'American Horror Story: Hotel' makes all your vacation nightmares come true
Expectations for a hotel stay are simple: clean rooms, free wifi, all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. Don't count on any of these amenities in Ryan Murphy's next installment of American Horror Story: Hotel.
Hotel has a "Hotel California" feel with nods to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and Dante's Inferno. And with a 10 commandments-inspired serial killer on the loose, a touch of Seven.
This season revolves around the beautiful, art-deco-style Hotel Cortez and its tortured inhabitants. Everything and everyone bows down to AHS newcomer Lady Gaga's character, the Countess. The many at her beckon call include her lover, Donovan (Matt Bomer), his mother/front desk clerk, Iris (Kathy Bates), token druggie, Sally (Sarah Paulson) and the elegant cross-dress, Liz Taylor (Denis O'Hare).
Interestingly, fans have been speculating on this season's influences by tracing the story of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel in L.A. Footage shows a young woman behaving peculiarly in one of the Cecil's elevators. After her agitation with the elevator was captured, she just disappeared. Lam's body was found in the hotel's water tank two weeks later, and no one could figure out how she got there. The Cecil Hotel also housed notorious serial killers Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger at one point.
FX gave us the opening credits sequence just a few days ago, and it teases to the bloodshed and gore yet to come. AHS's trademark scratchy music melds with some elevator-music-style cords. Viewers only get flashes of gruesome acts through fish-eye lenses and hotel room peep holes.
The opening credits show guests being dragged into mattresses and popping out of them with plenty of ghostly children running the halls. And there will be blood. Lots of it. Along with odes to the Ten Commandments and the brutal nature of addiction.
Speaking of addiction, co-creator Murphy noted in a few recent interviews just how much this season is toeing the line when it comes to its graphic nature. One of the most disturbing scenes in the series so far will involve the Addiction Demon, a melted-faced monster with a drill bit, um, sex toy where his normal parts should be. Already seen in teasers, the Addiction Demon will make Rubber Man and Bloody Face look like care bears.
The season premiere of American Horror Story: Hotel airs tonight on FX at 9 p.m.