American Horror Story: The Complete First Season collects all 13 episodes of the FX channel’s ground breaking horror-drama series to Blu-ray in one complete set. American Horror Story, another show in a long string of hits from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, both of Nip/Tuck and Glee fame, tells the story of the Harmon family and their experiences living in a haunted house in Los Angeles. Ben, Vivien, and their daughter Violet move to Los Angeles to escape family traumas they experienced while living in Boston and take up residence in an, inexpensive, newly restored mansion; unbeknownst to them the prior residents of the home have decided not to move on to the other side.
The MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p, 1.78:1 Blu-ray release of American Horror Story is fantastic. American Horror Story is one of the last TV shows to actually be shot on film and you can absolutely tell as the beautiful filmic grain remains intact with this transfer. Many people won’t notice the difference, while some may prefer the appearance of pure digital photography, but luckily for real cinephiles the studio decided not to ruin this release with a digital scrubbing. The colors remain true to source, including the blacks, which is great as they really take advantage of what Blu-ray was intended to offer.
American Horror Story: The Complete First Season makes its way to your ears via a pretty excellent lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track. There aren’t any explosions or bass rattling moments in the show so don’t expect that level of audio, assuming you’re new to the series. However, if you’re familiar with the series or are a fan of ghost horror you should know what to expect and this release delivers that perfectly. The ambient sounds are great and float around the room as smoothly as the ghostly inhabitants of the Harmon’s new home, the musical score absolutely couldn’t be better, and the dialogue is crisp and clear, which is always extremely important to me.
I’ve honestly about had it with the lackluster special features we receive now days. And while I won’t use this review as a soap box to get my rants going I will say that this release is nearly as bare bones as you’d expect from a release with a fraction of this budget. But, while they decided to avoid going to any great lengths to provide great features, what they did provide was pretty decent, especially the audio commentary. Check out the full list below:
• Audio Commentary with co-creator Ryan
• The Murder House: Presented by Eternal Darkness Tours of
• Behind the Fright: The Making of American Horror
• Overture to Horror: Creating the Title
• Out of the Shadows: Meet the House
All in all this is a really solid release for a really great show. I’m a bit annoyed with the lack of special features on this release but that certainly doesn’t distract from the fact that the show is great, the video quality is excellent, and the audio quality absolutely couldn’t be better. It honestly doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of the show or if you’re a new comer it’s certainly a release I wouldn’t skip out on!