FX’s popular American Horror Story series has been credited with helping to revive the concept of anthology for TV, where each season has followed an entirely new setting and storyline unified only by all being set in the horror genre and a handful of recurring cast members. Although it has been categorized as such that hasn’t stopped some AHS fans from discussing how the various series could actually tie together, which has been helped along by recent developments in past seasons.
Now, the latest in a series of teaser trailers for season 6 appears to continue “shared universe” idea — but is it a clue or still more misdirection?
Thus far, series creator Ryan Murphy has repeatedly stated that the previous teasers are not meant to be taken literally. In fact, he has said that only one of the teasers accurately represents the tone and setting of the new season, while the others are misdirections created to throw curious fans off the scent of the true answer. However, Murphy and others have generally stopped short of denying that the various teasers don’t include clues to new story points or contain Easter eggs that may only make sense once the true nature of the season has been revealed.
So far, the various season 6 trailers have featured creepy tableaus reflecting influences from all over the horror genre, from gothic silent thrillers to Saw-style “torture porn” to macabre riffs on Rosemary’s Baby to an alien abduction scenario that takes an unexpectedly brutal turn. However, fans have pointed to a handful of vaguely similar repeating features — most notably, the recurring presence of strange creatures and a clawed, monster-like hand. The latter makes another appearance in the previous most-recent teaser, which depicts a monster-abduction in the style of a campy 1960s B-movie (see above).
As yet, the only known information anyone can rely on is an earlier indication that the new season will take place in two different time periods and set photos showing the construction of structures that recall Colonial America and led Deadline and other sources to speculate on whether the new season will be based on historical events like the “Lost Colony” of Roanoke or the Salem Witch Trials. Witchcraft and other strange happenings in the Colonial period have seen a resurgence in the horror genre of late, with the indie horror film The Witch garnering rave reviews and surprising news of a revival for the Blair Witch Project franchise.
Of note, the new teaser presents a digital “tracking shot” that moves through iconic images of the five previous seasons before ultimately “arriving” in a grim-looking forest clearing scene where the AHS logo is spelled out with human bone configurations — which would seem to give some measure of credence to the “Colonial witchcraft” theorists.
American Horror Story: Season 6 premieres on Wednesday, September 14 on FX.