A Secret 'American Horror Story' Season Is In The Works, But What Could It Possibly Be About?
Haunted houses, freak shows, hotels where nightmares come true — American Horror Story has delved deep into the darkest parts of the American psyche to expose the horrors lurking within, but Ryan Murphy is not done yet. If you thought the months of speculation surrounding Season 6 was the American Horror Story creator's greatest hat trick, you were wrong. According to Entertainment Weekly, Murphy is writing a secret season of American Horror Story , and he has been working on it for some time now.
It's OK if you need a minute to process this information. I'm right there with you. EW reports the secret AHS season is a two year project that will be written by just one writer — presumably the mystery writer Murphy reveals he is collaborating with (please let it be Tim Minear) — and it will play with the expected format of the show. Also, just for good measure, you will have no idea when it is coming.
"I don’t know when it will air, but it's also an experiment," Murphy told EW. "It's a different way of doing it. It's one person writing all episodes. I don't know if it’s going to work but it's like, well, let's try that. We might get them done and shoot them on the sly and drop it."
And no, the secret season is not Season 7, which Murphy already has planned even though the show has yet to be renewed by FX. This season is something entirely new that sounds very much like the showrunner's passion project. What story could Murphy want to tell so badly he is willing to spend two years working on it in secret? I have a few ideas.
1. He's Going To Reinvent The Found Footage Genre
Despite being a relatively young horror genre, found footage stories have stagnated in recent years. If anyone could breathe new scares into the genre, it's Murphy. As an added bonus, they can be shot cheaply and quietly, allowing him to explore the claustrophobia and crumbling of humanity in the face of an unseen monster just off camera away from prying eyes. All Murphy would have to do is pick a locale, gather up his favorite players, and let the story unfold.
2. The Theme Is From One Of The Season 6 Teasers
All of those beautifully crafted Season 6 teasers should not go to waste. One theme running through a number of the trailers was terror in America's heartland. So far, Murphy has mined plenty of scares from the American south and west, but the Indiana born native has yet to touch on the wide open expanse of middle America where he hails from. All of those cornfields, creepy children, basements, isolated farm houses, and walking straw men could signify the horror story he wants to tell the most is the one that hits closest to home.
3. A Swan Song For Jessica Lange
For so long, Lange was the heart and soul of the franchise, and Freak Show never felt like the end of Lange's run as Murphy's muse. Imagine a season centered almost entirely around Lange. Perhaps one where her character is isolated aside from the demons in her mind that won't let her rest — a "Yellow Wallpaper" for the 21st century, if you will. By just letting Lange loose and allowing her to act almost completely on her own, the format would be play-like and completely different than anything the show has attempted before.
4. It's A Web Series
This secret season could be a web series meant to be taken in all at once. Notice how Murphy hinted at dropping the series without anyone's knowledge; to me that suggests he is crafting a story meant to be seen in one sitting. If it is a series designed with the Internet in mind, he may delve into modern folk lore to explore the likes of Slender Man or one of the other creepy pastas that has taken hold of the Internet culture in recent memory.
5. American Horror Story Is Becoming A True Anthology Series
One thing American Horror Story has never done is become a true anthology series, telling a different self-contained story with each episode. Murphy may finally be going The Twilight Zone route and to keep things interesting, each episode could center around one of his troupe of amazing actresses. If the idea of seeing Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Lady Gaga, and Angela Bassett each taking center stage in a story all their own doesn't get you psyched, nothing will.
Who knows when Murphy's secret season will appear, but when it does you can bet it will be worth the wait.
Images: FX; Giphy (5)