Review: American Horror Story - Asylum Premiere

Last night's return of American Horror Story was perhaps our most anticipated TV event since the return of Dallas earlier this year, and it's safe to say that Ryan Murphy's horror drama lived up to our high expectations.

Of course things are very different now, the setting has moved from the eerie Harmon family home, to the equally terrifying Briarcliff Institute. As well as this, we have the return of several of the key players from the previous series but in different roles. This is a genius move - keeping things fresh as well as reuniting us with the stellar actors of the first series (we're talking to you Jessica Lange). So here is the Silver Screen Slags run-through of the first episode and our thoughts on what could develop throughout the season.

The Lange
The AHS team know what viewers want, and by that we meet lots of powerhouse scene-chewing from the magnificent Jessica Lange. Lange's Sister Jude keeps a tight leash over the Institute - terrifying both the timid nuns and the damaged inmates, who would want to mess with a demented nun with a cane? We've already seen some hints that Sister Jude has some *ahem* sinful desires relating to her superior Monsignor Howard (Joseph Fiennes) and knows how to work a red velvet nightdress - so we are extremely excited to see how this pans out.

Evan Peters
Evan Peters never really made a huge impression on us in the first season of AHS, but this seems all set to change in Asylum. We're immediately compassionate towards Peters' Kit Walker - after all, he's has been "wrongfully" accused of being a notorious lady killer (not in the charming way), Bloody Face. Young Kit is insistent that he was abducted by aliens who murdered several women, including his wife? Yes, AHS has aliens now.

The Aliens
Don't worry, AHS hasn't drawn too much inspiration from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and these creatures are being handled in a very 'horror-based' way. Occasional glimpses of spindly alien fingers and white operating tables, are enough to leave most of the work to our imaginations.

A Bald and Bearded James Cromwell
The addition of the legendary James Cromwell to the AHS cast was a complete surprise. The Space Cowboys star has slipped into the role of the Institute's medic, Dr. Arden who loves to operate on patients without anesthetic. There is immediately some tension between Sister Jude and Arden, and it seems we will have an intriguing theme of Science vs. Religion running between the two characters.

Chloe "The Nymphomaniac" Sevigny
Chloe Sevigny popped up as oversexed inmate, Shelley, last night and proved to be the chief scene-stealer. It would be interesting to see the character's background and of course more of the talented Chloe Sevigny is always a plus.

Adam Levine
Who doesn't love Adam Levine? His appearance of one half of' 'The Lovers' (a honeymoon couple, aiming to have sex in America's 12 most haunted locations) in the pre-title sequence brought some much needed sex appeal to the opening episode. We hope that this little segment will be stretched out further throughout the series as their fate was left open midway through the episode.

It's So Gay
The first series did it fantastically featuring a variety of realistic and likeable gay characters and Asylum looks set to continue that. Sarah Paulson was one of the defining elements of last nights episode as a lesbian journalist who Sister Jude looks to "correct". Of course, the inclusion of a sexually charged Adam Levine and the upcoming appearances of Dylan McDermott and Zachary Quinto are also going to keep us interested.

Basically, American Horror Story is back and we love it. 
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