Being a movie guy, I don’t really watch a lot of television. But when I get addicted to a series, man, do I get addicted! And thank the Pop Culture Heavens (and Ryan Murphy) for my half-of-the-yearly dose of horror with possibly my favourite series EVER, American Horror Story. With two very successful and critically acclaimed seasons (“Murder House” and “Asylum”) behind them, “Horror Story” has provided us with shrieks of horror and entertainment in a way movies can’t now. As sad it is to say, it’s very rare for a horror movie to be good nowadays. Sure, the screams are still there but there’s hardly any substance. With “American Horror Story” we get amazing storytelling, exquisite acting, visuals and a mighty good time shaking in your tailbones as every episode goes by. For the first night of my Halloween Series this year, I will be counting down my Top 10 Most Bad-Ass Characters from the show, with exemption of Season 3’s Coven, which we will get to later.
1. SISTER JUDE (played by Jessica Lange) – The epitome of bad-assery comes in the form of the snarly, moral driven nun Sister Jude, played by Academy Award winner Jessica Lange. Sister Jude runs Briarcliffe Hospital, the setting of Season two’s twisted Boston Asylum. As Sister Jude lets God and her “good” morals pave her way to dealing with the sick patients at her mental hospital, we uncover Jude’s dark past, hypocritical behaviour, insecurities, strengths and weakness. What can be more human than that? But put the face on, act tough, cane people in the ass…and sterilise them, too. Now that’s bad ass.
2. TATE LANGDON (played by Evan Peters) – Effed up teenager, check. Mass murderer, check. Romeo with a big heart, check. Tate Langdon is probably one of the most misunderstood kids in television. Even as a “reformed badass” (so to speak), Tate’s actions are not something to look up to. But that awesome skeleton makeup, his eagerness to help the ones he loves, his drive to be a better person…and scaring the living daylights out of a coke whore bully with his demonic powers, takes the cake too.
3. SISTER MARY EUNICE (played by Lilly Rabe) – Some of the best acting ever done on the television show was from Lily Rabe. And her shining moment from all three of her “Horror Story” embodiments is most definitely Sister Mary Eunice. Often bullied by Sister Jude, Mary Eunice finds herself in the middle of the entire season as the main antagonist to some of the characters. Starting of as a young innocent nun, who ends up being possessed by the devil himself. And did I mention, her one liners aren’t only funny, but they’re bad ass too.
4. LANA WINTERS (played by Sarah Paulson) – Along with Lange’s Sister Jude, Lana Winters is the second female lead of Asylum. Her story is the starting and ending point of the entire series. Lana Winters is a ambitious journalist who ends up being locked away in Briarcliffe just because of a juicy expose she was trying to write. Winters then becomes what she fears the most: doing everything (AND I MEAN EVERYTHING) to survive. She is also probably the only person on this entire list who’s actions were mostly kind or redeeming (but that’s arguable, too…depends how you see it). But you gotta love her sassy, desperate and yet beloved character.
5. CONSTANCE LANGDON (played by Jessica Lange) – A second spot is reserved for another character played by Jessica Lange. This woman is hogging all the juicy roles, and rightfully so. The seasoned actress and ulitamate AHS alum plays Constance in season 1. She is the epitome of evil, sassy and selfish mother who acts based on personal advancement. The fact that she’s #2 badass Tate’s mom, is pretty awesome as well. Though Constance is only a supporting character in the first season “Murder House”, Jessica Lange became “AMERICAN HORROR STORY” because of this character, going on to win a SAG awards, a Globe and an Emmy for the sure. No wonder she headlined the next two seasons.
6. DR. OLIVER THREDSON (played by Zachary Quinto) – I promised someone I wouldn’t put spoilers on this post, but saying this is already spoiler enough. Convincing, psychopathic, creepy and very…well, artsy are ways I can describe Oliver Thredson. Quinto brings a whole lot of bad-assery to the television show and surprised me most with his acting and character development. Hold on to your hats if you haven’t seen Asylum yet, because Oliver Thredson will knock your socks off. And make you want to lock the door.
7. DR. ARTHUR ARDEN (played by James Cromwell) – The modern day Dr. Frankenstein exists in the series second season. Cromwell went on to win an Emmy for his gripping performance as well. Though Dr. Arden seems to be immersed in his personal doings in his lab (he likes to create f*d up human beings, claiming he’s experimenting ways to heal a certain disease, and is commissioned by the Monseigneur) he leaves a heavy mark on viewers for his supporting turn. Arden is full of himself and evil, though he’s the most human of the all (if that makes any sense). If you don’t then, “prepare to die”.
8. THE ANGEL OF DEATH (played by Frances Conroy) – I’m just gonna go ahead and say it, Frances Conroy really needs to have more screen time in this series. Yes, her characters are bad ass and amazing, but her acting runs miles around the subject material given to her. In Asylum, she plays The Angel of Death, who is basically just there to take you away at your brink of death (she makes such a small performance so mesmerising, that’s its depressing we don’t get to see her in every episode). Did I mention she’s a kind Angel of Death? Kindness is bad ass too if you didn’t know, cause at least she has the courtesy to ask you if you’re ready to go…and die.
9. MOIRA O’HARA (played by Frances Conroy & Alexandra Breckenridge) – One of the ghostly powers I never understood from Season 1’s Murder House was the power of housemaid Moira O’Hara. Yes, yes, I know that she can make herself look hot to men who want to disrespect women, as some form of revenge from her murder, but still. Moira is played by two actresses Francs Conroy and the young Alexandra Breckenridge. Though I question her power a lot, having young and old Moira is awesome. We get the very sexual, sassy eye candy character with the young Alexandra Breckenridge. And we get all the bitch-fights, sad parts and Emmy moments with Frances Conroy. So we all win.
10. THE RUBBER MAN (played by Dylan McDermont or Evan Peters or some random guy in a black suit or Alexander Sarsgaard or Zachary Quinto or a mannequin) – still the most iconic costume one can wear on Halloween that was introduced by American Horror Story is that of the Rubber Man. I’m not going to go into detail with why he’s significant to the haunting first season, because you need to watch it yourself. But damn, is that S&M costume a scary one or not? Anyone of the men in the cast who’s worn it becomes bad ass when they’re in the facade. Creepy. I wouldn’t want that walking around my house.
THE NEW HORROR STORY: COVEN – The new “American Horror Story” takes place in New Orleans, as we follow around the dramas of a Coven that teaches young witches how to hone their powers. Though this season seems to be campier then the first two, it’s actually pretty good. Things are beginning to really juice up. The third episode “The Replacements” was one of the biggest WTF episodes in “Horror Story” history. BUT IN A GOOD WAY. Catch up while you can because it’s fourth episode premieres in Manila this Thursday which is…shall I even say it? HALLOWEEN.
Thanks for reading the first part of CHINOMATOGRAPHY’S HORROR SERIES. Tomorrow we’ll be talking about HORROR THEMED COMEDY MOVIES. Come by tomorrow! Shoo! And watch some AHS.