Every season of American Horror Story is a kaleidoscope of genre tropes that never fully make sense until you've seen all the episodes, but when Ryan Murphy revealed Season 7 would touch on the 2016 presidential election, it left fans even more confused than normal. Now, Murphy has revealed how American Horror Story Season 7 begins to E!, and the political angle is beginning to make sense.
First of all, you will see Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton onscreen, but there will be no actors playing them. The footage will be real, and it will be playing out in front of the new season's cast of characters. As they watch the results come in, something terrible happens to them that will set off their journey. Murphy described the scenario to E! as, "a horror story upon a horror story."
This makes so much more sense than the early theories that suggested the series would be about the actual election. Instead, Murphy is proving once again why he's the new master of horror. By using the real life events of the election that left so many people feeling unsafe and weaving them together with a tragedy in the characters' lives, Murphy can comment on the state of the world without becoming embroiled in a strictly political setting. Thankfully, it's all about the metaphors.
Now fans can stop speculating about who will play the real life political figures, and instead begin to discuss what horror genre Murphy is planning to tackle in Season 7. Given the current context of the election night setting coinciding with a terrible event, he could be delving into the slasher genre. Paranoia and politics have always gone hand in hand, so whatever horror the characters face could continue to loom after the terrible event.
An even more important question is: Do the results spur violence within the group or are they simply watching the election with an outside force changes their lives forever? The latter option would mirror how a large part of the country felt that night, and would be an ideal launching point for capturing that uneasy feeling of helplessness in the face of the unknown.
This news, coupled with confirmation that American Horror Story favorites Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are returning, should have you feeling way more confident about Season 7. Murphy isn't changing the DNA of the show to focus on the election. Instead, he's using the show to mirror the sense of dread people across the world felt by the time the election was over. In other words, Murphy's continuing to keep American Horror Story as relevant and scary as it has been since its debut.