Episode 3 of American Horror Stories begins with a couple together kissing. It’s been six months since they got together and this guy, Chad, is pressuring Kelley to make love. Instead, she storms out the room.
Chad’s friends decide that he needs to use fear rather than Bob Ross to encourage Kelley into making love. Specifically, they suggest Chad go and watch a cursed movie at a drive-in theatre. This movie allegedly “breaks souls” and six people have already died after watching it.
With these ominous threats, all the kids obviously show up to watch it at the Drive-In Theatre. This film, bizarrely called Rabbit Rabbit, is matched by a protestor pleading with Chad not to watch it. Apparently she’s a survivor from a massacre that took place back in ’86. She also lost her eye back then too.
Well, the movie is played and most of the kids are mesmerized by the hypnotic images on-screen. With Chad and Kelley busy kissing though, they miss the movie and as such, aren’t under its hypnotic spell. That’s probably just as well, given it turns everyone else into enraged lunatics.
Kelley and Chad hurry into the auditorium, locking the door behind them while everyone else swarms and charges around causing chaos. After surviving the night, Chad and Kelley head outside, where Chad is forced to kill his own friend.
Fueled by vengeance, Chad and Kelley head up to visit the Director in person. He’s pretty insane and he claims the Starlite Drive-In was a work of genius. According to him, he’s concocted a movie with subliminal tones to make the real horror outside the film.
Kelley and Chad have heard enough though and shoot him in the knee at point-blank range. They grab the tapes and burn them inside the caravan. As flames lick hungrily all around, they drop a bookshelf on the ground and let the man burn alive inside. He screams for help while the pair turn and walk away.
Heading back home, they end up making love while the new Rabbit Rabbit film drops on Netflix, causing chaos to ensue outside.
The Episode Review
American Horror Stories returns with another episode that completely bungles its moral lesson and botches its ending completely. Now, to be fair this episode actually has a decent concept and some of the ideas are actually quite good. It’s just a pity that none of them work across a single 40 minute episode. It also doesn’t help that these characters aren’t that likable and don’t exactly act like human beings.
Chad was forced to kill his best friend with a pair of scissors. He should be traumatized or at least grief-stricken enough to mourn his friend. That’s before even mentioning the way these two kids take the “moral high ground” of shooting the Director in the kneecap and leaving him trapped in a caravan to burn to death.
Just like the first two chapters in this series, the semi-decent concept and a couple of promising moments are ruined by characters acting in completely alien ways.
The ending itself with the Netflix screen is a nice touch but the fact that this pair show no remorse or grief over all their friends dying in horrible ways just reinforces how poor the characterization actually is. Although the premise is a bit brighter, let’s hope the upcoming episodes are an improvement over what we’ve seen so far.