There's no secret that what precedes the seasons of FX's American Horror Story is some great marketing. With each season so far we have had dozens of short teaser spots, photos, posters, and behind the scenes looks at the upcoming seasons. It isn't until after the seasons wrap up that you realize the teasers might have even been better than the entire season you just finished.
For me personally, we had our best marketing with Freak Show in 2014. The teasers were abundant and did a great job setting the atmosphere of the season and teased the oddities that we were set to endure. I would say, and many agree, that the teasers set an expectation that wasn't quite met but that doesn't mean the teasers are to be ignored.
With this list we will focus on the best AHS teasers we have had so far. Although this is numbered it is not in order from worst to best, so keep your panties intact before blowing up the comments section. This will include all five seasons even though Hotel hasn't premiered yet. We no doubt have at least one more teaser coming for Hotel, but I think we have received enough to judge what the show will be from what we've seen so far.
And in case you're wondering, the "Fallen Angel" teaser for Freak Show is not on this list. It was really great, but it wasn't an official teaser. Fan trailers are not included.
Disclaimer: This list IS NOT in order from worst to best and contains teasers from all five seasons.
10. American Horror Story: Freak Show - "Open Wide"
It's absolutely terrifying. Not only did the Freak Show marketing channel the fear of clowns, this teaser took it to another level. The music was perfect and the short clip is enough to remember and is easy for repeated viewings. Between this teaser and the overall character of Twisty the Clown, I bet there were a lot of people that decided to skip Freak Show to avoid the clown aspect.
9. American Horror Story: Murder House - "Belly"
Any woman who has been pregnant knows there are moments when you see arms or legs poking through. However, it's not too often you see something that looks like hooves clawing at you. Needless to say this is a teaser that is simply unnerving and it definitely has the ability to make you uncomfortable. The "tainted love" foreshadowing is also something you appreciate a lot more once you complete the season.
8. American Horror Story: Hotel - "Front Desk"
A couple things make this teaser great. As we have seen with the Hotel teasers as they've gone on, they are amplifying Lady Gaga's involvement to a level that is almost unbearable. The regular theme has been replaced with her voice, the name of the season fluctuates between "Hotel" and "Lady Gaga" and she has had an entire 30-second teaser dedicated to herself. It's not American Horror Story: Lady Gaga and we've been led to believe that's what we are getting.
What this first teaser did was perfect in the sense that it teased what Gaga brings to the table in a way that also ties into the overall horror theme of the show. Not to mention it has the show's unaltered theme song. It's subtle enough to not push her in our faces, but the hand ringing the bell is just the right amount of weird to put in. It gives the essence of a haunted hotel without revealing anything but a hand.
7. American Horror Story: Asylum - "White Rose"
This was essentially Asylum in a nutshell. Showing the beautiful, calm exterior that the Catholic church wanted us to see with Briarcliff but inside was the horror and pain felt by its inhabitants. It's a perfect blend of creepy and beautiful.
6. American Horror Story: Freak Show - "Twisted Smile"
Serving as our first glimpse of Twisty the Clown, the quick burst of the mask was scary and exciting. The song in the background compliments what should be a fun time at the carnival, but the macabre tone of the music in addition to seeing what is actually behind the curtain with this dancing clown is chilling.
5. American Horror Story: Coven - "Slither"
Coven was a bit of hit or miss with viewers, but there is no denying the teasers amped up the creep factor. Channeling a fear of snakes many of us have, this clip teased what many find disgusting in a way that makes you chill deep inside. The symbolism of a serpent was well utilized.
4. American Horror Story: Murder House - "Black Suit"
The black suit essentially became the face of the inaugural season of this series and with good reason. It's creepy and it hints at a lifestyle many people find sick or undesirable. While some see it that way others find it intriguing and maybe a tad unnerving. Add in a seemingly unconscious pregnant woman in a separate gravity plane and you have a great visual.
3. American Horror Story: Asylum - "Ascend"
This teaser gave us a bit of an Exorcist type vibe and every second of it is great. Along with the nun walking the right way, you see the backwards patient underneath going opposite. It hints at the thought of although asylums are thought to be safe havens for the impaired, they might contain more demons than we'd like to acknowledge.
2. American Horror Story: Freak Show - "Two Faced"
This is just creepy in general, but the inclusion of "we are all freaks" is what made it special. The line eventually became the tagline for Twitter and Facebook, but it includes the audience in a way that makes us all feel like we belong with Elsa at this freak show.
1. American Horror Story: Hotel - "Do Not Disturb"
Definitely not something you would want to find banging on your door at a hotel. We will find out if Hotel includes the horrors like this or if this is yet another advertising trick to grab our attention, but this was one of the better teasers we've gotten so far.