American Horror Story Roanoke is the sixth season of the series and stars Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett. This season takes the viewer on a much different type of journey than the previous seasons. In this season we learn about a haunted house in a remote area. It used to be the site of a colony that mysteriously disappeared. The same colony referenced in Season 1. The season takes place in the current day and recounts the experiences of previous owners of the house.
Cinematography of American Horror Story Roanoke
This season is done significantly differently than all the previous seasons. For this season the story unfolds for the viewer as if you were watching a documentary. They present the story with interviews from the “real people” and then video re-enactments with “actors” representing those people and their story. This lasts for the first five episodes. After the initial story airs, we switch gears and it goes to more of a found footage, shot as we go kind of story. The producers of the “documentary” are planning season two where they plan to reunite the actors with the real people at Roanoke.
Normally found footage style is often done very poorly. In most cases, the camera is too shaky and it’s used as a way to conveniently leave out plot questions film makers don’t want to answer. Fortunately, this is less of a case for this season. There is some shaky camera work but for the most part it is stable. They also do not skimp on the story because it’s found footage. Overall, it’s pretty well done.
Tension & Scare Factor
American Horror Story Roanoke definitely has some shudder inducing moments. This season is a bit more gory and gruesome than some of the things they have shown us in previous seasons. The use of the cinematography style makes the violence shown feel more dirty and gritty. It lends it a more believable feel to the events. The tension build for this season is more on the cringe and gruesome measure than the jump or creepy kind. It’s nice for the series to continue to try a variety of types of scares to keep the show fresh.
The interesting things about this series is that as we go along, they continue to give us a sense of social commentary on a variety of issues. This season seemed to be more of a commentary of how the public is attracted to and responds to things that are terrible. They incorporate social media as well as how they portray the TV and film industry. Their depictions of the wildly unethical behavior of the TV producer in his quest for ratings can be seen as a commentary of the industry or simply as a plot device. Previous seasons have had a strong message on some social issues, such as Season 5 and their stance on gender expression or in Season 3 and how it addresses racism. The sensationalism of the murders in this season brings back our attention to the mass media fascination with violence. What does that say about us as a society?
American Horror Story continues to deliver at an interesting level for horror fans. They may not always be the scariest but they keep the story lines fresh and interesting. As they were able to do a successful documentary and found footage style we give this season 4 out of 5 bats.
Would You Stay at Roanoke?
American Horror Story Roanoke was another way to do a murderous ghost story. American Horror Story continues to be creative in their plot lines and the seasons are very slowly starting to link together. If you love horror and want to stay up to date on how the seasons are coming together, be sure to join your online community at Love of Gothic. Join our mailing list!