As a horror writer, I watch a lot of disturbing shit. That's my job. However, having managed to remain relatively spoiler-free for the first episode of American Horror Story: Hotel, nothing prepared me for the sheer brutality of its most shocking scene.
***AHS: Hotel Spoilers, obviously***
Remember this promo for AHS: Hotel, 'Do Not Disturb'? It turns out that this faceless terror was a hint of terrible things to come...
If you've seen the episode, you'll know which one I'm talking about. Not to put too fine a point on it, the nice chap pictured above (Max Greenfield, playing a drug addicted character named Gabriel) gets violently raped by a horrible waxen demon with a sharp drill-bit strap-on; a drilldo, if you will.
"Emotionally terrifying... I can say that I'm a different person for having shot the show. There was a moment of pause, and then I was like, ‘OK. Let’s do it.' [Murphy] wanted it to be graphic, and I think he wanted it to be intense and to shock people."
I don't blame the guy for being freaked out; I was fairly traumatized and I was only watching it. But... what the HELL is the gnarly drill-dildo freak about? Is he a Rubber Man throwback to Season 1? Is he a disgruntled guest with a bizarre skin disorder? Not according to Ryan Murphy. Dildo dude is a metaphor:
"He is a representation of that and what people go through fighting addiction. It’s not done lightly or blithely. I think it’s very powerful and strong."
Lady Gaga added an interesting perspective to the season, speaking with startling lucidity to THR:
"What’s interesting about this season is that you see the dichotomy of the two worlds: You have the hotel world, which feels decidedly like the Ryan Murphy world, and then you have the outside world. It’s addiction as the public sees it versus how it really is and how that all plays into each other."
Some of Hotel's promos certainly add to a feeling of addiction and danger: check out this one entitled 'drunk demon.'
Sarah Paulson -- who plays drug-addled spectre Hypodermic Sally -- has certainly got a firm grip on where her character and those others in the show similarly afflicted by addiction are coming from:
"The way that we can all be addicts in different ways that are detrimental to our health is a big part of this season. Whether it be love addictions, sex addictions, drugs addictions, alcohol addictions."