Season after season, American Horror Story has found new and different ways to creep out viewers with everything from haunted houses and mental patients to witches and circus performers. Now the show's co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy are prepared to join past creepfests like The Shining and 1408 in bringing the terror into hotel rooms everywhere.
The aptly dubbed American Horror Story: Hotel will feature the return of several longtime series stars, including Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson. However, the marketing campaign for this season has been placing an emphasis on the addition of pop star Lady Gaga as The Countess and the assortment of eerie characters that reside within the walls of her (not so pleasant) lodgings.
FX has now released another trailer for the upcoming batch of American Horror Story episodes; while there's still not much revealed as far as plot details, the footage definitely builds up the twisted atmosphere fans can expect from the Hotel Cortez (introducing the various cast members as similar 'cast trailers' have for AHS seasons past).
Taking viewers on a tour of the Hotel Cortez' seedy hallways, the trailer features blink-and-you'll-miss-them appearances from the new characters played by Matt Bomer (as Donovan, the Countess' lover for twenty years), as well as Bates (as Iris, Donovan's mother and a Hotel Cortez employee) and Paulson (as Hypodermic Sally, a junkie who's long resided at Hotel Cortez), along with brief appearances by a number of creatures glimpsed in previously-released AHS: Hotel teasers, like the Countess' "brood". Of course, this all culminates with the big reveal of the Countess herself (a ghostly-looking Lady Gaga in a wedding dress).
Considering that American Horror Story is now entering season 5, it's likely that viewers know by now if this kind of in-your-face, hyper-stylized brand of terror is something they're interested in tuning in for. For those who are invested in the series' theatrical tone and bizarre characters, this footage will likely only whet their appetite for the show's return. It also suggests Hotel won't exactly "reinvent" the AHS formula, as promised.
The show's anthology format allows for the continual introduction of new characters and settings, but Gaga and the AHS brand seem like a pretty perfect fit, right off the bat. Gaga's offbeat, shock-laden performance style perfectly meshes with the vibe of American Horror Story, and she brings a devoted fanbase of her own to the show. Whether or not the coming Hotel season will manage to overcome the shortcomings of AHS seasons past as a result, that's another matter.
American Horror Story: Hotel premieres Wednesday, October 7 at 10pm on FX.