Many projects in film and television have begun to highlight social issues as a direct result of the political climate and “American Horror Story: Cult” is no different.
The latest installment of the hit series picks up on the night of the 2016 presidential election. Many shows today have the tendency to speak on social issues without explicitly naming public figures and “American Horror Story: Cult” does the same.
Although what takes place in the aftermath of the election is exaggerated to achieve the show’s goal of fitting in the horror genre, the events portrayed in the show’s opening scene are taken from news outlets and coverage from the campaign trail, as well as the night of presidential election.
Beginning the show with a storyline so impactful is what makes tackling the topic of the current political climate very bold, considering the mixed reactions experienced across America.
“I think it’s interesting because no one else does it. No one else is brave enough to make a show strictly about that kind of strong topic and use such extreme values of each side to make a story,” said Mitchell Douglass, freshman business major.
Although the show portrays both sides of the political spectrum, they are done so in a way that shows both extremes. The polarization of political beliefs warranted mixed reviews.
“It didn’t scare me, and I think probably because it’s using such gross stereotypes of the political spectrum. When they are polar opposites, I don’t see myself in it, so there’s nothing for me to be scared of,” said Dr. Aja Henriquez, English professor and devoted fan of the horror genre.
In addition to the show’s political message, Ryan Murphy, AHS creator, also portrays the role recent event events in politics have had on the mental health of many Americans.
“There’s some really deep psychological aspects that come with how seriously people take it and what it does to people when they think so much about politics an d they get so involved it becomes a part of their lives,” Douglass said.