Friday, February 23, 2018

The FXhibition AHS Virtual Reality Experience at SDCC will mess with your mind.

I did the #FXSDCC AHS VR Experience at San Diego Comic Con and I may never be the same again.

FX always brings its A-game to SDCC, and this year was no different. In previous years they have promoted the upcoming season of American Horror Story, but since there has been nary a whisper about the sixth season’s theme, they went with a different concept. 

Enter the AHS VR Experience.

Reservations are required to enter the exhibit and this was a good call because the whole thing takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and has a 5 person capacity.

I’m going to take you through the virtual reality experience that left me (more than slightly) shaken.

You enter the large metal structure and go up a walkway to a circular white room with five “beds” in the middle of the room. Each guest has a personal “physician” to help get situated. Once you are on the bed (imagine a hospital bed that has your upper body raised) the attendant drapes a white sheet over your lower body. Yes. Very creepy.  Then the viewer is placed over your face with a snug fit, and the headphones are the last component. Once you’re situated, you cannot hear anything around you. You’re totally helpless.

The viewing screen is black with “AHS” emblazoned on the background and what looks to be ash falling. 

Then it starts.

You “wake up” on a gurney. There are your bedraped feet at the end of the bed, only they don’t move when you actually wiggle your toes. This is disconcerting. As you look around, you see bottles and jars of fetuses, just like the opening credits from the first season. A dark figure approaches and pushes you backwards down the hall. Is it the Infantata? You’re dead before you realize it.

You awaken again in the morgue at Briarcliff Asylum. Dead bodies surround you on the same type of gurney you’re on. The White Nun enters. As you blink she approaches, and suddenly she shoves you into the incinerator. Before long, you’re toast. Literally.

The next time you awaken you’re in a dark forest, and three robed figured are looking at you. You’re suddenly hoisted up (the bed trembles but you don’t actually go anywhere) and you see your feet, still wrapped in a white sheet. This time the white sheet is there to help you catch fire as you’re burned at the stake.

Next you see a room full of meat hooks. Someone beside you is making a balloon animal. It’s Twisty the Clown, whom I consider one of the most tragic figures in recent television. He darts across the room and returns with a rubber chicken. You don’t react, so he throws it at you. He dangles a toy. Same reaction. Finally he gives up and kills you.

Finally you awaken in the darkened halls of the Hotel Cortez. A voice whispers a warning not to look. You are wheeled down the hall and into an elevator, minus the car. You plummet down, down, down until you hit the bottom. Thinking you’re safe, you look up to see the elevator car crashing down. You die again.

Death is a prevailing theme in this virtual reality experience. To “die” five times in rapid succession really messes with your head. Unfortunately for me, the incinerator death in Asylum is one of my greatest fears. Facing that fear was terrifying. As in “fucked up shit” terrifying. (That’s the only way to aptly describe it)

While we still have no idea what will happen in American Horror Story season 6, perhaps death and fire play a role in it. Who are we kidding, death always plays a role, but maybe there is a fire component?

At any rate, this AHS fan needs to find something soft and fluffy to cuddle ahead of next season.

AHS returns to FX on September 14 at 10pm

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About The Author

Sarabeth Pollock is a contributor for Dark Media. She covers The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Gotham and American Horror Story, as well as whatever movies, comics and books happen to catch her fancy. She’s an avid writer, reader, and pop culture fan and regular attendee at San Diego Comic Con. Follow her on Twitter at @SarabethPollock and check out her blog at