Ridge Report Writing and Photography Contest

This year, you can submit a short story, poetry piece, and/or photography connecting to one of three possible themes. Your options are "Hush", "Bang", and "Click". Be as creative as you want!

Entries will be accepted starting Monday May 1st 2017

The deadline for entering is Friday May 20th 2017

First place winners in each category (short story, photography, and poetry) will have their entry published on the Ridge Report website and will be awarded a prize.

Click on each category to submit and know about the rules and requirements.

Short Story

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

American Horror Story: Hotel Review

Since the first season aired on October fifth, 2011, American Horror story has become one of the most popular shows on FX. Being an anthology series, each season showcases a different theme, setting and story. It’s a great show for viewers who tend to lose interest quickly or get tired of a long plot line.

For months now, fans have been anxiously anticipating the new season 5, called Hotel, which finally premiered on October seventh. 

And in celebration of the premiere, I decided to report and give a short review on some of the things that stood out in the first episode.


The actors have called this season the darkest and the sexiest season so far. In the pilot, named 'Checking In', we see some familiar faces including Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Matt Bomer, Wes Bentley and Denis O’Hare, soon to be joined by more regular cast like Evan Peters and Lily Rabe. Unfortunately, Jessica Lange, who played a main character in all four seasons, has not made her return in season five so far. Instead, this season stars a new leading lady; Lady Gaga, who plays a bloodsucking, cruel Countess and owner of the Hotel. Fans were eager and also hesitant about Lady Gaga’s appearance; some believed she would be horrible for the show, and some were positive that she would make a great performance. In my opinion, Lady Gaga was a surprisingly good actress, and I was very convinced of her character. She did a great job of portraying the dark theme of the hotel, clad in her over-the-top outfits and dramatic makeup.

Inside the Hotel Cortez
Our story is set in a modern time, following two young, foreign girls who travel to Downtown Los Angeles. They check into a hotel by the name Hotel Cortez, a six-story building, inspired by real art deco hotels in LA. The show follows them for a good ten minutes, as they notice a foul smell in their room, only to rip open the mattress and find a grotesque creature trapped inside. They demand to be relocated, and are given the keys to room 64. Ultimately, they face even more terrors in the new room. One of the girls are awoken by the alarm clock at 2:25 exactly to find the other’s blood being drained by two blond children. The girl abandons her wounded friend and tries to escape, only to be caught and killed by the Countess, a murderous, violent death.

As a side story, we are introduced to John Lowe (played by Wes Bentley), a detective who is investigating gruesome murders around LA. It is revealed earlier that he had a son named Holden, who’d gone missing (presumably) a few years before the pilot took place. He receives an anonymous tip that someone will be killed in room 64 of the Hotel Cortez, and immediately travels there to investigate.

John, after seeing that there is nothing notable in room 64, falls asleep just as the foreign women did. He is soon awoken by the same 2:25 am clock. He sees a blond boy standing by his bed, and seeing how much he resembles his lost son(Holden), John follows him, only to lose sight of the boy.

The Countess and her 'children'
In the meantime, two new characters make their entrance; Countess Elizabeth (played by Lady Gaga) and Donovan (played by Matt Bomer) reel in a couple and while pretending to engage in sexual activity, they murder the couple and drink their blood. The Countess also has a strange parade of creepy, doll-like children following her, and has built them a secret passage in the hotel walls. One of these blond boys is named Holden, who turns out to be John's missing son.

By this time, the viewer is being told that Room 64 is a bad omen, and that we should expect many worse things to happen inside. The episode ends with John checking into the hotel; rather to study more of the crimes in the building, or just out of general curiosity(after seeing his son), is unknown to the viewer.

Overall, this season of American Horror Story was not a disappointment. It did show a lot more disturbing content; violence, drug use, sexual abuse, etc, (and just in the pilot!) but was not far from what the show usually involves. And so far, even though it is not yet my favorite season, I highly suggest starting the show. You can watch American Horror Story on FOX on Wednesdays at 10pm.

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