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The Surprising Reason American Horror Story Fans Miss The First Few Seasons

"American Horror Story" has been on the air since 2011 and has been bringing a fresh take on horror with each season. Since the show's start, viewers have seen many different storylines — due to the show's anthology structure — including a crossover season and a "Double Feature" season. Over the past decade, "American Horror Story" has been praised for its unique storytelling and quirky shared universe, but also equally critiqued for its varying failures and controversies. Despite that, the show isn't declining in popularity, with viewership still pouring in each new season. 

In a Reddit thread, fans discussed the big question: has the show declined in quality? Fans seem disappointed with the direction newer seasons are going in compared to the acclaimed earlier seasons, such as "Murder House" or "Coven." User u/Film-Direction said, "I just feel it's taken a decline in quality starting at 'Roanoke,' and I'm not sure if it's Ryan Murphy's lack of involvement in story/character development or what." Fans continue to debate the reasons as to why newer installments of the show might feel lackluster, not having the same flair as previous seasons, and one of the main things fans say they miss from earlier seasons might be surprising.

Fans miss American Horror Story shooting on film

The first five seasons of "American Horror Story" were shot on real film with lead cinematographer Michael Goi. However, following his departure from the series after Season 5, the show has been filmed using digital cameras. As described by The Dark Room, when using film, the dynamics of what is able to be captured are much more varied than that of a digital camera. This is something fans have caught on to when watching the latest seasons of "American Horror Story."

Under a Reddit post in the "American Horror Story" subreddit, fans discussed their thoughts on the switch from film to digital. User u/Holiday-Rest3851 commented on how using film made the show's atmosphere much more spooky, stating, "I really don't understand why Ryan decided to stop shooting on film. It looked so much better and the whole tone of the show was way creepier." Users also detailed how they felt the show looked better due to the ability film has over digital, "Using film creates strong images in its own right, and the characteristic grain and properties of the shots are currently highly difficult to recreate," said u/chiropterahotaru

It appears fans miss the allure and quality that shooting on film gave the show, with u/TransparentSal5 saying, "'Hotel' stood out for me in the 'shot on film' seasons. It really made the aesthetic of 'Hotel' come alive." Ryan Murphy has not publicly discussed why the show changed its filming technique after Goi's departure, but fans appear to much prefer film over digital. Still, fans could possibly see future "American Horror Story" seasons shot on film again, as the show was renewed for three more seasons in early 2020.