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AHS: Delicate - How Much Does Ryan Murphy's New Series Rip Off A Classic Horror Story

"American Horror Story: Delicate" is a complicated, spider-laden, messy tangle of ambition, paranoia, and mother love. Anna Alcott (Emma Roberts) wants nothing more than to finally become a mother — and to become an Oscar-winning megastar to boot. Anna's quest to have it all has taken a toll on her mind. When you add a heavy dose of stalking, you get a woman who sees shadowy figures, spiders, and doom everywhere.

If you spent your spring binging other horrific tales about motherhood, gynecology, and obstetrics, then you know Prime Video's retelling of "Dead Ringers" fearlessly explored similar ground. Even though it only has one episode out in the world thus far, the latest season of "American Horror Story" shares a lot of visual cues with both the 2023 version of "Dead Ringers" and the feature-length film from 1988.

Anna's obstetrics team wears crimson-colored uniforms with high-peaked surgical caps; so did the staff working with Beverly and Elliot Mantle (Rachel Weisz). Red is also the preferred color for the scrubs worn by Jeremy Irons' big screen version of the twins. Each entity's hospital space is enrobed in either inky black, organ red, or chilly, porcelain white — a void into which those crimson uniforms step, along with the blood and guts of their clients. The similarities don't stop there. All three are brutally honest about the challenging prospect of dealing with miscarriage, birth, and the sharp angst of life itself. Rip-off or not, the connections between all three properties are fascinating.

1988's Dead Ringers is about the power of control - or lack thereof

The 1988 "Dead Ringers" movie concerns itself more with the complicated dual identities of its twin subjects than the horrors of fertility and childbirth. However, like "American Horror Story: Delicate," the film is about love — brotherly love and a struggle for control and ownership of that connection. One of the Mantle twins has fallen in love with a woman, threatening their thick-as-thieves relationship. Beverly and Eliot cope poorly with their inability to separate from each other, resulting in pure mayhem as they try to figure out who and what they are, if not a twin.

While Anna doesn't seem to have any sibling connections, her search for a sense of self to hold on to is definitely a parallel to "Dead Ringers." As a Hollywood actress, she takes on the mantle of anyone who appeals to her, which means when she's attacked from the outside, finding a "real" self to cling to hasn't pro. Her life is filled with people — agents, husbands, handlers — who ignore her concerns and pacify her. Who is Anna when she's not acting? Does she know?

Like "AHS: Delicate," "Dead Ringers" also has an alarming depiction of gynecology, with Beverly attaining instruments to be used "on mutant women" and then losing his career as a result of using them during surgery without the patient's consent. The stylized look of the woman from Anna's fantasies, Ms. Io Preecher (Julie White), also resembles the elegant women who walk in and out of Eliot and Beverly's life throughout the film.

That's a whole lot of connections, and there are an even higher number of similarities that tightly bind Amazon Prime's version of "Dead Ringers" and "American Horror Story: Delicate" together.

There are even more parallels between 2023's Dead Ringers and Delicate

Both "American Horror Story: Delicate" and 2023's "Dead Ringers" prods at the difficult prospect of striving for parenthood. Both Anna and a number of Beverly and Eliot's clients are seeking the difficult to attain — a child after years of infertility, in the case of the Mantle twins' patients, after being blatantly told they'll never have biological children. In both cases, the seemingly impossible is achieved; Anna becomes pregnant after her third round of IVF, and Beverly and Eliot stoke to life miracle pregnancies thanks to the marvels of genetic engineering.

While Anna is left wondering if the child she's carrying is human thanks to the visions she's been having — which may or may not be real — Beverly and Eliot create pregnancies that fast-forward from conception to delivery in a matter of hours. Under their care, a woman delivers six babies with little effort. Neither show shies away from the pain of undergoing fertility treatments, whether it's the physical pain Anna goes through or the elaborate and horrifying display of gynecological equipment on display at Beverly and Eliot's hospital. Both shows are honest about gynecology and its messy roots. Beverly and Eliot seek to alleviate that suffering; Anna endures it.

Both series pose questions about the agency of those who choose to reproduce. Anna submits to pain, lifestyle changes, and the heartbreak of miscarriage, only to receive glad-handing and belittlement; Beverly and Eliot monkey with science, sometimes without their patients' full understanding, which leads to tragedy. Hopefully, Anna will escape the horrors visited by Beverly and Eliot — but one can never be too sure.