American Horror Story Cult 702 and 703 CULT “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark” and “Neighbors From Hell” FX

By Edward Petty

Dont Be Afraid Of The Dark” Ally (Sarah Paulson) wakes up with a clown in the bed beside her. One would think that that would make anyone freak out, and thus she does freak out. Is Ally’s psychosis something that’s manufactured more than it is natural, though? This is a major question that I had while watching both episodes.

Ally’s fear of clowns is only strengthened when clowns invade her, Ivy’s and Oz’s home. Oz asks one clown who passes by him, if he, the clown, is real, or if he, Oz, is asleep. What or whom does one believe when a clown tells you that you’re supposedly asleep? There are still many questions that are left unanswered, granted it’s still early on in the season with 8 weeks remaining.

Ally breaks up an argument between her boss and a Latino employee who’s named Pedro and later, can’t distinguish what’s imagined from what’s real. There’s a surprise ending to episode two as Oz and she runs from the clowns, one of whom is Twisty, who, given his facial disfigurement, left me baffled, too.

Harrison and Meadow are next-door neighbors who moved in after getting their house at a bargain price (there was a murder in it of a couple who were named Chang prior to the sale). We find out that Harrison and Meadow (Billy Eichner and Leslie Grossman) are married, but that they married each other due to an agreement. Harrison has his own secret, you see.

Oh, and Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) is more menacing by the minute. He greets Ally at her front door, tells her that he’s running for a councilman’s position and politely (at least at first) asks her to please vote for him. Then, Kai’s demeanor changes, leaving Ally to close the door, which has been fitted by now with bars, fast in fear as Kai leaves her doorstep.

Who’s crazier, Ally or Kai? Who’s manipulating whom?

Neighbors from Hell” aptly describes Harrison and Meadow. Ally further suspects them of being in on a plot to drive her insane. She might, after all, be correct. Ally tells her psychiatrist (Cheyenne Jackson) that she wants to try to explain to all the protesters that believe that she’s a murderer that she’s being falsely accused and that she’s “one of them,” that has protested in the past. All the protesters balk at her, and they all block her car from moving past them until Kai shows up to make them all disperse. He had told Ally that he’d look out for her, and he kept that promise. Kai, though, does things that are good, yet with bad consequences for those he helps out, in my opinion.

Bloody smiley faces are found painted inside and outside Ally’s, Ivy’s and Oz’s home, and Ally calls out Harrison and Meadow for painting them, which Meadow denies, but is she saying that to divert from her actually painting them, or is she being truthful? Harrison and Meadow think that Ally’s the insane one more and more, either way. Oz’s pet, who he calls Mr. Guinea because it’s a guinea pig, meets its untimely demise, too.
Death, death, and more death. Lies and secrets. Twists and turns in story lines. All these things make AMERICAN HORROR STORY what it is for me every season: A good, old-fashioned creep fest.

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