31 Days of Horror 2015: American Horror Story: Hotel S05 E01: Checking In


I had fun with the Motts and our friends at the “Freak Show,” but now it’s time to travel to sunny Los Angeles. Wes Bentley from season one’s “Murder House” is back as John Lowe, a detective investigating a series of murders. Lady Gaga joins the outstanding cast and crew of one of the best horror show around, “American Horror Story.” Are you ready to check into the Hotel Cortez? Your room is this way.

Room Service

“American Horror Story” never fails to scare the bejeebers out of their loyal fans within minutes of a new season. This is one grand hotel that’s stunningly arrayed with art deco that is topped with gold accessories. The lobby although huge is barren. The Cortez has seen better days when Hollywood was in its glory days, but that doesn’t stop people from showing up at its doors.

Unfortunately for them, two Swedish tourists booked their vacation at the hotel without checking with Captain Obvious of Hotels.com, beforehand. Iris (Kathy Bates) is the hotel concierge, but she’s not going to make employee of the year anytime soon. People don’t live long enough to complain.


As the two tourists walk through the Cortez they hear and see some weird stuff. This hotel brings back memories of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining with its long never-ending hallways. You almost expect to bump into Jack Nicholson. A maid (Mare Winningham) is washing blood from the sheets and, someone is crying out from one of the hotel rooms and, there are young children running about unsupervised. When the girls discover a screaming man inside their mattress, Iris moves them to a special room; room 64.


A young man checks in right after the girls and he’s looking for a quiet place to shoot up. Iris, we learn is not a fan of drug users. Iris is helped in running the desk by a transvestite, Liz Taylor (Denis O’Hare). Once inside room # 64, the man is quickly attacked by a faceless horror wearing a drill-bit-dildo. Let’s just say he is royally screwed and not in a good way. While the young man screams out for help, a ghostly woman named Sally (Sarah Paulson) wants him to tell her that he loves her.

John Lowe

John (Wes Bentley) is an LAPD detective who is investigating a series of homicides committed by a serial killer who poses his victims in horrific art. The latest case involves a man and woman both married, but not to each other. Looking like a human shish-kabob, the man still alive had his eyes and tongue removed and, he’s superglued inside her, dead. I can just see the expression on the faces of the Emergency Room staff.


I worked at a hospital. I worked in the Intensive Care Unit and the Operating Room, but there were times I was called down to the Emergency Room to pick up the chart and clothing of patients that was being transferred up to us. I’ve seen some weird shit… maybe that’s why “American Horror Story” doesn’t scare me. I’ve seen firsthand what people do to other people.

While John is investigating the latest case, he receives a call from the killer who tells him to go to the Hotel Cortez. John is doing his job with a heavy heart. His wife Alex (Chloe Sevigny) is a doctor and they have, or should I say, had two children: Holden and Scarlett, but Holden was abducted while riding a merry-go-round. John’s pain is palpable. Someone stole that little boy because John was busy checking his cell phone.

The Countess

I love Lady Gaga. I took one of my granddaughters to see her when she played in Philly and let me tell you, Gaga puts on one hell of a great show. When I found out she was in “AMH Hotel,” I couldn’t wait to see how she would dress. She did not disappoint me. Gaga, looking very much like Jean Harlow, is a lover of blood. She laps it up like champagne with her boy-toy, Donavan.


We learn that Donavan is the son of Iris, and maybe that’s why Iris does the dirty work that needs to be done to keep the Countess safe. But, didn’t Donavan die from a drug overdose given to him by Sally? And, why is Sally so pasty white? What’s her story?

The Countess and Donavan (Matt Bomer) are able to enthrall their intended victims, luring them away from a movie night at the neighborhood park back to the hotel where they become a meal. The Countess and the other inhabitants of the hotel receive news via Marcy, the real estate lady from “Murder House.” The hotel has a new owner, Will Drake, who brings his son with him.


When the killer calls John from his wife’s phone, he and Scarlett go home to find the security alarm blasting and the police waiting. Alex isn’t there, but Scarlett finds two dead and eviscerated men strung up. John moves into the Cortez to keep his family safe. He is given room # 64.


American Horror Story never fails to entertain. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the show’s creators, have a wicked mind and their having Lady Gaga join the cast for season five guarantees us thirteen episodes of fun. Lady Gaga, the queen of twisted performances, plays a vampire who oversees a group of children vampires who resemble the scary kids from Children of the Damned. I’m not sure if Gaga will have the chance to belt out a tune or two. I hope she does, but I’m having fun watching what she wears or doesn’t wear on the show.


I keep hearing rumors that Jessica Lange might, or might not, make a guest appearance. It would be fun to see Jessica Lange play off Lady Gaga. What we do have is the regular cast and the recurring cast which means that Kathy Bates, Evan Peters and Angela Bassett along with a few other favorites will do their best to scare us royally. I’m looking forward to it.

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