Checking In
American Horror Story Hotel



Critic Ratings: 14
Critics Consensus

American Horror Story: Hotel opens spectacularly with "Checking In," though its shocking moments and stylistic flourishes outweigh a compelling narrative.

Episode Info

In the season premiere, detective John Lowe investigates a series of murders in Los Angeles, and a peculiar tip indicates the Hotel Cortez as a place of interest.

Cast & Crew

Sarah Paulson
Hypodermic Sally
Evan Peters
James March
Wes Bentley
Detective John Lowe
Matt Bomer
Chloë Sevigny
Dr. Alex Lowe
Denis O'Hare
Liz Taylor
Angela Bassett
Ramona Royale
Lady Gaga
The Countess
Richard T. Jones
Detective Andy Hahn
Shree Crooks
Scarlett Lowe
Ryan Murphy
Executive Producer
Brad Falchuk
Executive Producer
Tim Minear
Executive Producer
Brad Buecker
Executive Producer
Jennifer Salt
Executive Producer
James Wong
Executive Producer
Alexis Martin
Executive Producer
Show all Cast & Crew

Checking In Photos

Critic Reviews for Checking In

The end result is a confusing mishmash of somewhat familiar stories, desperately trying to work as a cohesive unit but still not hitting the right resonance with one another.

Oct 15, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

There is no way in hell that the Hotel Cortez could actually exist in modern-day Los Angeles, because if it did, I would be booking a room faster than you can type Kayak dot com into whichever internet browser you prefer.

Oct 15, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

There's a long and gloriously unhinged musical montage, set to "Tear You Apart" by She Wants Revenge. We meet a pair of perfect decadents who reside in the hotel's penthouse. They are Lady Gaga and Matthew Bomer.

Oct 15, 2015 | Full Review…

There's something enticing about the hotel, and about American Horror Story, despite their shortcomings.

Oct 15, 2015 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Concluding the episode as "Hotel California" plays was a bit groan-enducing and totally on the nose, but really, so is American Horror Story. Yet somehow, the song and the show, still work.

Dec 10, 2019 | Full Review…

If you haven't noticed, American Horror Story is great at first episodes.

Oct 15, 2015 | Full Review…

"Checking in" was a solid opener. It had everything you'd expect from this crazy show and more. Let's hope the show has a more consistent run this time round.

Oct 15, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This season of Murphy's anthology series is all about decadence, perversion and sensationalism.

Oct 15, 2015 | Full Review…

"Checking In" isn't a good start for American Horror Story: Hotel. Already we're seeing the odd season's penchant for attempts to freak out its audience, rather than creating an interesting horror story with a decent plot.

Oct 15, 2015 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

If the idea is to just give us a procession of "WTF?" moments, then mission accomplished.

Oct 15, 2015 | Rating: 5.9/10 | Full Review…

The overall feel of Hotel is fairly similar to Murder House, which also featured time jumps, unexplained creepy dudes in rubber suits, ghosts, demon children and an obsession of fish-eye lens camera shots.

Nov 23, 2015 | Full Review…

Overall, this is an excellent hour of television - stuffed with jaw-dropping moments, tense set-pieces and Lady Gaga at her grandest. Now we've checked into American Horror Story's Hotel, we're not sure we're ever going to want to leave.

Nov 18, 2015 | Full Review…