American Horror Story: Asylum (2012 - 2013)


American Horror Story

Critics Consensus

American Horror Story: Asylum crosses boundaries to shock and scare with sexy subplots and some innovative takes on current social issues.



Critic Ratings: 44


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1994
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Air date: Oct 17, 2012
Air date: Oct 24, 2012
Air date: Oct 31, 2012
Air date: Nov 7, 2012
Air date: Nov 14, 2012
Air date: Nov 21, 2012
Air date: Nov 28, 2012
Air date: Dec 5, 2012
Air date: Dec 12, 2012
Air date: Jan 2, 2013
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American Horror Story: Asylum Photos

Tv Season Info

The horror unfolds within the confines of an eerie insane asylum in the second series of this acclaimed thriller. Set in 1964 (with jumps to present day), the "Asylum" series digs into the dark pasts of the hospital's patients, doctors and administrators. Jessica Lange returns to the series as Sister Jude, a troubled nun who quickly finds herself at odds with the twisted Arthur Arden (James Cromwell), a doctor with a penchant for experimental procedures. Zachary Quinto is also back as Dr. Oliver Thredson, a psychiatrist, while Sarah Paulson plays journalist Lana Winters in her return. Other familiar faces include Evan Peters and Lily Rabe, while newcomers Lizzie Brocheré, Chloe Sevigny and Joseph Fiennes provide welcome additions to the talented cast.


Jessica Lange
as Sister Jude
Sarah Paulson
as Lana Winters
Evan Peters
as Kit Walker
Lily Rabe
as Sister Mary Eunice
Zachary Quinto
as Dr. Oliver Thredson
James Cromwell
as Dr. Arthur Arden
Joseph Fiennes
as Monsignor Timothy Howard
Fredric Lehne
as Frank McGuire
Mark Margolis
as Sam Goodman
Barbara Tarbuck
as Mother Superior Claudia
Ian McShane
as Leigh Emerson
Joel McKinnon Miller
as Detective Miller
Franka Potente
as Kassie Morgan
Jennifer Holland
as Nurse Blackwell
Amy Farrington
as Mrs. Reynolds
David Chisum
as Jim Brown
Nikki Hahn
as Jenny Reynolds
Bob Bancroft
as Administrator Kirkland
Chris McGarry
as Martin Lancaster
Mary-Pat Green
as Nurse Hicks
Cyd Strittmatter
as Nurse Braxton
Lara Harris
as Rhonda Lancaster
Eugene Byrd
as Detective Perko
Debra Christofferson
as Patricia Stone
David Gianopoulos
as Detective Grayson
Tehya Scarth
as Susie Lancaster
Lily Knight
as Sister Felicity
John Pleshette
as Magistrate
Kasey Mahaffy
as Father James
Don Stark
as Joe Engle
Erin Allin O'Reilly
as Nurse Fuller
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News & Interviews for American Horror Story: Asylum

Critic Reviews for American Horror Story Asylum

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (18)

It's a solid setup. And given the writers were tasked with coming up with a completely new storyline for an established hit, the foundation seems well laid and primed with numerous avenues to explore.

Oct 18, 2012 | Full Review…

Less scary than freaky, it's deliberately unhinged-light horror about low camp, a showcase for scenery chewing and giddy blasphemy, an exploitation chamber piece.

Oct 17, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Camp, not horror, is the soul and motivating force of AHS, and if you don't delight in the fate that befalls Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine in the season premiere, you are not resonating at AHS's frequency.

Oct 17, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The first AHS rose above some of its twisted storytelling. Asylum simply keeps sinking -- from one depth to another.

Oct 17, 2012 | Rating: D | Full Review…
Top Critic

One final warning before you plunge in: AHS: Asylum crosses a line for television (which is getting harder and harder to do). It goes beyond dark all the way to clerical black, the scourge of all light.

Oct 17, 2012 | Full Review…

Like a good scare? How about a bad scare? Or a thousand scares, good and bad and crazy? Season 2 of American Horror Story, subtitled Asylum, is for you.

Oct 17, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This show has pushed the boundaries. By doing it so subtly, Murphy allows his commentary to slip under the cultural radar. And in a show that many felt was over-saturated with story lines and general information, subtlety is a wonderful addition.

Jan 23, 2013 | Full Review…

American Horror Story: Asylum is filled with plenty of dark secrets, sinister twists, and unexpected turns - but unfortunately the one thing this psychologically invading season lacks is thoughtful explanation.

Nov 4, 2013 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

The show grabs you, shocks you and keeps you guessing. The only question left unanswered at season's end is "Will Season 3 be half as good?"

Oct 10, 2013 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Right out of the gate, the show's second season, Asylum, established itself as something darker, weirder and more ambitious.

Oct 9, 2013 | Full Review…

In a season that had so much potential, it was rather surprising to find it a bit of a letdown.

Oct 8, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The season as a whole was so smooth and so terrifying that it's probably the only one I will continue to go back to and watch.

Jun 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for American Horror Story: Asylum

  • Nov 06, 2019
    Although slow during the first two episodes, I thought this season was absolutely brilliant once it got going, and was a true mind-bender. One of the series' absolute best!
  • Oct 25, 2019
    Unfortunately, I got too bored to watch until the end.
  • Oct 24, 2019
    I didn't expect this season to be what it was. Dark, twisted, but also touching. Amazing!
  • Oct 13, 2019
    9.3/10 Featuring a powerhouse cast (especially Zachary Quinto), compelling storylines, and a secure sense of style, Asylum is easily the best AHS season.
  • Oct 11, 2019
    Although it isn't anywhere near as good as its predecessor season, Asylum is a still a pretty solid horror story with a laughably terrible ending.
  • Oct 06, 2019
    Disturbing. That's how I describe this in one word. This season by far, was the best. It has the Iconic scenes that makes AHS remarkable and make the viewers fell out to their chairs. Lastly, the acting is spectacular! From Lily Rabes's Sister Mary Eunice to Sarah Paulson's Lana Winters.
  • Oct 05, 2019
    Out of all AHS seasons this one's probably got the best plot with lots of unexpected turns. And Jessica Lange was just terrific!
  • Sep 29, 2019
    Asylum early on showed itself to be a great season for AHS. To this day it is still one of the best seasons.
  • Sep 28, 2019
    American Horror Story: Asylum is one of the best pieces of television to hit the airwaves this millennia. Magnificent.
  • Sep 23, 2019
    The BEST season. Hands down.

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