So last night AHS returned with it's 5th season and this time it's set in a hotel. The Hotel Cortaz to be exact (Fictional hotel in LA, the same place where Season 1's story took place). When I first learned it would be in a hotel setting I was ecstatic. I kept thinking of all the legendary haunted hotels, and one in particular, The Cecil Hotel, stood out in my mind. I thought THAT would be the best template for this season. But I'm not a writer, so that is totally not the story we got. (Sidenote, SPOILERS will be in this blog). I actually didn't know what to expect from this season, so when I finally saw Episode 1, I was dumbfounded to say the least.
AHS: Hotel is about a hotel with horrible secret. The secret? People are being killed there in various crazy ways. The owner is a vampire with a bunch of little blond hair vampire kids she kidnapped over the years. A vampire? Yes, a vampire. Now let me say this...I'm ALL about vampires and I'm all about horror. But a vampire owning a hotel...a bit cliched but what else could happen? EVERYTHING could happen and EVERYTHING did happen last night. Early in the episode, this season showed on of the most disturbing 3 minute scenes I have ever witnessed. A male drug addict getting his fix is confronted by a latex wearing man with a metal penis and raped for about 3 minutes. While he's being raped he's crying and a woman is talking to him telling him if he says I love you, it will stop. All the while, you can still see this man literally fucking the hell out of dude in the mirror that's behind her. It wasn't overly graphic but it was excessive and unnecessary to me. It lasted two minutes too long. Let me explain.
First off I'm am NOT a trigger sensitive person. I have never been raped or abused, so this is not about that at all. Second, I'm a horror fan. I love scary movies, but I'm not a fan of slasher/horror porn (excessive use of blood & murder with no storyline). Third, it's not just about rape, I'm not a fan of the use of sex scenes as filler. That's basically what happened here. A rape scene lasting an excessive amount of time and not adding any substance to the story. It's rare for me to see any rape or sex scene in any movie or tv show and think "That really adds something of value to this." No, most of the time it's for shock value or just gratuitous and inserted for "entertainment." I GET IT. However, I watch horror shows to see horror. I watch dramatic shows for drama. I watch porn for sex. I am not trying to watch 4 or 5 sex scenes in a horror show that lasts 90 minutes with commercials. It's a turn off to the show if it doesn't add substance. This is why I stopped watching "True Blood." I just couldn't understand why each episode needed 5 sex scenes. Like I get it, they like to fuck...but they are vampires so go kill people.
It was disturbing. It was unsettling. That was Murphy's point. However in proving his point, he turned off a lot of people who tweeted about that particular scene non-stop. Many people put "trigger warning" in their tweets to warn others who hadn't watched the show yet. However, this is not the first rape scene in AHS. The first rape of a man but not the first one, which leads me to wonder why rape is necessary element in this series? In every season of AHS, a rape as occurred, and this is the second time I felt that it was used for shock value. Maybe in a few weeks it will make sense? However, the length of time the rape occurred? All for shock value. "It's provocative, it gets people thinking..." and it did make me think...and question why sex and rape is used unnecessarily? In the long run, the rape was a distraction from the story at hand. The scene happened 20 minutes into a 90 minute show and literally overshadowed anything else that happened (except the foursome scene, which was a few minutes too long too but held some relevance since that was the point where we find out Gaga and her lover are vampires). The guy doesn't even die after being raped. Murphy has stated that the rape is a metaphor for addiction. I can see what he's getting at but no. His explanation reminds me of the director of the Serbian Movie's explanation for its' use of sex and rapes. A metaphor? Metaphor's only work if people can make the connection between the two otherwise all people see is a man getting raped by a demon.
However, I digress...I did enjoy the aspects of the series OUTSIDE of the hotel. The story of Det. John Lowe and his search for a serial killer are is way more interesting to me than the vampire aspect. But of course, the episode ends with the Detective moving into the hotel after the killer told him about the hotel and he saw his kidnapped son in the hotel (SO MUCH IS GOING ON!!!). I just hope Murphy doesn't decide to rape more people unnecessarily for minutes at a time for the remainder of the season.