“American Horror Story: Asylum”: The Complete Second Season is another triumph for FX and although on the whole I liked the first season better, this one has a lot to offer including some excellent performances headlined by Zachary Quinto and Jessica Lange amongst others.
Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Horror, Drama
Fox | NR – 563 min. – $59.99 | October 8, 2013
Directed by: Various
Writer(s): Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy (created by)
Cast: Zachary Quinto, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Lizzie Brocheré, James Cromwell, Jessica Lange
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: Various
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE SEASON – 4.0/5
Season Outline: The sins of the past haunt the present at the notorious Briarcliff home for the criminally insane, rules with an iron fist by Sister Jude (JESSICA LANGE). Forbidden desire and terrifying evil lurk every corner… from alien abduction to demonic possession to a skin-wearing psychopath known as “Bloody Face.”
Quick Hit Review: Just as creepy and scary, perhaps in some ways even more so, than the first season, “American Horror Story: Asylum” is a great new chapter in the series with an all-new killer replacing the “Rubber Man” from season one and more twists and surprising turns. The acting once again is strong with Zachary Quinto doing amazing work, Evan Peters as one of the central characters and, of course, the return of Jessica Lange who commands each scene she’s in. The addition of James Cromwell is also great displaying great ferociousness matching any evil on the show.
If you’re like me and enjoyed the first season but didn’t watch it live for whatever reason, this home video release of “Asylum” is perfect to catch up with some horrific stories but amazing performances from end to end. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it isn’t for everybody as there’s not a whole lot of lightness as you can tell from the posters and artworks.
1. Welcome to Briarcliff
2. Tricks and Treats
4. I Am Anne Frank Part 1
5. I Am Anne Frank Part 2
6. The Origins of Monstrosity
7. Dark Cousin
8. Unholy Night
9. The Coat Hanger
10. The Name Game
11. Spilt Milk
13. Madness Ends
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
The 3-disc set comes in a standard Blu-ray case with a semi-glossy slip cover.
All the bonus features reside on the third disc:
Deleted Scenes (4:00; HD) contain footage cropped or cut probably due to time constraints.
The Orderly (9:00; HD) gives a tour of the cells and the inhabitants who appear throughout the season.
What is “American Horror Story: Asylum”? (21:55; HD) is a ‘making-of’ featurette and has on-set interviews with various members of the cast and crew talking about the story and characters.
Welcome to Briarcliff Manor (15:04; HD) is a look at the set design in the insane asylum.
The Creatures (14:49; HD) is about how the paranormal and supernatural were created via make-up effects.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
“American Horror Story: Asylum”: The Complete Second Season arrives on Blu-ray presented in its original 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a sharp-looking 1080p high-definition transfer. Colors as one would imagine tend to be drab going for darker elements in and outside the asylum but the detail levels are quite good and there’s a fair amount of natural grain which isn’t overabundant or distracting. The transfer itself is clean as one would expect.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is a bit consistent ranging from ample audio showing off great depth at times while others it tends to be somewhat limited. The center channel gets the most with clear dialogue while other channels are relegated for off-screen noise. It’s nothing great nor will it blow away your sound system, but it’s more than adequate.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, “American Horror Story: Asylum”: The Complete Second Season is another triumph for FX and although on the whole I liked the first season better, this one has a lot to offer including some excellent performances headlined by Zachary Quinto and Jessica Lange amongst others. The Blu-ray released by Fox has solid audio/video transfers while the bonus material is OK, but lacking.