Guys, we have been duped. The theme for Season 6 of American Horror Story will not be revealed until the season begins.
This has never happened before and it's stressing me out. FX CEO John Landgraf told the press at the Television Critics Association press tour that although the theme won't be announced, we have already been given the clue for what it is. Well, you know those short trailers we all gobbled up? Only one of those is the real deal. Landgraf said that the marketing team “went out and created many more trailers than you’ve actually seen for hypothetical seasons of American Horror Story, in different genres, different places. One of them is accurate and the others are all misdirects.”
Yeah, that's right. All of those trailers are fake, except for one. Cue the sighs.
You may remember a couple of weeks ago that we were given the vaguest hint when all official American Horror Story social media pages changed their photos to a red six, with what appeared to be a question mark embedded into the design. It was against a black background and gave fans nothing to work with. I gotta tell you, the natives were getting restless when a few weeks went by and no theme was hinted at or revealed. Unfortunately, we now know that we have to wait until the season begins on Sep. 14 to get the real answers, so hang tight, natives, hang tight.
What does this mean? Well, it means that we can take a look at the promos we do have and try and guess the theme, because they did say that one of them is correct. There is also the frustrating possibility that the AHS creators are merely throwing us completely in another direction because they like to see us cry.
Since we are being led on a wild goose chase, let's take a look at what clues we do have so far and try to put something together for what could be the theme and maybe some things that will happen in Season 6.
There is a winner in here somewhere... hopefully.
With the news of set photos (one of which has "Croatoan" carved into a tree) being leaked by TMZ, I am thinking we are going to be focusing solely on some kind of old-timey, colonial-inspired horror. If you remember the "Lost Colony" of Roanoke in history class, the set photos may jog your memory. Basically, when settler John White returned back here from England to the colony he had settled, it was completely abandoned/looted and he found the word "Croatoan" carved into a tree/post. There was possible evidence of cannibalism, which fits nicely into the AHS aesthetic, and it's a generally creepy mystery in American history. This "Lost Colony" idea could be the theme or it could be a flashback.
The opening shot of the promo titled "What's Cooking?" is of a house in the middle of a field, with black smoke billowing out of the chimney. The smoke forms itself into that number six with the question mark from the earlier clue photos that the social media pages teased out weeks ago. That's weird and all, but then we hear the revving of a chainsaw and a woman scream. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, anyone? This opens up some possibilities involving incestuous, murderous families. Horrifying.
We slide right into a clip of a woman running for her life down a set of metal stairs in the promo titled, "Descent". Hands pop up each and every way to grab at her feet (nightmare material) and they appear to be bloody and/or rotting. Are these zombie hands? I kind of hope not, because I am very over the zombie cliché happening lately. These are possibly hands of people trapped or living under stairs/underground. This looks like it is a hill-people season. That means we could see some really messed up stuff, and some truly messed-up family dynamics, in particular. These could be hill-children hands.
Another shot from "Descent" resembling that number six with a question mark. This looks like it's referring to someone trying to get out. They look like scratches. Those hands have got to be people trapped or raised in darkness of some sort. Backwoods fun, friends.
In "Lullaby," we're introduced to what looks to be a pretty unconventional mobile. I mean, who am I to judge though, right? There is clearly a baby's bassinet with a mobile hanging over it. The mobile appears to be made from crude farming tools, like wheat reapers and sickles. That's disconcerting, to say the least.
That's 100 percent a hill child. That's The Hills Have Eyes kind of child right there. The "Lullaby" teaser has a child's cooing noises, but then that mutated hand reaches up to grab the butcher's knife hanging from its mobile. I have a feeling that the way children will be integrated into this season will be horrifying on a level previously not considered. We are going to see some backwoods realness.
This is obviously an homage to a sickle or another scary-ass piece of farm equipment that will no doubt be used to harm someone greatly.
So, in "Sunset Stroll" we now have a cute little family sauntering towards the camera in a completely non-threatening way that somehow also feels intensely aggressive. Maybe it's their old timey prairie clothes and their glowing eyes? Maybe. That may be it. This fits in really nicely with the whole Hills Have Eyes vibe that they seem to be hinting strongly at. The glowing eyes seem rather demon-ish. Also, there's a child, which Ryan Murphy mentioned would be part of his theme this season.
In "Post Op" we have a really gnarly looking man who is lying on the ground with what I can only assume is a sadistic doctor's staples on his head in the shape of that question mark and the six. He then says, "Try to keep it dry," and I am glad he took the time to administer after-care instructions. The man on the floor looks dirty and deformed with long nails. Again, it fits perfectly into the whole Hills Have Eyes/ Texas Chainsaw Massacre idea. Now, the voice sounds like Wes Bentley, to be honest. I may just be hearing things but I swear it is him.
Is that Gaga in "Milli Crossing"?! We know she is coming back, but it's real now. I am almost positive that is Gaga. Who else looks that fierce with a millipede scuttling down their face? No one. That's who. This one is very American Horror Story. It's very similar to things they did in promos for Hotel. I mean, if it's a dirty, backwoods farm/woods theme, then bugs would be everywhere, right? But she seems pretty cool with that thing, so is she one of the bad guys? I hope so, because she wears villain really well.
This, obviously, is the winner out of all of our theories and musings because there's no way that Gaga won't be a highlight this season. We were recently blessed with an "Illusion" teaser that doesn't clarify any questions for us, but does reinforce the fact that Lady Gaga can sing her butt off.
So, there is a very creepy song that plays in many of the promos. It's almost like an old, country tune. It's a woman humming, and it's only serving to terrify my soul and to reaffirm my notion that some backwoods/colonial shenanigans are coming our way. I am truly hoping for some classic horror like the movies I have mentioned above.
My only question is what Lady Gaga is possibly going to be doing out in the backwoods of who knows where or in colonial times. I am so curious. We know there is a definite homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes and things of that nature. This season will be disturbing, guys. Get your big-kid pants on and plug in the night light.
This article was originally published on July 2016 and updated on September 2016.
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