I have a vested interest and highly subjective relationship with this season of AHS, as I thought of the concept a full 10-months before they did…
And in my version of US politics as horror, it would have hit a little harder and at both teams.
AHS Cult turns Trump’s “white nationalist” sympathizers into a literal cult, with clown heads and a supreme ruler, a twenty-something angry white male named Kai. In typical Hollywood pulp fashion, it veers away from reality to make it all about these particular characters and their quirky plights. It continues, however, to allude to the national political events even as it rewrites Jim Jones, Charles Manson, the woman who shot Andy Warhol, the Zodiac Killer, and even randomly throws in some of their former evil clowns for no discernible reason.
Yeah, it’s a bit of a mess. But, aren’t they all?
So, a pair of lesbians and their young son endure the Trumpocalypse, as a clown van full of murderers terrorize their small Michigan town. Piling twist after twist, the plot kind of jumps the shark midway, but that would require spoilers.
As with the series, and with long-form TV generally, the characters start to grow on you after living with them for a sufficient amount of screen time. They’re nasty, and yet all have vulnerabilities. No one is really in charge, kind of a metaphor for politics.
I only wish that they had used the opportunity to indict the real horrors coming out of Washington, the endless wars, millions of victims across the world and the smug willful ignorance of the majority about what their empire does to the world, even as they cry victim over every trivial slight. It could have impaled the audience, as well they deserve it. AHS Cult kind of tickled them instead, and isn’t that the real problem?