Review of “American Horror Stories: Drive”: the macabre, the spooky, and the gorgeous are back
‘American Horror Stories: Drive’ is a strange mix between the best of AHS and a strange background of film noir.
All with the singular aesthetic, and sometimes excessive, that has made the franchise famous.
In American Horror Stories: Drive , which premieres November 4 on Disney+, the moral is straightforward. Nothing is what it seems in a world full of vanity and debauchery . Much less, in a superficial and banal time like the current one.
Of course, in the anthology that departs from the American Horror Story universe , that seeming frivolity is also a form of darkness. So much so that the possible desire for fun is, at the same time, a way of dying.
So, from the point of view of the AHS spin-off series, the impulse of desire and the need for love is related to murder. He makes this clear from his opening scenes, in which a nightspot setting soon turns into a street chase.
All in the midst of the constant feeling of threat, danger and fear. In American Horror Stories: Drive , the question of how love is conceived in our time is tied directly to the fearsome and the deadly.
But not precisely because it is a violent act of an inexplicable nature. In American Horror Stories: Drive , there is no doubt that the danger is human .
A ravenous menace that swings in all directions like a common thread running through a series of fast-paced plot twists. Marci (Bella Thorne) just wants to have fun. She makes it clear as she dances through strobe lights.
Around her, the world disappears in a blur of sounds and drinks. But it is clear that, for the character, the stridency that surrounds her is a form of satisfaction.
So much so that when she is chased by a car while driving home, the terrifying experience doesn’t seem to faze her.
It is clear that the script for American Horror Stories: Drive tries to make it clear that Marci is a woman who likes risks.
The danger and, what is even more disturbing, the adrenaline that fear leaves in its wake. An extravagant combination in which history will find its best moments.
American Horror Stories: Drive talks about fear, desire and inner darkness
For Chaz (Anthony De La Torre), Marci’s husband and helpless witness to her lifestyle, the perception of risk is complicated.
On the one hand, he loves that the woman in her life is bold and unstoppable. The plot strives to explore Marci as a complex character who builds her own boundaries.
But on the other hand, that good and accommodating husband is worried for genuine reasons.
There is a serial killer on the loose in the city who also – how could it be otherwise – takes advantage of nightclubs as a hunting ground.
American Horror Stories: Drive uses the caveat of risk to confront the obsessions of an age that celebrates freedom. Also in which violence is part of everyday life and of the most usual things.
Combined, both things create a complicated scenario. One in which Marci moves boldly. This woman who wants to have fun, love and be loved, she doesn’t seem to have a sense of the risk she’s taking. Or if?
As often happens in the AHS universe, all this reflection on the behavior and decisions of its characters leads to darkness.
In this case, much more pernicious and perverse than might be supposed. As the first chapter of the anthology progresses, it becomes clear that Marci, and her audacious desire for adventure, is actually hiding something far more macabre.
Even more singular, that the intrepidity that during a good part of the chapter defines the character is a need for gratification related, of course, to the disturbing.
One of the high points of American Horror Stories: Drive is just the way the script keeps its secrets.
There are at least two plot twists surprising enough to recast its entire premise. But the story is told with such precision and good taste that they are unpredictable, without being contrived or forced.
The chapter enjoys the effervescence, the surprise, until it makes it clear that nothing is what it seems.
However, what might seem like a weird take on the game of cat and mouse reaches its high points right away. The combination of tension, unhealthy curiosity and threat suddenly become the announcement of something harder to understand.
That is when American Horror Stories: Drive shows its layers of darkness and triumphs as a premise. Marci is not a victim, nor is Chaz innocent. In reality, each character reaches a confusing point in a complicated map that is nonetheless puzzling and well-executed.
The macabre and the sinister with a touch of singular beauty
For its final scenes, American Horror Stories: Drive proved that it’s capable of playing into the franchise’s sophisticated take on horror.
Take it to new ground and also ask uncomfortable questions about its most complicated spaces and places. Without a doubt, one of the highest points of the anthology episode and the strongest point of this addition to a broader and more complex universe.
With its frenetic blend of suspense and sinister fun, the American Horror Stories: Drive episode closes with a look at human nature.
The primitive, which is seen through the glass of contemporary pleasures, defeats and aspirations. But, at the same time, mixed with the violent conception of horror.
One away from witches, monsters and creatures from beyond the grave. The AHS franchise proves , once again, that it is capable of reframing fear and doing so from completely unexpected points.
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