American Horror Story season, Rotten Tomatoes ranking
From Murder House to Coven, Ryan Murphy's horror anthology series American Horror Story has had some wildly popular seasons.
The 11th season of American Horror Story, subtitled NYC, wrapped up its 10-episode run in November. The season received positive reviews, with many critics calling it the best AHS show in years.
Once the crown jewel of the FX Network, AHS was a far cry from the phenomenon it had been for its first four seasons. Still, the show is riveting, and despite its unevenness, it explores horror and excess, tackling issues most other shows never consider. While it was never universally acclaimed, it received frequent critical acclaim. Virtually every season of AHS has a "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though some are definitely more popular than others.
11/11 Hotel (2015) - 64%
Also known as The Lady Gaga season, Hotel was the worst-rated season on AHS by a considerable margin. This season, the first without AHS first lady Jessica Lange, follows a misfit group of living and deceased guests at the dangerous Hotel Cortez owned by the mysterious countess .
Gaga was so good in a role that didn't demand much of her that she even won a Golden Globe. However, critics called the season's plot convoluted and uninteresting, and criticized the characters, Especially Wes Bentley's detective. AHS: Hotel goes for spectacle to fill its narrative flaws, but fans get to see firsthand what it's like.
10/11 Murder House (2011) - 72%
"American Horror Story" begins as a typical horror film, with an above-average cast and compelling premise. Murder House is filled with clever characters, a creepy storyline, and enough of Ryan Murphy's signature bombastic, stilted emotion.
Much of the credit goes to the incredible Lange, who plays one of the best characters in modern television as Constance Langdon. Yet Murder House is unique and engaging enough to suggest AHS's potential. Featuring provocative storylines and dialogue, the show's blend of excess with unsettling plotlines has become the show's main source of revenue.
9/11 Cult (2017) - 73%
The horror genre has many terrifying cults, and American Horror Story season seven delves into this ever-reliable trope, telling a story that mixes horror and politics. Set against the backdrop of the 2016 US presidential election, Cult follows the ideological battle between an "awakened" woman and a non-family member.
Led by lead performers Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters, Cult is AHS's most outspoken and socially conscious. The show tries to make a political statement, but it does so with an unnecessarily clumsy approach and gratuitous methods of violence. Still, critics have given the season high and decisive praise, especially the performances of Paulson and Peters.
8/11 Roanoke (2016) - 74%
Even the show's critics will say that Roanoke was the most daring and unique season on AHS; logically, it was also the most divisive. Some fans found it exciting, scary, and daring in its planning and execution, while others found it forgettable, confusing, tonally uneven, and ultimately unsatisfying.
This season provides a meta-commentary on horror and reality TV by revisiting one of AHS' favorite concepts: haunted houses. Critics praised Roanoke's willingness to poke fun at itself and Paulson's consistently reliable performance. However, the second half of the season received mixed reactions, with the finale being controversial for its narrative haste.
7/11 Freak Show (2014) - 77%
Freak Show was the peak of AHS. Following Coven's rave, American Horror Story opted for the gory approach of Freak Show, a circus-based season that tackled discrimination and exploitation of minorities.
While far from the scariest season of American Horror Story, Freak Show is an effective, compelling story. Critics highlighted its production values and performances, and newcomer Finn Wittrock was singled out. freak show can be considered AHS Phase 1 ends; it's Lange's final season, making Paulson the show's resident heroine.
6/11 Apocalypse (2018) - 79%
The world of American Horror Story has a major crossover with Season 8. The Apocalypse sees the return of the most powerful Coven witches and the rise of Michael Langdon, the Antichrist from Murder House. This season features unpaid cameos from fan-favorite characters and the return of beloved performers, including Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett and Lange.
Early episodes of Apocalypse received mixed reviews, but improved as the Witch's arrival and the plot of the Antichrist became more prominent. Critics and fans alike praised the interconnected storylines and the actors' performances, despite the mixed ending.
5/11 Double Feature (2021) - 80%
After an extended hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, American Horror Story returns with a tenth season subtitled Double Feature. As the title suggests, this season features two stories, Red Tide and Death Valley, that explore themes of addiction, ambition, secrecy and manipulation.
The double-feature film initially received positive reviews, with most critics praising the performances and disturbing scenes. However, Red Tide's finale and much of Death Valley drew a negative reaction, with a lot of criticism directed at it. Hasty storytelling and an unsatisfying ending.
4/11 NYC (2022) - 83%
Like many previous shows and films, the most recent season of American Horror Story moved its action to New York City. The story takes a more realistic horror approach, showing the plight of marginalized communities in the tumultuous 1980s.
Critics responded positively to "New York City," praising it for a refreshing take on a well-known topic and considering getting the franchise back on track. It may not have been as popular, but it was one of the greatest story triumphs in years. New York City proves that, sometimes, the real horrors are in the everyday.
3/11 Asylum (2012) - 84%
Quite possibly the show's most ambitious season, Asylum is arguably AHS's finest moment. This season, led by Lange, focuses on several characters at a 1960s mental institution. Asylum is notorious for introducing sci-fi horror to the series, mixing genres and storylines, resulting in a chaotic but satisfying season.
Asylum received high praise from critics, who praised the performances of Lange and her cast as well as the show's adventurous spirit. Asylum remains the most progressive season of American Horror Story; at that point, the show proves it's more than just your average horror series, cementing itself as one of them Television's most heartfelt and boldest offering.
2/11 Coven (2013) - 85%
Many fans consider The Witch to be the best season of American Horror Story, and it's easy to see why. It embraces and celebrates Kemp, telling the story of a coven of witches who face inner turmoil in their quest for their next supremacy.
Lange, in all her spiky glory, leads a cast that welcomes future series regulars Emma Roberts, Bates and Bassett. Coven found AHS the funniest and most sarcastic, deftly blending humor with effective storytelling. It toned down the horror a lot, but the performances from the cast were enough to elevate the season, making it one of the best episodes in the show's history.
1/11 1984 (2019) - 88%
Surprisingly, the most popular season of American Horror Story is not the most famous, but the most recent. With a twist on classic horror, 1984 uses the beloved horror genre to tell an '80s-style story about a group of camp counselors who are stalked by a dangerous killer.
Roberts led a group of AHS regulars, including Billie Lourd and Leslie Grossman. Critics praised 1984's handling and celebration of the horror genre, casting Roberts as the near-perfect final girl. 1984 feels like a back-to-basics approach The series, especially after a massive apocalypse-like crossover event. This season's smaller scale allows for a tighter, more focused episode that still includes the familiar AHS tropes fans have come to expect.