‘Cult’ Described As A “True American Horror Story.”
Showrunner Ryan Murphy is notoriously secretive about American Horror Story. The seventh season ‘Cult‘ is no different. This time though, Murphy is having fun dangling clues in front of fan’s faces. Trying to decipher everything from social media and the promo videos is challenging, but American Horror Story makes it an enthralling task.
Before we dive into the marketing and clues, let’s start with the plot/story. One of the very first things announced about this season is the political inspiration, the 2016 election in particular. Ryan Murphy plans to begin ‘Cult‘ on election night. It will feature Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but no one will be playing them. “You’ll see them on television,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “The first 10 minutes of the season takes place in a very eerie macabre way on election night, and there’s something terrible that happens in the lives of our characters on election night as they’re watching it all go down.”
Little is known about what exactly happens, but it’s confirmed the season will focus on two characters named Kai (Evan Peters) and Ally (Sarah Paulson). Murphy has called the character’s romance as “a love story for the ages.” Will the terrible thing that happens during election night focus on them or something they do? Romeo & Juliet is a reference to love in ‘Murder House,’ but this seems a little more Sid and Nancy.
“We are one.”
This season’s marketing campaign has a heavy focus on not only bees but clowns as well. Looking at the bee motif, it makes sense with the cult theme. There is a “hive mentality” in cults, a term that stems from how bees work in a hive. There’s a collective consciousness with both bees and cults. The leader (queen) makes the decisions, while the workers follow those orders. With the cult theme, it’s easy to assume either Kai or Ally will play a cult leader while the other plays the doomed love interest. Ally being the leader would also fit into the “queen bee” idea. Interesting analogy even with how obvious it is.
Usually, the marketing doesn’t directly tie into the season, but one photo from Ryan Murphy’s Instagram proves there is a connection. Below is a behind-the-scenes photo from a production where bees are covering someone. This image was the last hint before the season title announcement, and many saw it as only a clue. Now with the trailers coming out, this could be a way the cult initiates or kills someone.
“Fear is the answer.”
The addition of clowns is where things get weirder. This inclusion isn’t the first time showrunner Ryan Murphy sent in the clowns. One of the most infamous characters is Twisty The Clown from ‘Freak Show.’ There have even been rumblings of Twisty returning, but there are no sightings of him yet. But what’s different about every clown in the ‘Cult‘ promos is the sense of unity. Any time one speaks, they use the terms “we” or “us.” Some have a subtle difference in appearance, but there isn’t much variety in looks.
If all of these clowns are coming together, what is their purpose and what does the clown makeup represent? A theory is that the clowns are a symbol for the fools of society. Like a Jester in the Royal Court, the people who join the cult feel like fools for individuals in power. This ties into comments Ryan Murphy said about who the season plans to highlight. ‘Cult‘ will be about “people who don’t have a voice in our culture,” Murphy told THR. Adding, “People who are ignored by the current administration and who are afraid and feel terrorized that their lives are going to be taken away.”
Now taking all of these clues and putting down a prediction: this clown cult represents a group of disenfranchised people, and they work together as a hive to bring their sick justice. Ally or Kai will be members or the leaders of this movement. Infamous American Horror Story character Twisty will serve as a muse for this group after seeing him depicted in a comic-book. Like the Alt-Right did with the Pepe Frog meme.
Expecting something a little supernatural to happen as every season of AHS does. There are talks of the leader being seen as a “healer,” so that could branch into the world of the supernatural. Although, ‘Cult‘ may involve less magic-realism than usual due to the grounded subject matter.
What is your theory on these clues? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
American Horror Story: Cult will star Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson.
The cast includes Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, Adina Porter, Billy Eichner, Billie Lourd, Cheyenne Jackson, Lena Dunham, Colton Haynes, Mare Winningham and Leslie Grossman.
September 5th starts the 11-episode seventh season on FX Networks.