American Horror Story: 6.06 Chapter Six
Things become incredibly meta in this episode. It has become a show within a show within a show. Creators Bard Falchuk and Ryan Murphy seem to have an endless source inspiration of unique ideas when it comes to American Horror Story. One would have thought everything concluded with the Matt and Shelby plot at the end of previous chapter, where our couple along with Lee and her daughter Flora managed to safely escape. But then here comes episode six which gives us an unexpected but also an obviously logical progression to their story; something I totally didn’t see coming.
The focus now is a behind the scenes of the making of the interview/ live scene re-enactment documentary. The 'show' which we’ve been watching in the last five episodes has become the biggest successful TV show of 2015 with the actors and the real life interviewees becoming mini celebrities. Banking on the tremendous success of the show, the power hungry producer Sydney James played by Cheyenne Jackson, comes up with the idea of bringing the actors and the real life Matt, Shelby and Lee to stay at the house and filming them over a three day period. The filming would take place over the red moon season in October, a weird gap in the yearly calendar where the spirits in the forest can physically kill humans.
Sydney has a camera follow him around, filming everything as he tries to get the show off the ground. It is through this cameraman’s eyes that we see all events unfolding. The whole thing has this jerky handheld camera type filming which people may have seen been before from pseudo real life documentary styled horror films, such as Paranormal Activity or Cloverfield. This style shooting is not something new, nor is the interview style documentary seen in prior episodes, nonetheless putting everything together in this fashion and interlinking them in a continuous narrative is new and refreshing and it all comes together perfectly.
Real life Matt and Shelby have since separated; Shelby seems to have had some sort of discrepancy with the actor that played Matt. Sarah Paulson’s re-enacted Shelby is actually a British actress, her accent is a bit touch and go, she has hooked up with a younger actor Rory Monahan who plays Edward Phillip Mott, both played by Evan Peters. Kathy Bates’ The Butcher, who is played by the actress Agnes Mary Winstead, became so obsessed with her character she developed schizoaffective disorder, we see footage of her in colonial clothing attacking tourists on the streets of Hollywood.
Despite all the numerous changes, the episode remains easy to follow. Predictably things will become more complicated; I would imagine Murphy and Falchuk relish in confusing viewers, distorting narratives and mixing up their characters, as they have done so far. We are forced to watch these familiar faces which we identified with, transform from one episode to the next to these complete different personalities; who by the way all appear to be these affected, self absorbed wannabees.
As the episode nears its end, and shooting at the house starts, viewers are told through text on the screen that all the crew and cast has died over the course of three-day shoot apart from one person. It was also stated that the show did not manage to complete filming and the footage was never aired. Furthermore, before any of the cast members turn up at the house, two of the crew members on set are killed by freak accidents, suggesting that these supernatural forces present in the forest, are probably even more real and even more deadly than before. So now we know for sure that horrific stuff is about to descend in the next episode, but then again that’s always to be expected with American Horror Story!