It's hard to imagine a film being banned in this modern age of horror, especially a film within a genre that has given us the likes of Saw, Hereditary, Mother!, and countless other films that have gone to incredible lengths to shake audiences. At one point in the rich history of cinema, however, the banning of films was a common practice that became even more prevalent throughout the 70s and 80s when horror films like, The Exorcist (which continues to scare audiences today with news of a new reboot), and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre began to push the envelope in directions that audiences at the time simply couldn't fathom. To no ones surprise though, the bans and controversies that surrounded these films only made them more sought after, and cemented many as cult classics.
The idea of the infamous banned film is the cornerstone in the second act of Ryan Murphy's newest horror anthology, American Horror Stories, which is simply titled, Drive-In, and sees groups of eager horror fans and horny teens alike all crowding into a local L.A. drive-in to experience one of the most forbidden films ever made. What is this film you may be asking. Well, not even the characters that inhabit Murphy's horror universe know for sure. What they do know, however, is that the film, which is called "Rabbit Rabbit" was only shown once in 1986, and according to legend, six people died during the screening when the crowd turned into a murderous frenzy. In fact, it was only thanks to interference from Washington wife, Tipper Gore, that the film was not only never screened again, but also destroyed and erased from existence. So are the legends true? Well, tune in and see for yourself, although I'm sure anyone who is even remotely familiar with the series has already figured out that the ill-fated audience doesn't even make it to the credits before the carnage begins.
While American Horror Stories got off to a slow start with its two part return to Murder House, the second episode of the series is effectively better, and shows promise for the remainder of the season. Drive-In is right at home in the world of American Horror Story, and acts as a fun standalone episode that is reminiscent of the B-grade horror films that dominated drive-ins throughout the the 1980s. If there is anything to be desired from "Drive-In," it's a part two. Just shy of an hour, the episode rushes through the best, and goriest section, which takes place after enough people have fallen victim to film's subliminal effects. All the same, it should be said that the episode's climax makes up for the rushed middle. No spoilers, but many viewers will pick up on the episodes final twist and be filled with dread as they wait for their suspicions to be confirmed.
American Horror Stories is set to return on June 29th with an episode called The Naughty List, which will see a group of influencers face a reckoning after posting a problematic video online. Oh, and did we mention the episode will also feature Danny Trejo in the role of Santa. Yeah, you read that right.
American Horror Stories is currently streaming on Hulu and FX.