The official title for American Horror Story season 11 suggests the show is going back to basics. Season 11 of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s hit FX series was announced to be titled “New York City” on September 29, 2022 after weeks of fan speculation. Since each season of American Horror Story takes place in a completely different setting, focusing on new characters and fresh stories, the rumor mill has been spinning about what direction AHS: NYC will take, but the title suggests that the horror might be more grounded and “real” than previous installments of the series.
American Horror Story: NYC is set to take place in New York City during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, with promotional material for the upcoming season posing a deep dive into the more risque areas of society. While not much has been revealed about the plot of the new season, viewers have been gifted cast information such as the return of Star Trek star Zachary Quinto alongside AHS alums Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, and Patti LuPone. Since AHS legends Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters won’t be returning for season 11, actors such as Charlie Carver (The Boys in the Band), Joe Mantello (Hollywood), and Russell Tovey (Years and Years) will be joining the ensemble cast.
The New York City setting of American Horror Story season 11 suggests that the series might be going back to basics with its horror, dealing with the darker parts of the city rather than something paranormal or supernatural. Speculation about the story has posed a potential serial killer storyline, as the 70s and 80s saw a meteoric rise in this sort of crime in New York, or perhaps even some action taking place in the infamous Studio 54, which has also been rumored as a focus for a new season of American Crime Story. Since some prior seasons of AHS have been met with a mixed response due to the exploration of more other-worldly horror, AHS: NYC will benefit by focusing on more believable and tangible frights.
Why American Horror Story Needs More “Real” Horror After Season 10’s Failures
Previous seasons of American Horror Story have featured horror stories involving vampires, aliens, and ghosts, but this outlandish horror has often been met with a mixed reception. This culminated in AHS season 10, Double Feature, the latter half of which was met with a mostly negative response. Murphy and Falchuk have always been praised for their innovative expression of horror in AHS, but this seemed to be pushed to the max in Double Feature, which dealt with one storyline, Red Tide, featuring bloodthirsty artists in Provincetown, and another, Death Valley, exploring an alien invasion of Earth across half a century. The storytelling, writing, and rushed narratives were criticized, but one of the major pitfalls was the overt inclusion of fantastical horror.
If American Horror Story: New York City is bound to take the series back to its roots, the distraction of complex horror will be eliminated and the series can still thrill and excite viewers while carrying on the brilliant AHS trademarks that make the show so entertaining. Since Double Feature and some episodes of AHS spinoff, American Horror Stories, have seen mixed receptions, it would serve the series well to go back to basics and provide some good-old-fashioned horror that is more down-to-Earth. As such American Horror Story: NYC can be a return to form for the iconic horror franchise.
Next: Every AHS Actor Returning For American Horror Story Season 11