At San Diego Comic Con on Thursday, openly gay American television producer Ryan Murphy revealed that the Season 7 theme of his horror anthology series would be American Horror Story: Cult, an interesting interpretation of his earlier statement that Season 7 would be about the 2016 election.
Before we discuss the Season 7 theme any further, let’s take a look at the official teaser trailers that hit the web after Murphy’s Thursday announcement.
Here are the American Horror Story (AHS) Season 7 teaser trailers:
The above trailer is what we imagine all Republican campaign ads will look like in about eight more years. By the way, did you catch the appearance of the non-clown woman around the four-second mark?
There was also this AHS Season 7 Spanish language teaser trailer (which contains no spoken words):
What’s with all the clowns, cults and bees?
On the face of it, the teaser’s inclusion of clowns, cults and bees might not make much sense. But each one has its own symbolic resonance in the world of horror and politics.
First off, clowns are frightening (John Wayne Gacy and Pennywise, anyone?). Politicians have long been referred to as “a bunch of clowns” and some of their followers are just as cartoonish, laughable and scary. We’ve also heard whispers about the Season 7 return of Twisty the Clown, the homicidal serial killer from Season 4’s Freak Show.
As far as cults go, political parties are like cults — they have charismatic leaders who ask people to believe in a set ideology, worship key texts (the Bible, the Bill of Rights), sing hymns (“The Star Spangled Banner”), observe social rites at public observances (town halls, The National Mall) and sacrifice their lives (or at least their time and money) in pursuit of an ideal society. Plus, some political fanatics are bonkers.
Murphy also posted an image of a creepy clown-elephant mask on Instagram on May 5, 2017.
As for the bees, they could be a nod to environmental issues like climate change and “colony collapse disorder,” the alarming modern phenomenon of when drone/worker bees abandon their queen, leaving the entire hive to fail — something which threatens the larger ecosystem and human food supply.
They could also denote the fact that political parties suffer from hive-like thinking (that is, unthinking loyalty to the queen or, in this case, king). Or they could just refer to bees in previous horror movies like The Candyman (a 1992 black horror character who exhaled bees similar to the clown in the trailer above) or 2006 remake of The Wicker Man in which an investigator was tortured with bees.
Murphy also left us this tantalizing bee-guiling image on Instagram recently:
There’s also an official website that will unlock additional teasers over the next seven weeks leading up to the show’s September 5 premiere.
Who will appear in American Horror Story: Cult?
Right now it seems like longtime AHS vets Sarah Paulson (a lesbian actress) and Evan Peters will join the cast as well as Billie Lourd, gay comedian Billy Eichner, Lena Dunham, Colton Haynes, Leslie Grossman, Allison Pill, and Cheyenne Jackson.