You’ll be unsurprised to hear that American Horror Story creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Fulchuk are massive movie buffs. As we await each episode of the sixth series of their acclaimed, bloodthirsty TV show – which features new characters and a new theme, from Asylum to Coven, each time it returns – we’re all wondering which scary scenes they’ll pay homage to this time around. Because previous series have been jam-packed with references to freaky films that have inspired them. Such as…
The head restraints in AHS: Asylum
Young Jimmy has a right time of it in series two of the show, set in a psychiatric hospital, as he’s restrained and subjected to a process that is meant to change his behaviour. Which is similar to the horrifying scene from Kurbick’s dystopian chiller A Clockwork Orange in which Alex (Malcolm McDowell) suffers a similar fate.
Vampire children in AHS: Hotel
It should probably come as no surprise that The Countess (Lady Gaga) has some freaky looking vampire kids. Even less surprising is that Murphy and Fulchuk have demonstrated their horror fan chops once again, as the kids seem to reference Village of the Damned, the eerie 1960 horror about a town overrun by freakily smart, ominous children (turn adapted from John Wyndman’s 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos).
The creepy title card in AHS: Coven
This little number crops up in the opening credits to the witchy third series of the show. It looks a little similar to the little-known 1922 movie Häxan, a documentary that features dramatized scenes and argues that 15th Century witchhunts were the result of misunderstanding of mental illnesses.
The opening shot of AHS: Murder House
Remember the famous, eerie tracking shot of Leatherface’s house in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? You will if you watched AHS: Murder House, whose opening scenes tipped a nod to Hooper’s masterwork.