American Horror Story- The New Season Is Full Of Phobias And Manipulation

American Horror Story- the new season is full of phobias and manipulation

Maybe some of you have never heard of it. American Horror Story  is an American television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. The series is not a sequel to the previous seasons. Each season always has a completely different and self-contained storyline. There is also not much reference to the previous seasons.

But it’s true that there aren’t many changes to the main actors, especially until the fifth season. So the actors are more or less the same. They play different roles from one season to the next.

American Horror Story gives the viewer some freedom. So they can choose in which order they watch the seasons. The viewers can even skip a season, if they don’t find it very interesting. But the most loyal followers watch the full seasons. They enjoy watching it year after year. In this way they also discover the small connections that exist between the different seasons.

American Horror Story, somewhere between reality and fiction

As the name suggests, American Horror Story uses real and made-up stories from American folk culture. They transform it into stories full of horror. So far they have addressed various cultural and historical references such as:

  • The World of Cinema: The fourth season is titled Freak Show which is a reference to the movie  Freaks  (1932).
  • Popular American folklore with characters like Piggy Man, who appears in Murder House and in Roanoke.
  • Ancient legends like the old vanished colony of Roanoke.
  • Well-known crimes, such as the Black Dahlia, a crime that is still unsolved and has inspired numerous films, series and so on.
  • Serial killers like  Aileen WournosJohn Wayne Gacy or the  Zodiac Killer .

This year, we’re dealing with a season that’s completely different, and with a completely different cast of actors. Still, two veterans remain on the cast – Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson.

American Horror Story, the cult

American Horror Story got us used to watching supernatural events. We witness souls seeking revenge, haunted houses, and so on. But this seventh season contains nothing paranormal. Obviously, Sister Jude (Jessica Lange in Asylum) wasn’t wrong when she famously uttered the phrase “all monsters are human.”

In this season we witness how humanity degenerates in the most terrifying way. Everything starts in a charged atmosphere on the day of the last election in the United States. Trump won and became president. As it turns out, politics will be one of the central themes of the season.

We have been warned that we will therefore be dealing with a season that is different from normal. This is the second time the series has been “tuned differently”. The first time was with the Freak Show. Also in that season the supernatural was not really relevant. The trailers are really special. Because we see references to trypophobia (the fear of objects with small holes), clowns and masks of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The Dangers of Fear and Manipulation

This is a controversial season that has received a lot of criticism. But it is also one of the most profound. Because this season, among other things, the manipulation by the media is highlighted. Moreover, it seems as if the series is trying to show us how our society resembles a circus of clowns in certain areas.

Our fears and phobias sometimes become our worst enemy. We see this clearly in the character of Ally (Sarah Paulson). The series begins with a focus on her phobias, trypophobia and coulrophobia (the fear of clowns). We see how they affect her daily life, her partner and his son. But in American Horror Story, nothing is what it seems. As always, there is a twist in the story and it takes a totally unexpected turn.

The character Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) is at the center of the action. In the beginning we see him as a very intelligent young man, with an amazing ability to manipulate others. He also has very radical political ideas, which push him to form some sort of sect or cult. Little by little we discover how this character uses the fears and insecurities of other people to achieve his goals.

Character development

We witness an incredible development in the characters. As the series progresses, they really all go through numerous changes one by one. Among those changes, the stories of Kai and Ally stand out. While one regains his sanity, it seems as if the other is losing his mind. When one is vulnerable, the other is strong.

The episode ‘AHS:Cult’ clearly shows us the dangers of cults and the influence of their leaders. It provides really good representations of their personalities. Moreover, it shows how the most insecure and vulnerable people are their favorite victims.

The members of the cult are also not called by their real names but have a nickname. In this way, Kai deprives his followers of their own identity.

But at any moment, things can take an unexpected turn. Each character can suddenly become more vulnerable depending on the circumstances. In turn, they undergo the manipulation from which it is very difficult to escape

Creating a Leader

The cult’s themes contain constant allusions to other well-known cult leaders. These include some of the most infamous suicide treaties in history. It features Jim Jones  and his “Drinking the Kool-Aid” scene, as does  Marshall Applewhite  and his cult Heaven’s Gate. Also,  David Koresh,  leader of the Davidians comes up.

But the most notable in all of these themes is Charles Manson who is known for his cult ‘The Family’. He staged one of the most infamous murders in history. We’re talking about the murder of  Sharon Tate,  the wife of director  Roman Polanski. She was also pregnant at the time of the murder. The series recreates her murder and leaves the viewer speechless.

Kai tells the stories about these famous leaders. It is Evan Peters himself who is responsible for the interpretation. Kai sees these people as some of the great men in history. According to him, they had many great ideas. He idealizes them and tries to imitate them. But he is also very critical and analyzes the causes of their failures. Throughout the series, he tries to paint a better picture of all these leaders. They inspire him but he tries to make them better and perfect them.


Kai’s thoughts draw inspiration from the lives of the leaders but also from his own experience. Through flashbacks we relive critical moments in Kai’s life. They lead us to believe that maybe behind this narcissistic personality was another person who had suffered and was also a victim. This description immediately makes us think. Each of us chooses how to deal with adversity. We all choose how we deal with our fears and how we overcome them. In American Horror Story: Cult, Kai becomes an extremely narcissistic misogynist. In the cult, he treats women as totally inferior.

However, this rivalry between men and women is reaching its zenith. Suddenly we see a world that is hostile to misogyny. In this world we are Valerie Solanas and her SCUM Manifesto, along with her attempt to kill Andy Warhol. So there is no lack of violence in the series. This has always been the case, but now we get to see it from a completely different perspective. We see the worst side of humanity. This makes us think about the manipulation with which we live every day that comes from the media and from the current political systems. Especially the American system.

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