Following the successful outbreak of The Walking Dead, the small screen underwent a horror revolution, spawning spine-chilling series like Bates Motel, Hannibal, and The Strain. But leading the pack of the flesh eaters, bloodsuckers, and serial killers has been American Horror Story, an anthology series from the co-creator of Glee, no less. Starting with its first season (or mini-series), retrospectively titled Murder House, the show has received praise (read: 8 Emmy Awards) for its fearless, frightening, and complex approach to social anxieties and flaws – oh, and for (re)introducing the world to Jessica Lange.
That being said, the forthcoming American Horror Story: Hotel will finally amputate its favorite leading lady and feature a new kind of (fame) monster: Lady Gaga. And like clockwork, FX has already begun hyping the fifth season – one that promises to reinvent the series – with its usual round of unsettling vignettes. The first one debuted just over one month ago, and now two more have dropped to further whet fans’ appetites.
Released exclusively by EW, the new teasers – titled ‘Do Not Disturb’ and ‘Beauty Rest’, respectively – follow the pattern of seasons past by providing a 15-second glimpse into the looming horror. Take a look for yourself (if you dare).
Both teasers rely on a tense, slow-burn build-up (well, slow for a 15-second clip) that then end with some sort of shocking and/or terrifying reveal. And while ‘Beauty Rest’ reflects that same gory glamor, macabre cabaret of Freak Show (and Coven as well) – while also hinting at “heartbreak” via its haunting background lyrics – ‘Do Not Disturb’ plays with conventional fears, mainly that of an unknown presence knocking at your door. Thus, in one we have established tone and potential premise, and in the other a sardonic exploitation of real-life horror – typical of the series – both of which successfully do their jobs: frighten and intrigue.
It cannot go unsaid, however, that AHS has become notorious for the disconnect between its pre-season content and the actual story to follow. The teasers, artfully masterful and masterfully creepy, rarely figure into the main plot and thus, lead to inevitable disappointment as seen most notably last season. While Freak Show boasted the series’ highest premiere ratings to-date – along with one of its most chilling scenes ever, featuring a then-promisting Twisty the clown – the subsequent episodes devolved into a rather boring, dull exhibition with all the ‘freak’ and none of the ‘show.’ And this was not an isolated event. Nearly every season has started with a bang – or scream – and ended with a messily resolved anticlimax.
As such, acknowledge and enjoy the teasers for what they are: teases – rather than assurances of the season to come. And with only two months to go until the premiere, fans can expect plenty more haunting glimpses before actually checking into the Hotel.
American Horror Story: Hotel, premieres on FX in October 2015.