American Horror Story-Hotel – Season 5

I know American Horror Story season 5 completed several months ago, but I didn’t get a chance to watch it and with season 6 underway, I wanted to see what I missed. So it was time for a tv watching bender and while each season has been very good, I thought season 5 had some real interesting aspects to it.

There are true life elements woven into the different AHS stories, but season 5 really went after that. The hotel was based on the Hotel Cecil, which has a damn sketchy past. Serial killers did indeed call the place home, including Richard Ramirez – The Nightstalker. There was also a pretty grim discovery of a body in the water tank that was found because guests said the water was iscolored and tasted foul. That is all manner of wrong.

While the actual Hotel Cecil didn’t have the rooms, vaults and corridors as depicted, there was a certain hotel that did. It was based in Chicago and was run by H. H. Holmes. The Hotel Cortez even has the infamous vault, body chutes and furnace in the basement. The time period is different, but James Patrick March is Holmes, even down to "getting rid" of workman so no one would know the overall layout of the building.

We also have several real life serials killers that linger and show up for Devil’s Night. It’s a pretty nasty brood at the dinner table as they try to bring John into the fold. Bringing all those elements together made for intriguing and incredibly creepy stories.

It’s a variety of stories of themes, such as ghosts, vampires, killing sprees and the paranormal. But interestingly, a few threads come through about the meaning of relationships. Amidst the throat slashing, you have people trying to discover how to be in relationships and in love. And odd setting to be sure, but that just adds to the overall bizarre nature of it all.

There are also connections back to the first American Horror Story with psychic Billy Dean and Queenie. Queenie only makes a short appearance, but long enough for her voodoo skills to be consumed in an attempt to unseat the Countess. And we have Billy Dean, who comes to the hotel for Devil’s Night in a chance to talk with John about his crimes and why he did them. She is then treated to a host of holy horrors and takes a seat with serial killers from the past. This may put her off communicating with the spirit world for good.

Or does it?

As we jump into season 6, it feels as though we are watching a paranormal investigation re-enactment. Is Billy Dean just off camera getting the story of the events that took place? Will this lead to an investigation of the house? From there, will we be treated to an investigation of the Murder House from season 1?

That remains to be seen, but Season 5 was riveting. While more violent than other seasons, I was  more compelled to get to the next episode to find out what was going on. I would then say Season 3 was my next favorite with it’s witches and fascinating characters.

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