American Horror Story: Cult's First Real Trailer Preys on Trump-Era Terrors

Twisty’s baaaack. Image: FX
Twisty’s baaaack. Image: FX

Finally—after weeks of surreal teasers and yesterday’s opening-credits reveal, which actually revealed nothing—we have a real trailer for American Horror Story: Cult. Sarah Paulson’s bloodcurdling shriek upon realizing that Donald Trump has been elected president is truly terrifying. And relatable.


Evan Peters humping his TV in what appears to be manic joy in reaction to the same news is also truly terrifying, for different reasons.

There’s a lot packed into this one-minute trailer. We have Paulson’s character, Ally Mayfair-Richards, talking to a shrink (Cheyenne Jackson as Dr. Rudy Vincent) about her coulrophobia—fear of clowns, which has only gotten worse since the election. Alison Pill (as Ivy Mayfair-Richards) is Ally’s concerned and frightened spouse. Billie Lourd (as Winter Anderson) looks like their nanny from hell... clown hell. And Peters, as the pain-and-fear obsessed Kai Anderson, could be the leader of the titular cult, whatever shape (literal or not) that takes on the show. He’s definitely looking like the main villain, along with good old Twisty—who pops up in a storybook, as a doll, and presumably, eventually, in the greasepainted flesh.

American Horror Story: Cult premieres September 5 on FX.

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I feel like Trump has been utilized for some lazy writing. Of course movies and TV are a reflection of our culture, our fears, our current social and political landscape, so I get that these issues are woven into all sorts of media. Still, at times it seems like throwing the word “Trump” in there is a method getting people on board without actually liking your writing or ideas. The example I give is this joke: “Why did the chicken cross the road? Because Trump was behind him.” Is it funny? Kinda. Is it good writing? No.