TV Snapshot: American Horror Story: Roanoke, Chapter 4 - Reviewed

“I know what I saw. It was real.” – Shelby Miller

As the mystery continues to unfold, Roanoke Chapter 4 goes straight for the jugular with violent and graphic imagery. Surprising viewers, Dr. Elias Cunningham passes on his research and data to the Miller’s hoping to shine light on their darkened path. With Flora still in the grasp of child ghost Pricilla, we watch The Butcher’s origin play out like something out of the Old Testament. Baring witness to the powers of what is described as “old magic,” Lady Gaga's character, who I’m calling “The Witch,” is a woman with "needs" of the fleshy sort and Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Matthew Miller is her focus. Surprisingly, these two misfits display excellent chemistry. I'm really excited to see how this plays out.

Cuba is making a big comeback—first as O.J. in The People v. O.J. Simpson, also from the mind of Ryan Murphy—and now dives head first into the controversial American Horror Story, falling comfortably in the role. It's no surprise, considering the man is an Oscar-winning actor, that he gels so well with the challenging material and cast. Likewise, Gooding Jr. and Sarah Paulson continue to play perfectly off of the severity of this story’s premise.

Unlike the slow burn of Chapter 3, 4 flies by, but you don’t miss anything. You can’t look away. The dense script is handled with care and precision. Virtually every element in the episode adds up to a dream of a production. Music is subtle in the correct areas, enough to give you chills, yet doesn’t overpower scenes and is loud in places without trying to prove to you it’s scary. Chapter 4 is a prime example of how you reel in your audience. AHS in general is how you do horror.

Though flashy with unnecessary shock and awe in some of the seasons, season 6 is a breath of fresh air as it week by week tells a story full of sadness, betrayal, passion, murder and the horror that comes from centuries of repressed emotions within people who have been wronged. Dedicated fans will certainly praise Roanoke and recommend it as a priority watch before other seasons. Roanoke shows how primitive and medieval people can be and it’s addicting.


- H