American Horror is a series of steps in the tradition of the bizarre and the macabre and creates a nearly insatiable appetite for each new installment that’s on par with some form of group therapy for both fans and their saner (and less sadistic) friends.
“American Horror Story” has always been a series full of “extreme,” but it sometimes feels like Murphy and co. might be trying too hard to achieve shock value.
Sometimes they’re too “on it” for the sake of being “on it,” and sometimes, they’re just a little too transparent in their desire to shock.
Final Girl Episode Of American Horror Story Season 9
In “Final Girl,” Murphy explores the potential dark side of trying too hard to be shocking. In its final moments, the season achieves a degree of realism, development, and subtlety by going out with a literal bang and can tie up loose ends satisfactorily.
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The finale also manages to be over-the-top (in its unique way) and self-aware of its absurdity while simultaneously eschewing the “extreme” mentality that has become the show’s trademark.
This is precisely why “Final Girl” is one of our favorite episodes of this American Horror Story era, and possibly in the short history of this show overall. Here’s why.
The First-Person Shooter: Ryan Murphy and “AHS: 1984” Are Finally Ready To Appease Pro Gamers
The season began with a direct reference to “Packet Killer,” a notorious cyberbullying computer game from the early 2000s, whose tagline was, “Bored? You will be.”
The simple story is of a boy band (pretty boys?) who arrive at the home of their fan (Kyle) for some good old-fashioned fun. The nefarious villains recruit the crew to help them infiltrate Kyle’s high school to take down a vicious online troll, Mr. Whiskers.
By the end of “Packet Killer,” Kyle is “killed,” and his Twitter alias is suspended, so it’s safe to say that the murders were not a direct allusion to the game.
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That said, “Packet Killer” managed to link two of the most recognizable and influential pop culture touchstones of the early 2000s: cyberbullying and slasher flicks. It’s almost as if Murphy was desperate to avoid being accused of being a copycat; he threw in so many references to so many iconic slashers.
It makes sense that Murphy would want to appease pro gamers who were among his most vocal critics after “American Horror Story” Season 6’s tribute to that community segment.
In addition to the direct homage to the “Packet Killer,” Murphy also included a cameo from a Pro Gamer, Stephen Colbert. In an interview on the season premiere podcast, Edward Douglas, Murphy explains that he moves for a big meta twist on “killer” by making Stephen Colbert a character in “AHS: 1984,” since he owns for acting as a host during his cable talk show segments.
While the homage to the pro gamer community doesn’t seem like it would be too complex or controversial, that’s not necessarily the case. While this segment of gamers is small in number, they’re also highly vocal. If Murphy didn’t appease them with a meta twist, he’d have a revolt on his hands.
Thinking about all the familiar tropes and archetypes in the season, it seems like Murphy may have felt somewhat pressured to include them to appease fans who might throw a tantrum if they were absent.
However, in the finale, Murphy reveals that he’s speaking directly to campy horror fans who are waiting for something to happen. When society’s “most boring people” get together, they’re usually too bored to do anything other than a complaint about their boredom.
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