There is a lot going on in American Horror Story: Hotel . There's a hotel with monster people in the mattresses? People are getting sexually assaulted by an addiction demon? There's also a serial killer on the loose and the police officer investigating has a missing son who is now a vampire child in the hotel? There's something in Room 33 that needs to be fed; what does that even mean? Why are there vampire people running the hotel and allowing ghosts to run around? It is a lot to take in. AHS: Hotel is combining different types of horror movie tropes and is taking inspiration from a wide variety of sources.
Since the premiere of AHS: Hotel, the show has been drawing comparisons to a lot of famous scary films, and if you can't get your fill of the horrors that walk the hall of the Cortez, then these films are a great way to pass the time between episodes. Ryan Murphy and the show's other writers are clearly well-versed in the horror genre, and the saying goes: "Good artists copy, great artists steal."
Here are some of the films to put in your Netflix queue if you want to see what inspired AHS: Hotel.
1. The Shining
It's impossible to craft a horror story set in the hotel without it being compared to The Shining, but AHS: Hotel seems to embrace the comparison instead of trying to avoid comparisons to the 1980 film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The geometric rug in the lobby of the Cortez looks strikingly similar to the Overlook Hotel's hexagon-based carpet. The Cortez also shares The Overlook's penchant for creepy children roaming the hallways. The Overlook also has a habit of housing guests who have "always been here," which certainly describes some of The Cortez's clientele.
The thriller Se7en was notable at the time of its release for featuring some excruciatingly awful fates for the victims of its serial killer. The primary antagonist in the film committed each of their murders following the seven deadly sins (greed, pride, gluttony, lust, sloth, wrath, and envy). AHS: Hotel has a similar serial killer going around, following the 10 Commandments to stage their elaborate killings.
3. Interview with the Vampire
Lady Gaga's Countess and Matt Bomer's Donovan are a pair of hedonistic, blood-thirsty not-vampire vampires who enjoy gaining pleasure from their victims, as well as sustenance. These two appear to be a modern interpretation of the vampires from Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, which feature vampires who appreciate living an opulent lifestyle. The film Interview with the Vampire is an adaptation of the first book in Rice's series, and features many seductive encounters with fanged hotties.
4. Little Shop Of Horrors
Something in Room 33 needs to be fed, and it's probably people. Having to feed humans to a monster is nothing new but if Little Shop of Horrors didn't have a singing man-eating terror, it's almost guaranteed that Murphy (who has a penchant for musical numbers) would include such a thing in Room 33.
What other horror references will AHS: Hotel work in? We'll have to watch to find out!
Image: Frank Ockenfels/FX Networks