American Horror Story: Roanoke Chapter Two

4.7 Overall Score
Directing: 5/10
Writing : 2/10
Acting: 5/10

Story structure.

Everything else.


American Horror Story:  “Roanoke” –Chapter Two

Cuba Gooding Jr and Andre Holland as Matt
Sarah Paulson and Lilly Rabe as Shelly
Angela Bassett and Adina Porter as Lee
Dennis O’Hare as Elias Cunnigham
Kathy Bates as The Woman in The Road
Written by: Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk
Directed by: Michael Goi

American Horror Story created by Ryan Murphy


Shelly and Matt are a nice, middle-upper class interracial couple. He sells pharmaceuticals. She teaches yoga. They even avoid gluten. In the aftermath of a random violent crime that puts Matt in a coma and causes Shelly to lose their unborn child, they move to the Northern Carolinian countryside. There, the couple buys a centuries old farmhouse (by outbidding some odd locals)  surrounded by dozens of acres of dense forest. But what initially seems peaceful to Matt, is foreboding, threatening and ominous to Shelly. Soon, as this is, an American “horror” story , the weirdness starts, and terror once again enters their lives.

So we are two episodes in and not a whole has happened yet. The story continues along at a glacial pace. The cliches continue to abound.  Matt has a vision/dream that exposes a bit of the house’s history. It seems it was once used as a home for seniors and older folks, were the nursing staff murdered the patients in order to collect and not caretake. Those brief flashes were also not original, I seriously thought for a minute they were tying the story to season’s two, Asylum (I even thought it was actual footage from it; it wasn’t) .We can also add the overused trope of the young child talking and playing with an unseen force to that list of cliches. Like I said in my review of Chapter One, I really expect more from this show . Even at its lowest point in prior seasons, it was at least original. The structure continues to be the best part of the show. Even the actors (a great cast) are averagely phoning it in.

We are introduced to a new plot point/character and honestly that’s all the characters feel like this seasons, points on a plot chart. We meet Elias Cunningham (Denis O’Hare), a true crime author and university professor whose tape (again with the tapes!) the family finds. From the grainy footage, we learn that the wide-eyed, ungroomed, and disheveled Prof. Cunningham was a prior resident, who found the house so terrifying that he moved out to the cellar. Prof. in a cellar, we now check Evil Dead off the swipe list.

It’s sad when watching a show becomes laborious, especially in a genre like horror where you have so many options and chances to lighten the load. The show is just not fun, scary, or engaging. Maybe it’ll pick up, but AHS is usually ten episodes long. That means were are almost a 1/4 of the way in and I can barely describe what it’s about or what is going on, and not in a good Twin Peaks sort of way either. I’m just about ready to give up on Roanoke, and THAT the scariest part of it all.

American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesday nights on FX at 10pm. Check your local listings for channel number info. 



Author: Manny Gomez View all posts by
Manny Gomez is a freelance writer based out of Florida's west coast. He obsessively reads interviews, binge watches TV shows, loves comics, movies, punk rock, hip-hop, stand-up comedy, detective novels and the mythology of baseball. His best friend is a dog. Follow him on Twitter @Manny1138

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