American Horror Story – Halloween: Part 1 (2011) [S01E04]

AHS “Murder House” Halloween: Part 1, first season, fourth episode – Main characters of the series, Ben &Vivien get introduced to even more of their house’s former owners, in this case Chad & Patrick, who helps them get the house ready for the upcoming Halloween festivities.

Genre:
Drama, Horror (TV-series)

Country:
USA

Language:
English
.

Aired:
October 26, 2011

Full plot:
Season 1 of American Horror Story is set in 2011 and revolves around the events that occurred in the “Murder House” – a house with a horrendous and tragic past, making it perpetually haunted by the victims and perpetrators of numerous infamous murder cases.

The 4th episode in the 1st season of AHS focuses mainly on the days leading up to Halloween or Samhain – a delicate time of the year where the veil, separating the worlds of the living and the dead, is said to be extra thin. For the struggling married couple, Ben & Vivien Harmon (now living in the murder house), this means that they can expect more traumatizing hauntings and strange events than ever.

“Halloween: Part 1” begins with a flashback (which is typical for the series) showing the incident that led to the death of the house’s former owners in 2010 (just before the previous Halloween). Chad Warwick and his partner Patrick, a troubled same-sex couple who bought the house in hopes of flipping it, are seen preparing the house for a Halloween party, intended to attract the interest of potential buyers. Given that they have frequently experienced fidelity problems, a fight or an argument quickly breaks out between them, and Chad leaves in anger.

Enter the Rubber Man (or Tate clad in a rubber suit), staring at Chad who assumes that Patrick has simply put on the rubber suit in an attempt to kink things up. Tate suddenly attacks Chad, tries to drown him in a punch bowl or bucket with floating Gala apples, but seemingly breaks his neck in the process. Tate then turns around to face Patrick, walking into the room in a cowboy costume; concluding the flashback.

The following Halloween, Ben & Vivien sit and talk to their realtor, Marcy, about how to increase their chances of selling the house. Marcy suggests hiring stylistic assistants [turning out to be Chad & Patrick], effectively acting as professional interior decorators to help bring the house’s public image in good standing for this year’s Halloween.

In the following scene, Constance (a core character in the show) is seen enter her home and find her young boyfriend, Travis, read an illustrated book on the history of Halloween to her daughter, Addy, who has apparently told him she’s unable to read. This bitters Constance, and makes her think that her daughter is trying to rival her for her boyfriend.

Back at the Murder House, Larry (Constance’s former lover) interrupts Ben during a therapeutic session with Tate, who has returned to him, and who refuses to consult another therapist as Ben advised. Larry tries to blackmail Ben, threatening to expose the killing of Hayden, Ben’s dead mistress (who lies buried in Ben’s garden). Angered, Ben refuses to tolerate his threats and tell him to leave, so he can return to his session with Tate. He and Tate then agree to meet later in a local park over a cup of coffee.

While Moira (the Maid of the Murder House) carves a pumpkin to ready the house for the upcoming party, a security guard from a private security agency explains to Vivien how to make use of their new home security gadgets. As Vivien carries the jack-o’-lantern outside, she spots Chad & Patrick, who are now visible (presumably because Halloween is drawing nearer). She takes it that they must be décor experts sent by Marcy, and invites them inside.

She puts them to work right away, and they play along, helping Ben cut more pumpkin lanterns. When Ben cuts himself, Patrick follows him to the bathroom, offering to patch up the bleeding wound. Patrick starts hitting on Ben sexually but is rejected. Meanwhile, Chad explains Patrick’s habitual infidelity to Vivien, saying that he has caught Patrick cheating on him by going through his phone bills.

In her room, Violet Harmon (teenage daughter of the Harmons) is approached by Addy, who asks Violet to help dressing her up as “a pretty girl” for Halloween. The confused Violet then applies makeup on Addy, who suffers from a slight DNS-condition, is happy with the result, but her mother is not. When she returns home, Constance attacks her and tries to wipe off her makeup, shouting that she is “not a pretty girl”. Addy then cancels going out and no longer wishes to dress up for Halloween at all.

In the basement of the Murder House, Tate startles Violet by approaching her in the rubber suit. She claims she wasn’t impressed, so Tate guarantees her that he can scare her with a Ouija board and some candles. Tate puts the planchette on the board and begins to elaborate on the story of Dr. Charles Montgomery, a master surgeon who built the Murder House in 1922, and who ran an unofficial abortion clinic in this very same basement as a side-business. Charles and his wife Nora had an infant child themselves, which was stolen from its cradle by the vengeful father of an aborted baby, and when its mutilated body was delivered in a police evidence box, Charles chose to stitch together the remains before they rot, hoping to somehow revive the dead baby. He creates the “Infantata” – a grotesque creation which still dwells in the basement, according to Tate. Violet still acts like she is not impressed. She adds that she is tired of fooling around inside the house, and that the two of them should go outside more often. Tate, realizing that the next evening will be Halloween, agrees to go on a “real date” with Violet on Halloween, since his chances of leaving the house will be higher by then.

A bit later, he and Ben meet as planned earlier, and Ben explains how the two of them are somewhat similar in that both have had problematic childhoods.

At Constance’s place, Addy is handed a latex face mask which covers her entire head. Constance says that Addy can wear the mask as a “pretty girl”. Either disregarding or simply not grasping the intended humiliation, Addy happily dons the mask.

On the day of Halloween, Vivien has found out that Hayden has made repeated phone calls to Ben. He immediately swears that he has made it very clear to his former mistress that she must stop calling him, and that he thinks it unlikely that she will call again. Few seconds after this, his phone rings and it’s indeed from Hayden.

In the kitchen, Chad becomes enraged when he finds out that the welcome bucket is swimming with Gala apples (Remember: Never remind a ghost of how it died!) and not Granny Smith apples, as he “explicitly” advised. He flips out and tells Ben & Vivien to leave the house. Ben & Vivien, who now own the house, return the request and Vivien trashes the place. Chad & Patrick leave as they spot Tate standing in the background, clad in the rubber suit.

Vivien, who is pregnant past 40, is struck with pain and suddenly feels that there must be something wrong with the fetus, so Ben drives her to a hospital and tells Violet to not open the door for anyone. Violet heads upstairs and puts on loud music, and meanwhile, Addy knocks on the main door, wanting to show Violet her new mask.

Addy is distracted by a trick-or-treat crowd, and chases after them. While crossing a road, she is smashed by a hit-and-run driver. As paramedics are loading her into an ambulance, they are interrupted by Constance, who drags Addy onto the front lawn of the Murder House. Addy seemingly dies during this.

During Vivien’s examination at the local hospital, the staff mentions that her baby is way too large for an 8 weeks old baby, before literally falling to the ground, fainting over whatever the ultrasound monitor shows.

Late in the evening, Moira visits her aging mother, Molly, in the elderly care section. She dismantles Molly’s respirator, and after Molly expires, her ghost appears behind Moira, asking her to come along, although Moira remarks that she is not ready to follow her mother.

Lastly, we witness how Larry once again visits the Murder House to extort money from Ben. Violet is home alone, so she phones her father and asks whether she should call the police. Ben tells her not to. He and Vivien rushes back home in the car, but when they arrive, Violet is nowhere to be found.

Someone’s at the door, and when Ben opens, a reanimated Hayden stands at his doorstep with an intimidating grin.

Cast:
Evan Peters as Tate Langdon
Jessica Lange as Constance Langdon
Jamie Brewer as Addy Langdon
Connie Britton as Vivien Harmon
Dylan McDermott as Ben Harmon
Taissa Farmiga as Violet Harmon
Denis O’Hare as Larry Harvey
Kate Mara as Hayden McClaine
Zachary Quinto as Chad Warwick
Teddy Sears as Patrick
Frances Conroy as Moira O’Hara
Matt Ross as Charles Montgomery
Lily Rabe as Nora Montgomery
Christine Estabrook as Marcy
Michael Graziadei as Travis Wanderley
Morris Chestnut as Luke

Director:
David Semel

Writers:
Ryan Murphy
Brad Falchuk

Links:
AHS – Halloween: Part 1 (2011) on IMDB

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