‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ review: Exorcising demons

While we criticized the season premiere of “American Horror Story: Asylum” last week for not being particularly heavy on the “horror” side of things, we have to say this time around that what we saw on the screen was particularly terrifying. While Ryan Murphy has already moved away from the idea of real-life terror here, he did create an episode that combined some of the most frightening imagery in the horror genre: from demons to men in masks to reasons to not be left alone at night. We’re going to need to go watch something funny after this one to keep the nightmares at bay.

The scariest part of all at the moment is that there really does not appear to be any way out for most of these characters. Lana ruined an escape plot thanks to the idea of Kit coming along with her, and thanks to her selling him out, we have a feeling that she has lost what few allies that she has. The only real source of good energy left in the building is Zachary Quinto’s character of the psychiatrist, but even he seems to be particularly helpless for some sort of odd reason. (We would have gone out of here and reported this in a second.)

Strangely, though, the most horrifying person on this entire show seems to be one of the people overseeing the whole operation in James Cromwell’s Arden. What a brilliant performance this is, as this man seems to be completely hollow on the inside when it comes to possessing even a remote amount of sympathy or any other human emotion. He showed what his innermost obsession was during a scene with a prostitute this week, but we also saw just what we does to people who do not follow orders.

The only real issue through all of this is that while there were some shifts for the characters, we’re not really sure that the story really moved forward at all. We still don’t know if Kit is really innocent, if Sister Jude (who has quite the backstory) will ever lighten up, or if Jenna Dewan Tatum ever gets out of this place alive in the modern day. (We’re not so hopeful on Adam Levine.) We’ll keep watching, but we may need to turn some more lights on next time.

Did you find this episode even more terrifying than the first?

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