings light to how they became the killers they are in the present time.
It is going to be exciting to see how this story hit its climax and the development of these characters. Let’s just hope we did not see the best of season five too early.