Ending months of speculation, Ryan Murphy announced today that the fourth season of American Horror Story will officially be titled Freak Show.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY SEASON FOUR: pic.twitter.com/6OHYzGjPMd
— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) March 24, 2014
Beyond the ultra-creepy theme, we know the show will be set in the 1950s, will be filmed in Santa Fe or New Orleans and will involve Jessica Lange using a German accent.
“If you look historically what happened in the year 1950, there’s some more clues in that year,” the masterful Mr. Murphy said last December. “It’s a period piece. We try and do the opposite of what we’ve done before.”
As we speculated at that time, a New Mexico-based show could contain an awesome storyline about a town that was contaminated by nuclear bomb radiation: The Manhattan Project was tested at Trinity Site in New Mexico on July 16, 1945. Besides Albert Einstein, a number of other German-born scientists aided the Allies during this project. Fallout contamination was reported up to 30 miles away from Trinity Site after the bomb was tested — but unreported sites of contamination have served as great fodder for conspiracy theorists ever since.
Considering American Horror Story Freak Show is set five years later, there’s plenty of time for radioactive water or food supplies to warp a town’s otherwise normal residents into bearded women, children to multiple heads, 10-ft. tall men and otherwise sideshow-appropriate mutants!
In terms of other potential plot clues, AHS writer Douglas Petrie recently said — among other interesting things — the crew almost always derives inspiration from classic horror flicks. In the case of American Horror Story Freak Show, the most obvious muse would likely be Freaks from 1932.
Because no good season of AHS is complete without a twisted love story, we also want to throw 1951’s Chained for Life into the mix. The movie is based on the lives of Daisy and Violet Hilton — who previously appeared in Freaks. In the movie, the girls are torn in two different directions by their separate husbands.
As for the German connection, I’d submit Woyzeck for consideration. Although the 1978 film adaptation lately cut out freak show references, the original play involves a bearded lady, human medical experiments on a former soldier and murder.
Ryan Murphy is expected to reveal more teasers about Freak Show at PaleyFest this Friday. AHS will return to FX in October 2014.