American Horror Story Season 10 Premiere Review: A Chilling Return to Form

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American Horror Story is back, and Double Feature is already shaping up to be the best season yet.

The Gardner family was your typical family at the top of American Horror Story Season 10 Episode 1.

They were all trying to reach goals to advance their lives, but by the end of American Horror Story Season 10 Episode 2, well, two of them were vampires, and the only sane one was being led to believe she was crazy.

Bickering Lovers - American Horror Story

After such a long wait, the jury was out about whether the series could recapture some of its former glory, and thankfully, it did.

If you watch American Horror Story online, you know the concept of vampires has been used in the franchise before, but everything about this take on them was chilling.

Finn Wittrock playing this struggling writer who gets the help he needs thanks to a pill crafted by an omniscient chemist, is the perfect way to introduce us to Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's vision of what happens in Provincetown when the summer months are over.

Lily Rabe as Doris Gardner - American Horror Story

Henry is an easy character to like, thanks largely to the fact that we saw his struggle to write. The visceral reaction to writing after taking the pill was astounding, but it can't be denied he's opened a can of worms that will upend his whole life.

Killing the man on the beach was the heel turn to confirm that he's officially a fang-toting blood-thirsty killer, but will all of it be worth it in the end?

It’s weird how it’s more sad when a cat gets run over than when a raccoon does.


The theme of success and how far you're willing to go to get it hangs heavily over American Horror Story Season 10, and all of the witty one-liners about how those in Hollywood allegedly accomplish their goals added to the immersion of the story.

Lily Rabe as Harry's struggling wife, Doris, was another solid casting choice, and it's hard not to feel sorry for Doris. She went from the high of getting to decorate this beautiful house in Provincetown in exchange for three months of free rent.

Evan Peters as Austin Sommers - American Horror Story

It sounds like the stuff of dreams, right? Something tells me Ursula has a big connection to Cape Cod, and she played a part in making sure Doris beat out the other hundred or so Instagram pages to get her writer into the town.

Ursula stands to make a pretty penny from Harry's success, and with the overall deal from Netflix knocking, there's a good chance she played a pivotal role in getting the Gardners into town.

KarenL Get the f–k out of here, f–ker!

Given the beach-like setting, the name Ursula also struck me as a nod to The Little Mermaid, something that may or may not be too out there for a show like American Horror Story. Time will tell, I guess.

Alma taking the drug was a surprise I did not expect, but it was a successful way to divide the Gardner family some more. It was unsettling to watch Doris go from the high of getting to renovate this house to being deemed the black sheep of the family.

Finn Wittrock as Harry Gardner - American Horror Story

Now that Alma is also a blood-sucker, it's worrisome to think about what Doris will have to endure next. Alma is happy enough feasting on animals, but she'll graduate to the humans with her father before long.

My concern is for the baby on the way.

Belle has proven she has no issues with feasting on babies, and that can't bode well for Doris and Harry's unborn child. We didn't get any indication of when the child is due, but there's a good chance that the child will arrive during the season's six-part "Red Tide" arc.

Get out of this town! They’re gonna munch on your balls!


Austin and Belle were memorable characters, which is great for Evan Peters and Frances Conroy, after returning to the franchise after some time away.

Austin and Belle being successful writers who took the pill to stockpile their writing during the winter months to enjoy the success in the summer months is a different approach, but it was obvious there was more to them than meets the eye the moment they sent the drink over to Harry.

Frances Conroy as Belle Noir - American Horror Story

They understood there was a struggling writer in their midst, and while I'm unsure whether they truly want to help him, it's a compelling hook for the rest of the episodes of this particular story.

Now that we know the pill scrambles the brains of people who don't have an artistic vision, it means we should probably be prepared for more characters to take it.

I just want the gristle and fat, bitch!


Macaulay Culkin is a great addition to the cast as Mickey, a man who gets some of the best dialogue to work with. I was immediately concerned Mickey would turn into one of the other creatures in town when he took the pill, but now that he's officially finishing the five screenplays he started, it makes me wonder what will be next for him.

Austin and Belle never seemed too fond of him, so there's a good chance Austin will steal the screenplays and reap the rewards of how great they are.

Macaulay Culkin as Mickey - American Horror Story

Mickey strikes me as a character who will never make it out of the town, and it could be because the people at the wheel of this operation are picking and choosing who gets the success.

At its core, American Horror Story: Double Feature is a story about success, gatekeepers, and everything in between.

If only the Garners had listened to Karen and escaped the city while they still could. Who would have thought the person everyone calls Tuberculosis Karen would have the most sense of all?

Don’t be jealous because I have inspiration and you can’t play f–king Paganini!


Like the others, Karen has her vices, but she's never going to be able to get over the fact she handed a baby to Belle for what she calls a snack between meals.

Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Alma Gardner - American Horror Story

American Horror Story: Double Feature is off to a convincing start, and if it keeps up the pace, it could emerge as the best season to date.

What did you think of the chilling new tale?

Are you convinced?

Hit the comments.

American Horror Story: Double Feature continues Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.

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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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