American Horror Story "Open House" TV REVIEW

In which a potential house buyer ends up semi-detached

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In which a potential house buyer ends up semi-detached

THE ONE WHERE The house looks like it’s got a buyer… until he’s killed.

VERDICT A slightly pointless diversion of an episode. Sure, we learn quite a lot of backstory: Larry left his wife for Constance; Larry wasn’t responsible for the death of his wife and kids, Larry did smother her deformed son Beau... but is any of this really leading anywhere, or is it just heaping up a load of ultimately irrelevant data?

No matter. Once again, American Horror Story tackles sex and death with shocking directness – and in the most memorable scene, yokes them together in wince-inducing fashion. The potential buyer (Joe Eskandarian) may be a misogynist asshole, but his mid-fellatio demise is pretty horrifying (did Moira bite his dick clean off, or just have a gnaw?).

Elsewhere, the introduction of Constance’s deformed son (anyone else reminded of the kid from Mask ?) is vaguely troubling. We’ve already had one character with Down’s syndrome and another with serious facial burns: this show seems to have rather an obsession with physical difference. Now, Addy was a well fleshed-out character, and here we see a more sympathetic side of Larry, but it’s hard to see what the having Beau chained up in the attic like a monster contributes other than a whiff of the freakshow – we already know that Constance was never a contender for Mother Of The Year.

HORROR CLICHÉ OF THE WEEK Ah, the convenient, easy-to-find stash of old photographs in the attic. Hello, old friend.

BEST LINE Moira: “I've always heard Persians have big, thick cocks - something a girl can gnaw on.”

Ian Berriman

Read all our American Horror Story season one reviews .

American Horror Story airs in the UK on FX, on Monday nights at 10.00pm.

Deputy Editor, SFX

Ian Berriman has been working for SFX – the world's leading sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine – since March 2002. He also writes for Total Film, Electronic Sound and Retro Pop; other publications he's contributed to include Horrorville, When Saturday Comes and What DVD. A life-long Doctor Who fan, he's also a supporter of Hull City, and live-tweets along to BBC Four's Top Of The Pops repeats from his @TOTPFacts account.