With the fifth season of American Horror Story under way, I’d like to revisit my five favorite villains from the previous seasons. What’s funny about AHS is that no character is truly good. Almost everyone in the show is a terrible person, but we love them because they are so deliciously evil. I started this out as a list of my favorite AHS characters, but I realized that all my “favorites” were the baddies… What can I say?
Oh yeah, and I would advise NOT reading this article if you aren’t familiar with the series, as there are SPOILERS!!!!
Dr. Oliver Thredson (Asylum)
Played by the amazing Zachary Quinto, Dr. Oliver Thredson is cool, collected, and dangerous. This renowned psychiatrist is brought in to Briarcliff to see if Kit Walker (Evan Peters), who is pinned as serial killer “Bloodyface”, is fit to see trial, or if he should be declared insane and forced to live out his days at the asylum.
The kind, understanding, and professional Dr. Thredson that Lana Winters (Sara Paulson) comes to know is all a carefully maintained façade, and poor Lana is forced to discover that he is the true Bloodyface. Thredson is a well-established murderer who has the most horrifying trait a serial killer can have: sanity. That means that there is no excuse for the depravity of this man. He’s a fucking psychiatrist, for god’s sake; he knows the ins and outs of people’s minds, and he sure as hell knows right from wrong. He is a cold-blooded killer with a passion for flesh.
Marie Laveau (Coven)
Taking the name of a real historical figure, Marie Laveau (played by the badass and beautiful Angela Bassett) is the voodoo queen of New Orleans. While she is known to help people, it is either for her benefit, or for the price of loyalty. Beware to anyone who stands in her way or crosses her, for she has the power of black magic on her side.
Marie has many enemies, and most of her “friends” are dead or demonic. She has been alive for centuries, but at a terrible cost. She sold her soul to a Haitian God named Papa Legba, who keeps her in the realm of the living in return for soul of an innocent—usually an infant; she’s even offered up her own.
I love a woman in power, and Marie Laveau is a queen, feared and respected. She is powerful, independent, lethal, and at times, even kind. I may not hold a grudge like Marie, but there are a few reasons to look up to her. And can we get Angela Bassett’s secret voodoo recipe to aging gracefully?
Constance Langdon (Murder House)
Tate gets enough love from troubled teens everywhere (just kidding I love him too), but in the question of nature vs. nurture; it’s a lose-lose with a mother like Constance (Jessica Lange). She is cold, unloving, and narcissistic enough to keep producing one fucked up child after the next.
Her first was a poor deformed and mentally disabled creature named Beauregard (Sam Kinsey), who, despite being kind and friendly, was smothered to death because of his “repulsive” appearance. The second was Addie (Jamie Brewer), who graciously warns all away from the Murder House, but naturally to no avail. Constance is verbally abuse and manipulative to Addie, calling her a “pretty girl” when she’s good, and locking her in a room full of mirrors when she is bad. And then, of course, there’s Tate (Evan Peters); the murderous psychopath who stalked through the halls of his high school with a shotgun before committing suicide by force when confronted by a SWAT team.
Her final sin was seeking out and taking the only living twin born from her son’s rape of Vivien Harman (Connie Britton), which happens to be the freakin’ Antichrist. Of course.
Constance is that bitch you love to hate. She’s a snarky motherfucker who tells it like it is, and says what’s on everyone’s mind. She’s also a fucking train wreck that we just love to watch burn. The talents of Jessica Lange will sorely be missed in Season 5.
Sister Mary Eunice (Asylum)
Poor Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) started out as the sweetest, most innocent nun in all of Briarcliff. Until that time she got possessed by the devil. Now she is one bad mamma-jamma.
All joking aside, I think Lily Rabe’s transformation from one character to the next was seamless and totally convincing. Her character as the devil-inhabited nun quickly became one of my favorites. Especially because, even though it wasn’t her choice, she sort of got even with those who had abused and taken advantage of her as an innocent, like Sister Jude and Dr. Arden. It was hard to remember that there was a sweet little nun underneath that cool and confident demeanor; after all, Satan is the Master Deceiver, right? And, if we’re being honest with ourselves, the devil is pretty cool.
Dandy Mott (Freak Show)
Freak Show has probably been my (and everyone else’s) least favorite season of AHS, but I do just LOVE the character of Dandy Mott (Finn Wittrock).
Wealthy and spoiled rotten, Dandy was raised by an overprotective but detached mother (Frances Conroy) who covers up her son’s homicidal habits. Dandy is possessive, manipulative, arrogant, and worst of all, charming.
Dandy’s character fascinates me because I do think you can find a lot of complexity in him, but the main reason he’s on this list is I found him incredibly entertaining. I think he was the most exciting character in the season and Wittrock’s energy-driven performance was just a blast to watch. I’ll be looking forward to seeing him in other seasons.