By the time horror anthology series American Horror Story had reached its fifth season, it was gaining speed in a saturated television industry by going places no TV show had gone before. With a talented core cast playing different roles each season and plots exploring some of the darkest horrors on mainstream television, American Horror Story had always stood out from the crowd, and Hotel managed to bring it to staggering new heights.
This season features a string of serial murders centred around the mystifying Hotel Cortez, and the strange characters that dwell within its walls. Alongside regulars like Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Denis O’Hare, the cast was becoming more and more star-studded with the reappearance of Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates, not forgetting that this was one of Lady Gaga’s first major acting credits.
Despite the season’s shaky writing that was just a little too similar to crime shows like Hannibal that were taking over the market, the sheer power of the season’s aesthetic keeps it among the firm favourites from the 9-season anthology. Glamour reigned supreme in the Hotel, and Lady Gaga’s vampire Countess was a legendary and quite frankly underappreciated moment in her career.
Like other seasons of American Horror Story, Hotel featured several LGBTQ+ characters but was equally criticised for having a cis male in the role of trans woman Liz Taylor. Although her story was undoubtedly well-written, this highlights a bigger problem in Hollywood and the lack of inclusivity in its casting choices.
American Horror Story: Hotel is available to watch on Netflix. You can watch the trailer below: