American Horror Story: 5 Intros More Disturbing Than Their Actual Seasons, Ranked
The best and worst part of each season at the same time.
The opening credits of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's cult horror anthology have always been the hallmark of the show, setting the tone for each season with a mix of disturbing imagery and eerie music.
Here are five of the best American Horror Story intros that managed to get under the viewer's skin, even more so than their seasons.
5. Freak Show
As season 4 began to embrace experimentation and stand out from the other seasons, it signaled a shift in the show's opening credits as well. The intro was the first to use animation to capture the weird and fascinating elements of the season, emphasizing the "freaks" and their deformities to create an unsettling atmosphere.
Accompanied by a significantly altered theme tune that featured circus motives, the Freak Show intro created an eerie atmosphere that the season would at times struggle to maintain.
The weird atmosphere of Hotel Cortez was set from the beginning with an equally disturbing intro. The season explored themes of addiction, vampirism, and the supernatural, and the intro's focus on blood-soaked visuals, disturbing, nightmarish imagery, and a more melodic tune was the right choice.
With the inclusion of grotesque figures and disturbing imagery related to the Ten Commandments, the key storyline of the season, the intro was a perfect reflection of the dark and theatrical atmosphere of the season.
The opening credits of season 2 follow the terrors within the walls of Briarcliff Manor. The shots of swaying inmates, accompanied by thunderous music, and the eerie, religion-themed imagery create a sense of paranoia and fear.
The credits end with a chilling transformation, as the blank expression on the stone statue changes to a sinister smile, and manage to be even more horrifying than the season itself.
2. Murder House
Often considered the best season of the series and the one that started it all, Murder House features relatively simple but chilling opening credits. The intro takes viewers through the creepy basement of Murder House, showing the fear-inducing atmosphere of the house, including old-fashioned creepy photos, a fetus in a jar, and a black latex suit.
The intro managed to be even more terrifying than what would unfold in the season, and it was genuinely creepy, especially accompanied by a haunting theme song.
Despite being more of a psychological season than a scary one, Coven introduces viewers to its disturbing imagery of witchcraft and voodoo through the show's most eerie opening. The opening credits are full of mesmerizing images of voodoo dolls, forest creatures, and hooded figures, but the one particularly striking shot is of a skeletal demon in the woods that never appears throughout the season.
While the story explored themes of witchcraft and rivalry, it often leaned more toward dark humor and campy moments, while the opening credits of Coven managed to deliver a more beautifully fearful atmosphere.