Plenty of creepy and strange events went on in this year’s season opener to American Horror Story including throat-slashing murders, blood-sucking children and blood-soaked orgies. Tuck into our first American Horror Story: Hotel recap – full of gruesome, shocking and terrifying fun.
Welcome to Hotel Cortez, where guests (like New Girl’s Max Greenfield) get raped by drills and tormented by alleged spirits and there are more than just a few reminders of Stephen King’s The Shining.
We’re introduced to Hotel Cortez when two female European tourists arrive and are (not so warmly) welcomed by a creepy front desk lady named Iris (Kathy Bates). After making an ever-appropriate comment that the place feels like a tomb, the girls begin to hear strange noises coming from the hotel bed which encourages them to rip open what looks like a stitched-up mattress.
To their surprise, a demon-looking creature crawls out and terrorizes them. The bed bugs really do bite.
The girls also come across ghostly-looking kids living in the hotel (who may be abductees) that happen to have a taste for blood.
Things really kick up a notch when a drug addict (Greenfield) checks in, looking for a place to get high. The poor soul barely gets a moment to himself before ghosts start picking on him and a Faceless Man rapes him with a drill, soon resulting in his death.
There was a pretty memorable sex scene in Wednesday night’s season premiere, and it featured none other than Lady Gaga (the Countess) and Matthew Bomer (Donovan) getting it on with another couple. The sexy scene turns graphic and gruesome when the Countess and Donovan slash their playmates’ throats and drink their blood, leaving them dead in blood-soaked, satin sheets. Are they vampires? Nothing’s certain yet. Lady Gaga made an impact, that’s for sure!
The European tourists also meet a ghastly fate when Iris force-feeds them with a mixture of oysters, chicken livers and other gross things in order to “flush their system”.
Sarah Paulson plays junkie, Hypodermic Sally who lets one of the girls escape. It’s also made clear that she and Iris aren’t particularly fond of each other. The victim manages to run as far as the lobby before the Countess appears, cuts her off and slashes her across the throat with a sharpened finger nail. Fierce, Gaga, fierce!
But naturally, the show must have a hero. This one comes in the form of Detective John Lowe (Wes Bentley), a cop with a naturally dark and dismal past. He visits the Cortez after receiving a mysterious phone call from someone claiming to be the killer in an ongoing murder investigation. Not much happens, and Lowe takes a nap at the hotel (because that’s totally normal when you suspect a killer is around, right?) before he is woken in the middle of the night and leaves.
Soon after, he is seen out with his daughter having sushi, when suddenly he receives another ominous phone call. This time he’s led to a large house where yet another grisly murder is discovered. But as if that wasn’t enough, we also learn that Lowe’s son, Holden, went missing back in 2010 (he was last seen at a carnival no less), and it seems he may just be one of the ghost children over at Hotel Cortez…
With everything going on, we didn’t even realize that the hotel was up for sale. It turns out it was sold to new owner, Will Drake (Cheyenne Jackson), who promptly moves in with his son Lachlan in tow. Unfortunately, young Lachlan is soon lured away by the Countess to a mysterious room of toys and candy that looks like something Willy Wonka created. The ghost children and Holden are there, so what will become of poor Lachlan?
We’re shown a flashback of Hypodermic Sally’s death. It turns out that Iris is Donovan’s mom. We learn that Sally got Donovan into drugs. Iris tried to stop the drug session but found her son unresponsive. She then shoved Sally out of a window and killed her. The junkie is a ghost, so it seems.
Iris returns to find her son and is surprised to see the Countess sitting with his body.
All in all, it was a solid if not extremely campy start to the season. It’s hard to tell just yet whether or not everything will be connected, but as long as the writers don’t try to throw too many story lines into Hotel, it will be far better than last year’s American Horror Story: Freak Show. Even so, Lady Gaga may be very compelling to watch, but it sure would be nice if Jessica Lange decided to check in.
Next Episode: Chutes and Ladders