Why I’m Upset With “American Horror Story: Coven”

Posted: October 12, 2013 in Reflections, Review, Scary Stuff
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The following post contains spoilers and adult themes. Please be advised before reading.

I’ve made it no secret that I’m a huge fan of the American Horror Story franchise. Every season is a different story, different characters, different locations, and most of all, different potential scares. This season, the third, is subtitled Coven, and is based around witches. And this past Wednesday the first episode premiered. When I finally managed to find it online Thursday, I was less than thrilled by it.

It wasn’t that, unlike previous seasons, they’re coming right out to say what the story’s going to focus on. Although there’s less mystery by revealing the story’s about witches and giving us some of the mythology of this season, it’s something new the show’s experimenting with, and it might just work for them. Plus it’s so rare to get something that’s actually new on TV. And it’s not that they kind of didn’t scare me enough. It’s the first episode, so the best is yet to come. Plus it takes a lot to scare me.

No, what’s upsetting to me is that one of the witches has a killer vagina!

Yes, you read that right. Killer vagina.

The killer character in question

Let me explain in the most delicate terms possible: Zoe, played by Taissa Farmiga and strangely resembling her character in the show’s first season, discovers her witch powers and heritage after she has sex with her boyfriend, which directly leads to her boyfriend having a magically-induced aneurysm. So because her vagina kills, she gets sent off to the show’s version of Hogwarts to learn to control her powers…or use them on a guy who date-raped one of her fellow students and then survive a telekinetically-induced bus crash.

I can only say one thing: WTF?!

I’ve previously written about the use of sex in the horror genre and I’ve noted that sex can either be employed tastefully as a plot device and for character development or it can just be used to titillate. In this entire episode, it was used to titillate (I don’t count the date-rape scene as actual sex). And what’s worse, it was used to titillate in a very horrible way.

First off, the killer vagina has already been done, in a horror-comedy film known as Teeth. See below:

Also, the idea of a woman using sex to kill is pretty sexist and overused. Yes, there are some women out there who use sex to their advantage in a number of situations. But the amount of times it comes up in fiction is overwhelming and hasn’t been given an original turn in years. Check out this video below on how this trope is overused and affecting women negatively:

So yeah, I know that horror has a strong tradition of sex. And I know the guys behind the AHS franchise want to draw in the viewers. But couldn’t you have given Zoe a different terrifying power that would’ve killed her boyfriend but not made her own body her worst enemy, along with the enemy of every man out there? Maybe her boyfriend could’ve been a prick and filmed them doing it, and in revenge she uses her powers to kill him. That would’ve been much better.

It’s just a suggestion. I hope it becomes less of a focus point later in the season, especially since I’m predicting that Zoe will later become a Supreme. And in subsequent seasons, should we be lucky to have later seasons, let’s go easy on the sex and sex-based powers, shall we? Because let’s face it, a story doesn’t need sex to be good. And even without the sexual elements, AHS is pretty damn good.

So AHS producers, I hope you’re taking notes, because I don’t want you guys to not only lose a fan, but also lose any chance to have a fourth season over a really bad creative decision! That would suck for all those involved.

That’s all I have for now. Let’s hope next week’s episode (and the rest of the season) is better.

  1. qq more says:

    Oh, boo hoo. It was a good season.

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