In the double episode “Rubber (Wo) man” (1×01-2) of American Horror Stories (Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, from 2021) we again enter one of the infamous settings of the original series, that of Murder House (2011-2012).
But now in “Drive In” (1×03), the plot that the scriptwriter Manny Coto and the director Eduardo Sánchez is completely new, with no antecedents in its gloomy universe other than in those horror stories that it brings to mind for its paranormal premise. For example, the chapter “Blood” (2×03) of the essential The X-Files (Chris Carter, since 1993) or the fascinating feature film In the mouth of fear (John Carpenter, 1994).
Afterwards, they give us the pleasant confirmation that the images gloomy in the sequence of titles changesn depending on the story in question, without changing the usual musical theme, composed of Charlie Clouser (Wayward Pines), César Davila-Irizarry (Planet b234) and Mac Quayle (Mr. Robot).
Experience is not always a guarantee
That Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (Pose) have trusted Manny Coto and Eduardo Sánchez to write and perform “Drive In” is not at all shocking. The One is a Veteran with his signature on Episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985-1989), Tales from the Crypt (Steven Dodd, 1989-1996), Beyond the Boundary (Leslie Stevens, 1995-2002), Star Trek: Enterprise (Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, 2001-2005), 24 (Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow, 2001-2010), Dexter (James Manos Jr., 2006-2013), American Horror Story (from 2011), 24: Live another day (Cochran and Surnow, 2014) or The Exorcist (Jeremy Slater, 2016-2018); and the creator of 24: Legacy (2016-2017) along with Evan Katz.
The other shot The Blair Witch Project (1999), an instant success, and six other feature films with minimal resonance; in addition to chapters of Supernatural (Eric Kripke, 2005-2020), Open Until Dawn (Robert Rodríguez, 2014-2016), Lucifer (Tom Kapinos, 2016-2021) or Revenge: Origins (Alexander Cary, 2017-2018). But their resumes have not saved them from disaster here.
An episode unworthy of the ‘American Horror Story’ universe
It is known almost from the first hour that something disastrous is going to happen, which will cause rivers of blood to flow, not only because it is an episode of American Horror Stories and that constitutes a promise of horror, but also by the verbal prompts themselves, thanks to which we stayed to watch “Drive In” to satisfy our unhealthy curiosity. And we even intuit some horrible details that then come to us.
The brief, quick montage with detailed shots that gives us an idea of what the outbreak of atrocities produces is worthy. But sadly, the dignity of this chapter ends there; And, if we had thought about The X-Files or John Carpenter’s best film, the subtlety of both is light years away. this heinous show. And that the New York filmmaker brings them to him sometimes.
Rather, it should be considered related to The crazies (Breck Eisner, 2010), remake of George A. Romero’s film of the same name (1973), or any approach to agile zombie apocalypse, such as 28 days later (Danny Boyle, 2002) and its superior sequel, 28 weeks later ( Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007), which collapses anyway. Like the previous references. And this cannot be fixed by subsequent explanations or by the modern “Drive In” final twist.
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It must seem customary for American Horror Story actors to return: the recognizable John Carroll Lynch (Zodiac) in the shoes of Larry Bitterman and Naomi Grossman (The Neighborhood), who was the unforgettable Pepper in Asylum (2012-2013) and Freak Show ( 2014-2015), embodying Rabid Ruth; like Matt Bomer (The boys in the band) and some other secondary in “Rubber (Wo) man”. But not at all that they propose to us a simple and trite nonsense like this one, unworthy of its suggestive universe to the point of being an incomprehensible stumbling block.