American Horror Story: Asylum- Tricks and Treats Review

Photo Credit: http://www.rickey.org/american-horror-story-season-2-episode-2-video-preview-tricks-and-treats/

This week’s Halloween episode of American Horror Story: Asylum really jumped right into the scares; even before the horrifyingly perfect opening credits, we get two grisly murders. One in modern times, one in 1964. But by seemingly the same masked murderer.

I can only hope this isn’t the end for Adam Levine’s character, as the short clips with he and his wife have provided some of the most shocking and chilling scenes thus far, but it most certainly is the end of the road for Lana Winters’ lover…who was about to recant her admission of Lana’s mental instability just before she was killed. Lana continues to suffer under Sister Jude. The scene where Sister Jude and Dr. Harden restrain her and administer electro shock therapy is difficult to watch, disturbing in a much different way than anything in season one managed to be.

We’re introduced to Zachary Quinto’s character this week, Dr. Oliver Threadson, a court appointed psychiatrist sent there to evaluate Kit, whom he diagnoses with clinical insanity. When he confronts Sister Jude about the conditions of the facility and his various concerns, it’s clear that even though they portray vastly different characters this time around, he and Jessica Lange have the same great chemistry and a similarly tumultuous dynamic as they did in the first season.

A family arrives at Briarcliff asking for help with their son, who they believe to be possessed. Despite Dr. Threadson’s objections and insistance that he be treated with medication, an exorcism is decided upon. The Monseigneur asks the doctor to stay and oversee. The actual exorcism scene mirrors almost every movie ever made on the subject, but serves a very important purpose. Through the demon inhabiting the boy, Sister Jude’s shocking former life is revealed, as well as the fact that she once hit a young girl with her car while drunk driving and left her for dead. The boy dies, but when Sister Mary Eunice faints mysteriously, the audience is left to wonder if the damage done may be far worse than even his death.

Also during the exorcism ritual, the power goes out in the ward and the patients doors unlock. Lana and Grace have a developing friendship, and Lana has been trying to convince Grace to escape with her. It seems that this is their chance, but Grace’s connection with Kit is much stronger. Lana, still convinced that Kit is a psycopath and a killer, and refuses to help Kit escape, opting instead to call the orderlies and squash the entire operation, and what may have been their only chance to get out of the asylum where it’s relatively clear that none of the three belong.

Dr. Harden’s story takes a twisted and disturbing turn this week. He hires a prostitute, and forces her to dress up as a nun. She finds incriminating pictures in his room, implying that he is a murderer, but luckily the woman escapes before he has a chance to harm her. His infatuation with Sister Mary Eunice is also revealed. While he’s clearly an even more perverse character than we originally thought, it’s not completely clear whether he is the masked killer.

This week’s episode watched much more like a typical horror movie than last week and was slightly more predictable. It is quite a feat of the writers, though, that with such a huge ensemble cast and so many different plots going on, we have still seen so much character development in only two episodes. It is a vast departure from season one as far as scare tactics go; even though this episode contained a boy who was supposedly possessed by an evil demon, human cruelty and brutality continue to be the prominent horrors. Grade: B

One Response to American Horror Story: Asylum- Tricks and Treats Review

  1. JoLee says:

    I think that Dr. Oliver Thredson’s evaluation of Kit is an accurate one based on the time period. He is talking about aliens and he believes that his wife is still alive. Perhaps a clinical insanity case will help Kit in staying alive. As Grace pointed out in the first episode, being in jail is worse than being at Briarcliff. This is just one of the many reasons why my Hopper timer is set each week to catch another episode. My DISH co-workers were very creeped out by the exorcism scene and I can’t blame them because it was easily the scariest scene in the episode. The poor little boy Jed just couldn’t handle what the demon was doing to him when the exorcism was performed that he dies because of it. How no one noticed that it entered Sister Mary Eunice was strange, pretty creepy, and beyond me. The scene was very powerful and very disturbing. They definitely upper the scare factor with that scene.

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