‘Dollhouse‘, the first chapter in American Horror Stories season 2 debuted on July 21. Season 2 gets off to a promising start. We expect this new season to be better than season 1. Hurray!
Directed by Loni Peristere, starring Denis O’Hare, Kristine Froseth y Houston Towe. The screenplay has been co-written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Manny Coto.
Let’s give our appraisal of this new installment.
Dollhouse: The Plot
It is 1961, in Mississippi. An eccentric doll factory owner has abducted several young women, and has forced them to live in his real-life replica of a dollhouse, where they must dress-up and act like dolls. Unable to escape, the women find themselves in a sinister contest, or selection process, to become the perfect mommy to the man’s son.
Review of Dollhouse
First thing first. Let us keep in mind that this is a series with 40 minute episodes, and not a feature film, so we do not expect each chapter to be a cinematic masterpiece. That is our approach – just FYI.
In this first episode the narrative structure is well carried through with a cohesiveness until, strangely enough, towards the end. The ending is disorienting, or sudden and surprising if you will – yes, we know it makes reference to American Horror Story Coven – in the complete out-of-character twist it takes (we will not give away spoilers). This little “glitch” however, is forgiven, because as we already said, this is a 40 minute stand alone (perhaps) episode, designed to entertain, which at the end of the day it does.
The director, Loni Peristere, has created an atmosphere well suited for the surreal and eerie scenarios. Of course, living up to the highly stylized set, as an American Horror Story spin-off would require, it is close to being visually and stylistically impeccable. He has even managed to sneak in a few very good frames that give it an artsy touch – for instance the unscrewing of the bed-knob.
The performances of the cast are well adapted to this genre, living up to the theatrical interpretation thereby staying true to the absurd yet horrifying events told in this tale. This last aspect adds to the entertainment factor, making it fun to watch. Kudos to Denis O’Hare for his portrayal of the doll-obsessed madman with a plan, he pulls it off wonderfully.
You can count on some humor, macabre humor, inherent to the théâtre de l’absurde trait of this story, without overdoing it, and we totally appreciate it.
Ultimately, it leaves us looking forward to next week’s installment; a dose of good storytelling just before bedtime.
American Horror Stories Season 2: Dollhouse
American Horror Stories Season 2 Chapter 1
Description: It is 1961, in Mississippi. An eccentric doll factory owner has abducted several young women, and has forced them to live in his real-life replica of a dollhouse, where they must dress-up and act like dolls. Unable to escape, the women find themselves in a sinister contest or selection process, to become the perfect mommy for the man's son.
Date published: July 22, 2022
Episode number: 1
Part of season: 2
Part of series: American Horror Stories
Production company: Hulu
Director(s): Loni Peristere
Actor(s): Denis O'Hare, Kristine Froseth, Houston Towe
Visually and stylistically superior. The story combines the absurd with the eerie well, making it entertaining. It is a dose of good storytelling just before bedtime.