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Why Does IT Have To Be Clowns: American Horror Story Review

Episode 71  “Election Night”
Written by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
Directed by Bradley Buecker

Every year there is a universal theme to horror. A fad that comes back around every few years or so. This year it is clowns, mother frigging clowns! Season 7 American Horror Story: Cult, doesn’t hold back on the clown love, literally. In case you are not aware, I am terrified of clowns. Not in the “uncontrollably-weep-and-scream” type of fear, more like the “kill-it-with-fire” fear. Don’t get me wrong, I have a few friends who actually make their living as clowns, and that’s all well and good for them. I don’t want to bash on the good clowns, but all you ball gag, razor teeth, three faced clowns, you can all burn. With that in mind, let’s dive in!

As clowns, shudder are the main horror theme to this season, it is only fitting that the scariest clown of all is the beginning to the premiere. Trump. President Trump. We open with the live feed of his cheesiness accepting the highly esteemed role. As the news is broadcasting we meet Ally (Sarah Paulson), her lesbian wife Ivy (Alison Pill), and their son Ozzy (Cooper Dodson). Can I just say right now, poor Ozzy. His mom, Ally, has a mental breakdown over the news of Trump’s takeover, and Ivy tries her hardest to calm her down. Immediately I can’t help but think, if you are going to write a horror story, make sure it is centered around the most neurotic, anxiety, phobic driven person in the country when Trump wins. It’s near perfect, and almost all too real.

Sarah Paulson as Ally Mayfair-Richards. (Frank Ockenfels/FX)

Meanwhile a blue haired Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) humps his television screaming USA to the news. Someone is a little too thrilled at the election. Kai coats himself in pureed Cheetos, and makes his way down the hall, past a locked door with a rose hanging from it. Creepy. I want to see who is inside!

Of course we don’t, though, but I’m laying money it’s his parents. I only guess this as he appears to be in a house that there is no way he can financially afford and because he joins his sister Winter (Billie Lourd) in her room. Winter is the exact opposite of her brother, while he sports his blue hair, she carries the silver granny do that actually looks quite appealing on her. Kai is all about the new president, where as Winter is terrified. They both share an unexplained pinky promise before we cut away to the opening credits.

A season about clowns would be woefully incomplete of course without our favorite AHS clown Twisty (John Carroll Lynch). Just as a young couple are about to do the horizontal tango in a park, Twisty shows up and makes a bloody mess out of them, leaving us with a close up shot of the female counterpart’s tongue ripped out. Definitely some symbolism going on here. Whether there will be more of Twisty has yet to be seen as the action fades into that of a comic book that Ozzy just so happens to be reading instead of sleeping. How a 7 year old, or somewhere in that age range, got a hold of that comic is beyond me, but Ally finds it and has a straight up panic attack.

Naturally, it isn’t explained why she has such a visceral fear of clowns, but man, do I really want to know. Time seems to progress but at what pace? It’s not certain, but Ally is not handling things well, and her phobias are coming out of the grain, nearly literally. She really hates holes now, anything with holes. Why? I really don’t know, just another unexplained phobia, that I’m sure we’ll discover later on and really regret ever wanting to know. At this point Ally starts to almost become that stereotype white privileged woman, who has to make everything about herself, and we begin to see that the writing of her character isn’t meant to be taken seriously. It’s actually almost humorous, in a cringy sort of way.

Kai, on the other hand, attends a council meeting arguing the need to bring fear to the masses in order for the real rulers to come forth and lead the country. Councilman Jon Chang, a friend to Ally and Ivy, shuts him down, and Kai walks away muttering about how a humiliated man is a dangerous man. What was the point of his tirade? I mean he had to know that it wasn’t actually going to be listened to, right? His debate had nothing to do with the actual subject of the matter in the first place. Is he just trying to weed through the weak minded leaders in order to take them out? Seems plausible.

Ally, on the other hand, is straight up losing her mind. On a lonely night trip to the grocery store, she is terrorized by five clowns, all with some sort of sexual reference, whether it be having sex in the produce, wearing a ball gag, or having three faces, each with the same XL dildo nose. She battles them off with bottles of wine, until she is able to make it to her car, where another clown awaits her in the back seat, causing her to crash her car into the parking lot light pole. Of course the only clerk (Chaz Bono) at the store that night never saw clowns, just Ally screaming and throwing bottles of wine in the aisles. Mind you, she had this attack shortly after hearing Trump’s acceptance speech on the radio. I have a theory, but we will get back to that later.

Kai, still feeling it his right to weed through the Un-American people, antagonizes a group of Mexican construction workers, with cultural slangs and songs, then pees into a condom, before throwing it at them, causing it to burst and soak them. Naturally, they all pummel the hell out of him while an unseen bystander records the incident.

Farther on the timeline, Ivy and Ally sit at their restaurant and have an awkward couple’s talk on Ally’s mental state, and Ivy needing her to woman up. Right on, sister! I understand it’s tough for Ally to be going through what she is, but she still has to try to be better instead of making excuses for it, and continuing on like she has. Ivy convinces her to come back to work at the restaurant, as Ally is the face, and she is the chef. Seeming like a happy couple once more, they walk outside and immediately are doused in a latte by none other than Kai.

Here’s where we get to the good stuff. Winter is hired as the nanny for Ozzy, but before she’s offered the position, we cut back to a time when she and Kai were locked in a pinky promise, and had to tell the truth. Winter confesses some of her more sadistic secrets, before admitting Kai terrifies her out of anyone else, and that she wishes to see all those who voted for Trump to die. These two are weirder than the twins from The Shining. They are hard to pin down and get a read on. You can’t really tell what their motives are or if you even like them. Right now they seem like chaotic 2D versions of themselves, and it leaves me wanting to know more about them. Thing is, they seem to have a weird interest in Ally and Ivy, so much so that when Winter is talking with Ozzy, she presses him hard on who his Dad is. Could Kai be his dad? …NAH! That’s crazy talk right? Right?

Having the opportunity for the first time in a long time, Ivy and Ally head out to a romantic dinner, where everything goes wrong. As Ivy is busy creating a five star meal, Ally is busy checking her Twitter feed, where she makes the comment “…stop tweeting…” we can only assume she is referring to Trump as realistically he has made some pretty…interesting tweets as of late and we all have had that same thought at one time or another. This is when she sees the clowns again and goes into full blown hysterics, running around the restaurant trying to find the masturabating terror.

This is where my theory comes into play. I do believe the clowns are actually there, but much like Pennywise from IT, as soon as the desired deed is done, it’s as if they were never there in the first place. It’s obvious that Trump is being symbolized as a clown in this season, which sets off Ally’s phobia, causing her to see them every time she encounters something regarding Trump. The sexualized part of the clowns comes from Trump’s blatant misogynistic approach toward women. Now this is all theory so please make up your own and feel free to share them, because I really want to see what everyone else thinks.

Anyways, Ivy does her best to calm Ally down but it’s evident she is losing patience and love for Ally at this point. They make their way home only to find their street covered in cop cars and ambulances. Naturally their first instinct is to find Ozzy, who thankfully is ok, but recounts the evening’s events. While the two moms had been away, Winter allowed Ozzy to watch real murders online. Who the hell lets kids see this stuff? WHY!? How could Ally and Ivy not have done a background check on this chick before allowing her to watch their child? I digress. So while Ozzy is trying to mentally stomach real murders, he hears a weird sound and looks outside to find an old ice cream truck, with the five clowns his mom saw before all staring up at his window. He grabs Winter, but by then, they have vanished.

Billie Lourd as Winter Richards (Frank Ockenfels/FX)

Screams are heard at the neighbors house and instead of calling the cops, Winter takes Ozzy over there and makes him watch what is happening. The neighbor just happens to be the councilman that humiliated Kai before. Yea that guy, he gets brutally stabbed by four of the clowns, while the fifth paints a smiley face in blood on the door. No one believes his story, however, as Winter created a more plausible story, that the Twisty comic book gave Ozzy the idea of it all. Where did she get the comic? How did she know it was there? What made her go looking for it in the first place? All very good questions, but none that will be answered. That night after everything has calmed down, Ally is asleep in her bed but is awoken by a noise, she turns to tell Ivy, but is met face to face with a clown, and then it cuts to credits.

NOPE! This whole season is going to be one big season of OH HELL NAW, and NOPES for me. I’m honestly surprised I was able to get to sleep at all that night, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some nights where I do stay up, checking under my bed, in the closet, for any sign of  painted face. I hope you all handle this season better than myself.


American Horror Story airs Tuesday nights 10/9c on FX in the US

One thought on “Why Does IT Have To Be Clowns: American Horror Story Review

  • Thanks for the recap! Every season, I like the idea of that particular AHS more than the actual execution!


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