American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare Episode 1 “Chapter 1” Thoughts

It has been months since American Horror Story started serving up its fans with teasers that may or may not be related to the theme of the sixth season. The FX horror anthology series has finally premiered with its first episode “Chapter 1” on September 14, Wednesday, and it finally revealed a few details about where this season could be heading into.

The premiere episode of the season started very stylishly by providing its viewers with a very well-established set-up that makes it a little easier for the viewers to understand. A documentary feature called My Roanoke Nightmare follows the supposed main characters of the season Matt (Cuba Gooding, Jr. as the reenactor, and Andre Holland as the real character) and Shelby (Sarah Paulson as the reenactor, and Lily Rabe as the real character). The couple moves to an old farmhouse in North Carolina after Shelby loses her baby due to a miscarriage, and this is when the sixth season started to get going.

As I have mentioned in Top 6 Favorite Moments from AHS, I love Lily Rabe, and to see her as one of the main characters of this season is very exciting for me. This however makes me uncertain about the cast who reenact the real characters. Will they have a bigger part in the future as real characters, or will they forever reenact the people who are the subject of My Roanoke Nightmare?

There is a build-up before the scarier things started to happen, and the teeth falling from the sky as if it was a hail storm was my favorite. They also managed to incorporate racial discrimination in rural America, which apparently still happens, when Matt assumed that the noises at night, and the trash can-hurling was some sort of a racist act by hillbillies who can’t accept the couple’s interracial relationship.

Matt’s decision to not Shelby learn about the skinned pig also establishes as to the kind of husband that Matt is. He doesn’t want his wife to freak out, so he keeps this to himself and buries the skinned pig In the woods, especially after the incident when Shelby almost drowned because of the men in costumes with pitchforks.

This incident is also what prompted Matt to put up security cameras. He also had his sister Lee (Angela Bassett as the reenactor, and Adina Porter as the real character) to come in and stay with Shelby. Matt is a travelling salesman, so his choices at the moment are very rational from a viewer’s standpoint.

The relationship of Shelby and Lee is one of the things that I really took note of for the premiere. The two characters don’t get along, and their relationship played a very huge part in the next events that transpired. Without exploiting too much about the episode, the two characters were forced to, sort of, bond with each other because of: 1. A noise in the basement; 2. Strings and voodoo dolls.

The episode ended with Shelby driving away from the house by herself after Matt refuses to leave for believing that it was the Polk family responsibly for everything that has been going on. She didn’t get far before she ran into a woman (Kathy Bates). When she came to check her, the woman gets up and heads into the woods. Shelby decided to follow her, and she ends up getting lost, before finding herself surrounded by men with torches. Something noteworthy? The ground is breathing.

The episode was really good, but I think instead of providing answers to the viewers, it raised more questions. There was a very good jump scare in the episode that I haven’t really experienced from American Horror Story in quite a while, and that is a very big plus for me. Overall, I would give the really strong and thrilling start to the season an 9 out of 10.


What are your thoughts on the premiere episode of the AHS season 6? Have you figured out the theme yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Header Image: FX.

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