Check In to The Hotel Cortez

The Fifth Installment to American Horror Story

By Briana Delbuono

If blood, gore, sex, and torture are something that sparks your interest, I suggest you change the channel to FX and get your popcorn ready as American Horror Story rolls into it’s fifth season.

The downtown Los Angeles Hotel Cortez, has a back story which is based on real life hotels in Los Angeles with ugly reputations like popular hotel “The Cecil.” As the season unravels, the viewer will find out more about it’s dark past and the people involved in it.

The first episode, which just premiered last week, will have your hair standing straight up. The cast includes Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters (YES!!), Wes Bentley, Matt Bomer, Denis O’Hare, Cheyenne Jackson, and others.

For those of you who have kept up with this popular series, you may be wondering who is replacing Jessica Lange who retired after “Freak Show” (Season 4) and has been one of the shows most unforgettable characters the past four seasons. Worry no longer.

Lady Gaga will be taking her spot this season playing Elizabeth “The Countess” and though she has big shoes to fill, put your doubts aside. Episode one proved that she is already turning heads.

The first episode tells us that Lady Gaga, similar to real life, is running the show along with her drug addict boyfriend turned vampire, Donovan, aka Matt Bomer.into

Kathy Bates, the hotel’s desk clerk, seemingly refuses to leave the hotel, which we find out later in the episode, is because her son is a permanent resident.

Wes Bentley, one of the main characters this season, is a cop with a haunted past after losing his son, Holden, and is currently working on solving a series of murders he thinks are taking place at the Hotel Cortez, where he goes to check it out. He soon discovers that the string of murders and the hotel may be connected.

The creepy crane shots and nightmarish music associated with the show’s insidious allure are back and better than ever this season.

The first episode, which is over an hour long, brings the viewer into the creepy world that the Hotel Cortez residents call home. The hotel offers much more than a bed to sleep in. We soon find out that patrons who check in to the hotel, often do not check out.

Yet another aspect of this season is the ever-popular aspect of vampires, of all shapes and sizes, who are populating the hotel. We find out that sunlight won’t kill these vampires, but it should be avoided. They are in fact very thirsty for blood, which explains most of the events that go on inside the hotel’s walls.

Unlike the show’s four other seasons, the backstory of the hotel is detailed pretty early on. The hour-long first episode of Season 5 wraps up most of the loose ends the show started off and then closes with Wes Bentley checking in to the hotel.

“You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave,” a lyric from the popular song “Hotel California” by the Eagles is the fitting last line before the credits roll. Make sure to tune in, as the best (and worst) is yet to come.



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