'AHS: Cult' hits at Americans' extreme American fanaticism; plot inspired by actual stories

"AHS" airs Tuesdays on FX
By @nessdoctor on
Sarah Paulson
Sarah Paulson attends the 69th annual DGA Awards in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. February 4, 2017 Reuters/Phil McCarten

The seventh season of “American Horror Story” has just commenced. It is entitled “Cult,” and it appears to waste no time spooking its viewers. While this season will surely leave a mark of terror in its own manner, some viewers could not help but notice similarities to other horror movie icons.

Spoiler alert! This article contains “American Horror Story” spoilers. Read on if you would like to know what happens before the next episode airs.

Viewers have noticed that the trigger-happy and murderous clowns bear a cunning resemblance to the 2008 thriller “The Strangers.” Such film was reportedly based on a true story and starred Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler as a couple constantly terrorized by violent assailants in their vacation home. The masks they wear weren’t very "clowny," but they were enough to terrorise anyone who watches.

Gizmodo notes that the events on this season of “American Horror Story” were inspired by real-life cults, which are actually more terrifying than how they appear on the show. One of these is the Ant Hill Kids, a small doomsday cult in Ontario, Canada that ran between 1977 and 1989. Their leader, Roch Theriault, started out as a member of the Seventh Day Adventist who ran a detox program to help members quit smoking and drinking until he started his own cult.

He would later on enforce full dominion over his members. Some of the deeds he did were making followers eat their own feces, nailing children to trees, batting his members and doing self-surgeries without anaesthetics. Theriault was killed in 2011 by his cellmate, but some of his members still continue up to this day and still obey his teachings.

Episode 3 of “American Horror Story” will air on September 19, 2017 on FX. In Australia, it airs on Channel Eleven.