Hollywood@Home: American Horror Story-Asylum

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Something strange is going on at the asylum.  The second season of “American Horror Story” pushes the television envelope with its sex and horror content.

Zachary Quinto plays a psychiatrist on a mission to save some of the patients at a nightmare of an institution, run by the Catholic church.  Jessica Lange is Sister Jude, the nun in charge.  Joseph Fiennes is the Monsignor charged with the institution’s overall behavior.  And, James Cromwell is a doctor/surgeon who conducts secret experiments on the asylum’s inmates.  Sara Paulson is a reporter looking for a story and finds so much more when she breaches the institute’s walls.    Finally, Kit Walker plays a young man believed to be a particularly nasty serial killer called “Bloody Face.”  Quite a cast.

Although many elements of “American Horror Story: Asylum” have been seen before, the compilation is an original work of art.  Certainly, we know people who run mental hospitals in horror movies are an evil, sadistic lot.  Sister Jude knows how to inflict both physical and mental pain on anyone who crosses her.  But, is she the bad guy?  The best part of this series is that nothing is black and white.  The halls run red, but the characters are shades of gray.

“Asylum” is addictive.  I watched as many as five episodes in a single sitting.  The show grabs you, shocks you and keeps you guessing.  The only question left unanswered at season’s end is “Will Season 3 be half as good?”  Grade: B+

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