With a couple of months to go before the new season’s September air date, it is time for American Horror Story fans to start excitedly hypothesizing over the cryptic hints released that tease the show’s new chosen theme, thus beginning its traditionally enigmatic marketing strategy. As the anthology formula allows for a complete metamorphosis of setting and characters each season, the anticipation for fans comes from the secrecy surrounding the theme and how the show’s menagerie of talented stars will be transformed into new peculiar and compelling personalities.
The latest offering from the American Horror Story marketing team comes in the form of three brief and ambiguous promo clips (watch them above) featuring darkly disturbing symbols that have strong ties to the horror genre, and hint at Ryan Murphy’s inspiration for his upcoming season.
September’s premiere will mark the start of American Horror Story’s sixth season to date. The show has explored a range of horror’s sub-genres per season, including a haunted house, mental asylum, witches’ coven, freakshow and spooky hotel. It has already been revealed that Murphy’s lead actress and apparent new muse Lady Gaga (who replaced the legendary Jessica Lange for season 5, Hotel) will be returning this season, along with series regular Angela Bassett, who reportedly may play a psychic. It has not yet been disclosed which of the other series regulars may return at this stage. Earlier this year FX president John Ladgraff stated that Season 6 will be set in the present day with flashbacks to the past and Murphy disclosed that the show’s writers were working on two ideas in terms of the theme.
Up to now, the only hint dropped regarding the new season has been the season logo – a combination of a “6” and a “?” in stark red. These new clips (revealed via Snapchat, collated and shared by Lady Gaga via Twitter) offer a little more to go on whilst maintaining a lot of mystery, but will no doubt be enough for horror expert fans to hazard guesses from. Fan theories are already circulating, one popular idea regarding a link to season 1, Murder House, and Michael, the surviving child of Vivian (Connie Britton) that was adopted by Constance (Jessica Lange) at the end of the season and already showing psychotic tendencies (as reported by EW).
While the second of the clips does allude to some sort of macabre child that could indeed be Michael, there are several other hints at play. The ominous, isolated farmhouse accompanied by the sound of a chainsaw and terrified scream suggest homage to the psycho/cannibal family horror sub-genre made prevalent by Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This is also in the subtext of that hook and scythe hanging from the mobile. The demonic looking hands grabbing at the girl’s ankles as she runs down the stairs could indicate any number of classic zombie movies – which is another genre the show is yet to explore to its full potential.
In addition to these subtle symbolic hints, there have also been rumors from a show ‘insider’ that the series would feature popular urban legend the Slender Man. It would also seem a wasted opportunity not to cover satanism in some way in the season of the dark lord’s favorite number! We at Screen Rant will keep you updated with any news and developments regarding American Horror Story season 6 and it’s possible themes as soon as it’s available.
American Horror Story will return to FX on September 14 2016.