American Horror Stories: Wild
Lovers of the Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk series have spent a few weeks with a double portion of American Horror. On the one hand, American Horror Story: Double Feature; on the other, the independent chapters of American Horror Stories. At the center of both, before Murphy and Falchuk, we find Manny Coto, who is writing most of the chapters. While the creators have reserved the opening and closing episodes of American Horror Stories, all around the return to the crime house with which they began the series, Manny Coto has written in collaboration or alone the scripts of the stories “Drive-in cinema”, “The blacklist”, “Ba’al” and this new chapter, “Wild”. In addition to the last story of the season written by Coto, it is the only episode that he also directs, so everything indicated that it was going to be one of the main bets of the season.
American Horror Stories: Wild continues to mark distances with the hooligan terror of the previous chapters, delving into the horror of wild nature and the gore of intestines and cannibals. For the first time this season, the series leaves the contemporary world and urban settings behind to delve deep into the forests of America’s nature reserves. There lies the best kept secret in the country, a mystery that connects the origins of the nation with what appears to be a child version of Q-Shaman, the trump player dressed in furs in the manner of mountain pioneers and Viking tattoos who assaulted the Capitol.
It all starts with a family of city dwellers camping in the Kern Canyon Nature Preserve. “It’s about experiencing nature, getting out of our comfort zones,” Jay (Aaron Tveit), the father of the family and former boy scout, his wife Addy (Tiffany Dupont) and his son Jacob (Colin Tandberg). The opposite of the comfort zone is discomfort, she reminds him. And so much, none of that family will ever be the same again after their young son disappears into the woods.
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An unsuccessful search for the missing child and ten years later, the marriage has divorced and lives haunted by the mysterious disappearance of Jacob. But, one good day, hope. A hunter, one of those with shades that only exist in the movies (and perhaps in reality) of the United States, appears before Jay with the compass of boy scout that he gave him to his son before his disappearance and with the promise that one of his camera traps had seen him near the plantation owned by drug traffickers in the forest. And there they go, the couple recently reunited with the hunter, to find Jacob ten years later, without knowing how he will have changed in all this time.
The chapter moves between tension and guts, activating all the expectations associated with the horror of nature. Who kidnapped Jacob? Werewolves, swamp monsters, heathen spirits? Starting with the encounter with the park’s Australian-accented ranger, a kind of deranged Crocodile Dundee, suspicions will turn to the Big Foot myth but there are still several script twists left before reaching the final reveal. The best thing about the “Wild” chapter is that you will know how to respond to these expectations by playing with the primitive imaginary of the North Americans while keeping it open to the imagination.
(From here you need the spoilers)
The premise of a kidnapped and raised by the Indians is a common motif in Western since Desert centaurs until Tom Hanks movie News from the big world, but “Wild” takes a closer turn to the gore of Bone Tomahawk. The barbarism does not come from Native Americans, but from something even more ancient and savage, a cannibal community. As the ranger will reveal to Jay and Addy, it is a truly savage nation within the United States. And they are responsible for the fact that more than 2,000 people disappear each year in the Natural Parks of the country; in reality, the Natural Parks system is only a safeguard to contain the thousands of savages that live in it.
The government hides the dark side of the United States with more secrecy than the Manhattan Project because it knows that citizens need to believe that they are in control of the country, but that may not be the case. America’s greatest war may be having it at home, and in many Wild Nation containment missions the military has not returned home. In addition, Natural Parks generate billions of dollars each year: “it’s capitalism, honey.”
Where do these beings come from? Manny Coto is right to leave it open to interpretation, but he links it with the history of the country in a thread that goes from the founding myths to an end in which the images of the assault on the Capitol resonate. The “savages” may be normal angry and sick of the world who retreated into the wild … or rather, they may be Confederate Civil War soldiers who never gave up, or mountain pioneers who never came down. the mountains, or heirs to the Vikings who landed in Newfoundland. Inbreeding and genetic mutations accumulated over hundreds of years would have done the rest. The true wild nation.
And there is no hope. When young generations are raised by these savages they may end up dressed in furs on a throne of bones. It’s not that they don’t recognize where they come from, but they don’t think about anything other than dinner. Thus ends, in an unexpected surprise, one of the best chapters of American Horror Stories. With an heir to the Vikings, the Confederates, the pioneers, sitting on the throne and shouting: to dinner!
It is American Horror Stories: Wild the most political episode of the series?
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