Behind you! Behind you!...

“The world is a horrible place. A filty, goddamn horror show.”

Right from the opening sequence you know American Horror Story isn’t going to be your usual series. In 1978 two young boys enter an abandonded house with baseball bats intent to smash the place up. A small girl standing outside warns them they will die if they go in. They snarl a response and enter anyway. What happens next sets the tone for the rest of the pilot and the series.

From the outside the Harmons appear to be the perfect family, but really their lives in Boston are in a state of decay. Having suffered through a brutal miscarriage and marital infidelity, Vivien (Connie Britton) and psychologist Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) decide to pack up their lives and their teenage daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga), and move to Los Angeles for a fresh start. The old mansion they move into, however, causes a profound effect on their family unit as dark and disturbing secrets start enveloping each of their lives.

AHS is a great new series by Nip/Tuck & Glee creators Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuck, and it couldn’t be more different. It’s dark, it’s sexy, it’s bloody scary and completely addictive. A full season has been delivered in the US with talk of a second series already.

Jessica Lange (in her first TV series role) plays one-time-aspiring actresss Constance, the neighbour, and she’s a standout – you should should hear how she talks to her daughter, Adelaide (Jamie Brewer). What. A. Bitch. But that’s all a part of the fun and suspense of a Murphy creation. The characters are layered and deceptively engaging, and the plot will put to the test your tolerance for creepy.

American Horror Story – Tue 9:30pm, Eleven.