American Horror Story: Asylum premieres tonight, with returning cast members Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe and Zachary Quinto joining James Cromwell, Chloe Sevigny, Joseph Fiennes and the always nice to look at Adam Levine.
We know it will be creepy and we know it will be confusing, and now, thanks to the critics, we know it was also be pretty good.
See what they had to say below, and come back for our recap tomorrow.
“American Horror Story represents one of those strange early-21st-century artifacts — a beautifully rendered exercise pretty enough to obscure how empty and hollow it is, fostering the illusion of deeper meaning. In that respect, this period drama is an appropriate symbol of our current media culture, where the lunatics often seem to be running the asylum.” – Variety
“Amputation. Bare bottoms. Canings. Electroshock treatment. Exorcisms. Nuns. Priests. Possession. Medical experiments. A serial killer who wears a mask made of his victims’ faces. Aliens. Stabbings. Racism. Homophobia. Wrongful imprisonment. Red lingerie. Masturbation. Nymphomania. Boston accents. This is an incomplete list of ingredients included in the first two episodes of the new season of the grandiose, gruesome goulash that is American Horror Story: Asylum, which returns Wednesday night on FX, and needless to say is back, way back. The excellent, ridiculous new season, like the last, brims over with feverishly campy horror tropes, but is both more controlled and subversive than the last outing. With one season of the anthology series behind it, creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are more confident: They know this will work. Watching, you feel like you’re in good — by which I mean deranged, perverse, melodramatic, bleeding — hands.” – Salon
“In the second season of what was earlier this year revealed to be not an anthology, rather than an ongoing series, creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk continue the excess of messy kills and melodramatic monologues, but it’s decidedly more sinister. Leaving the haunted corridors of the Harmon family home behind, American Horror Story: Asylum shifts to Briarcliff Manor, a mental institution in 1964 that’s filled with crazies, aliens, mad scientists, demon-possessed teenagers, and masked men wielding bloody ice picks. It’s Ryan Murphy’s Law: Any and all terrors that can be squeezed into 45 minutes will be. ” – Slant
“Call it a miniseries, which is how the first American Horror Story was described this year for Emmy consideration purposes, leading to 17 nominations. Call it an anthology show, as Murphy — also co-creator of Glee and The New Normal — has. Or call it what I’ve decided to call it: American Horror Story: Nun.0. All the updated labeling doesn’t change the fact that, two episodes in, this new Horror Story is nearly as depraved, unapologetically over the top and engrossing as the first season was.” – Washington Post
“The first two episodes of the second season of American Horror Story (Wed., Oct. 17 at 10 p.m. ET on FX) are a weird, queasy melange of sensuality, repression, terror and gruesome imagery. I quite enjoyed them.” – Huff Po