After over two dozen “misdirect” promos teasing the sixth season of FX’s American Horror Story were released and the subtitle and plot kept secret, the cryptic season premiered on Wednesday night, finally satisfying much of the creepy hype. Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series with Brad Falchuk appears to be a true-crime documentary called My Roanoke Nightmare.
Beginning with an “inspired by true events” tagline, it features sit-down interviews that include Matt (André Holland) and Shelby (Lily Rabe) sharing their story of buying a creepy 18th-century farm house in North Carolina at auction for $40,000 (their entire life savings) and then being terrorized. The narrative is recreated by actors playing them: Cuba Gooding Jr. as Matt and Sarah Paulson as Shelby.
Later, the couple are freaked out by numerous crazy events, blaming the sinister, racist hillbillies who warned them not to buy the property, including one dip-chewing guy played by Cher’s son, Chaz Bono. Matt’s sister Lee (Adina Porter), a former cop who lost her badge due to addiction, is called upon to protect them. (The fact that she’s played by badass Angela Bassett in the “flashback” is great.)
Plenty of freaky stuff goes down – skinned pigs, mysterious people with torches, Blair Witch-y footage and totems – that culminates in a scary woodland scene where Paulson is surrounded by a fearsome Kathy Bates. Bates appears to play a conjured settler woman spirit (or not?), with Lady Gaga behind her in witchy makeup in the teaser clip.
Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking, since so much is still unknown. If you missed Denis O’Hare, he’s the crazy guy in the very bizarro VHS footage. Evan Peters is apparently hidden somewhere in a scene (his name appeared in the credits), and he didn’t grow that Charles Manson beard for nothing. Watch the trailer for any other hints of what to expect from the latest WTF season.