The October arrival of a fresh installment in Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story anthology series has been going on for the past three years, and that tradition continues this month with the release of Freak Show. A full-length trailer for Freak Show, dubbed “Opening Night”, has dropped (see above), and it offers a nice and quick introduction to the world of the eponymous circus act, as seen through the eyes of the conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler (returning AHS player Sarah Paulson).

In addition to offering a glimpse at Freak Show‘s main villain – the disturbed killer Twisty the Clown – at its end, this trailer also lays out the underlying social commentary that Murphy and Falchuk are serving up with this helping of American Horror Story. Observations about U.S. culture are, after all, as fundamental to the American Horror Story brand as are theatrical scares and camp horror elements (see Murder House‘s examination of modern marriage, Asylum‘s take on the healthcare system, etc.).

UPDATE: Check out the opening title sequence for Freak Show, below:

The “Opening Night” teaser suggests Freak Show will deal with the public’s fascination with professional entertainers – how, so often, they’re viewed and treated as being “freaks” that exist solely to please the masses. It looks to be a ham-fisted message, for sure, and perhaps a tad ironic considering that the Freak Show marketing campaign (see the latest teasers, below) has played on the idea that people with unusual qualities are, to some degree, inherently spooky… but, again, that may be part of the point being made this season.

Freak Show brings back award-winner Jessica Lange for her fourth (and reportedly her final) round of American Horror Story, wherein she plays Elsa Mars, the manager of a traveling freak show – the last of its kind – in Florida during the 1950s. Other returning cast members from seasons past include, as mentioned before, Sarah Paulson, along with Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts, and Evan Peters, while new recruits include Michael Chiklis (The Shield) and Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games), along with John Carroll Lynch (Body of Proof) as Twisty.

In general, Freak Show looks to be as stylishly realized and (intentionally) over the top in execution and presentation as you would expect from any season of American Horror Story, by now. Here is to hoping that this proves to be one of the better, if not the best, installments in Murphy and Falchuk’s ongoing horror anthology series thus far.

American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres October 8th, 2014 @10 p.m. ET on FX.

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