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4.6 out of 5 stars158
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 12 December 2014
Whereas the first season dealt exclusively with ghosts, in season two of AHS the writers have seemingly had some sort of confidence boost as the show is needlessly stuffed with all the usual horror tropes of demonic possessions, Nazis, human experimentation, alien abductions, serial killers and even the devil himself. Despite the unnecessary amount of additions, it is a testament to American Horror Story that it is still able to land on its own two feet and provide a perfectly enjoyable, engaging, addicting, and above all frightening season. Where most shows would collapse under this level of ambition, AHS seems to utilise it to create its own brand of pure weirdness.
Jessica Lange is easily the highlight as Sister Jude, the story arc of her character being particularly impressive, and I was surprisingly moved by the series on multiple occasions. Evan Peters is also given a very different role to play in contrast to the psychopathic Tate, and the cast in general seem to flourish here more than in the first season.
In terms of story, the amount of sub plots all seem to drown out the main plot, and a less-is-more approach would have been much more effective. Whilst it certainly suffers from trying to hard on numerous occasions, and the horror is as over-the-top as you might expect, this season is a considerably darker entry in the series, in many ways an improvement over season 1, but it still has its flaws.
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on 18 December 2015
I was unsure about the American Horror story series, but decided to treat myself to the box set after reading the reviews. I did not really take to the first series at all, which is set in a haunted house. Despite a strong cast, it simply wasn't scary enough for my liking. The stories are weak with some rather silly ghosts throughout the episodes. It also has more of a poor 'Twilight Zone' feel to it, than a good horror story. Perhaps I should have given the first series one more go before throwing the towel in.

The writers of Asylum however, have certainly got the series back on track. The concept of having a doctor with his own horryfying agenda, trying his darndest to conceal his sinister past, alongside the main sister in charge, fighting with her own personal demons - brilliantly performed by James Cromwell and Jessica Lange - adds a whole new dimension to the series. Add this to the other dirsturbing sub plots about the strange shenanigans of the staff and patients in the asylum, run by the strict Catholic Church during the 60s, and it sure makes for compulsive viewing.

I won't give too much away, but it has plenty of genuine scares, lots of dark twists and turns, with a little bit of sadism thrown in along the way! Look out too for a great performance by Lily Rabe, who plays a 'good girl gone bad' as the sassy Sister Mary Eunice! Yes, it can be a little bit over-the-top at times (which series isn't?), but I would definitely watch this series again and recommend this one.
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on 10 June 2013
*Minor Plot Spoilers*

Season 2 is a huge improvement from the ghost story of season 1. Not to trash the meticulous craftsmanship and brilliant acting of the original, but, the problem there was substantial: Not one character to root for or engage with on an emotional level. AHS: ASYLUM, on the other hand, provides several sympathetic "heroes," wonderful villains and is so deeply moving by the end, it becomes an unforgettable drama-thriller classic.

Of course, you get plenty of "nut-house" chills (including two very intense scenes of electro-shock treatment), but the show-makers wisely don't confine this chapter to the ground. Many other horror tropes play supporting roles: Aliens, mutated cannibals, Nazis and the big baddie himself, that's right, The Devil.

It all works perfectly and the actors and writers all deserve awards. Bring on season 3: COVEN!!
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on 18 November 2014
This is another brilliant series , dark, twisted, exploring repressed sexuality, desire, lust, murder and all thats inbetween. Jessica lange really excels herself here, this is brilliant tv, dripping in brilliance and blood and mystery.
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on 6 January 2014
Can't begin to explain how amazing this is! For me it's one of those that you have to watch a few times to fully understand but it's great. The storyline is once again amazing. I thought the first season was great but this is even better. All the actors actresses are amazing and it definitely deserves more than 5 stars. I definitely recommend!
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on 24 November 2012
The second season of this show was just as good as the first, in my opinion. But in a completely different way. Whereas the first season was relatively creepier in a ghostly horror sense, this season is more psychological. As the title suggests, it's set in an asylum. There are two timelines: one set in the 60's, and one set in present day. The two are connected by a serial killer named Bloody Face, who makes an appearance in both decades.

I've loved how season two was set up to be a completely different story than the first. It gave some of my favourite actors from the first season - Jessica Lange and Zachary Quinto being amongst them - the chance to come back and show off their range and skills by playing new characters. Jessica Lange in particular is really standing out this season. Last season I felt her character was just kind of there, but in Asylum she is by far the best. I wouldn't be surprised if she was nominated for an award for talking about a squirrel.

There are few lighter moments, though, and it seems as though the writers are going all out with the disturbing shock factor this year. Many scenes are incredibly uncomfortable to watch, and I often found myself wondering why I continued to watch this show. This season definitely isn't for everyone, even those who adored season one.

I do really enjoy watching for the most part, though. I love the mystery and the horror aspect in general. There are so many storylines this season, including: aliens, asylums, demons, a serial killer, zombies, Nazi experiments... the list goes on. They all somehow tie in together and part of the fun is trying to figure out how they do that.

Oh, and we get to see Evan Peters' butt. That's a plus, right?
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Many from Season 1 are here - different time, different place, different roles. Excited by the new challenges, the cast hopes to form a television repertory company for a long running series of shockers.

Here they pull out all the stops to scare. Briarcliff Asylum is run by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange in a virtuoso performance). She does not believe in mental illness, only sin - this to be beaten out of inmates with canes from her extensive collection. Meanwhile sinister Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) conducts gruesome experiments resulting in deaths or at the very least mutilations. New arrivals are young Kit Walker, accused of skinning his victims, lesbian reporter Lana Winters who only came to write an article. Hopefully horrified visiting Dr.Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto) will expose what is going on. (Perhaps not!)

Thirteen episodes, they best watched when not eating or sipping, as some startling moments may result in cleaning up to do. Exorcism, crucifixion, amputations, electric "therapy", drilling into brains - all will disturb. Add guest star Ian McShane with a unique way of acknowledging Christmas, not to mention Frances Conroy as a chilling black-winged Angel of Death. Also there are aliens (but this aspect seems to peter out).

All the way through there are reminders of scary movies, the aim to cram in as many as possible. Addicts will have fun counting them up.

To be honest, I felt Episode 11 somewhat cobbled together, the following two rather awkwardly striving to round off several storylines. There is no denying, though, the creators do exactly what they set out to do - the result unnerving, especially when episodes are watched in quick succession.

The bonuses are well worth a look. Interesting features explore the set and the creatures it houses. Cast members frankly discuss their roles.

Fans of the genre should be more than satisfied.
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on 7 January 2013
The first series was good. It meandered at times, but it also had some genuinely brilliant moments in it. Season 2 is very much the same, except it meanders much less, and the genuinely brilliant moments come thick and fast.

There are so many different horror stories and genres covered, all entwined to produce a compelling second series. Even genres you think have been exhausted over the years pack a big punch, such as the serial killer central thread, and there is an excellent exorcism sequence.

Highly recommended for horror fans everywhere!
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on 17 June 2014
If you have seen any of the other American Horror Story seasons then this is a MUST SEE! Its gripping and touching and a little bit messed up! Its worth watching just for Jessica Lange! BUY IT!
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on 19 December 2014
This would be even better if my wife would stop walking into the room after 35 minutes and telling me how gory it is.


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