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: 2066
User image


  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this season

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.


    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of this tv season? (optional)

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this season

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.


    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of this tv season? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?


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
Show More Episodes

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
Chris McGarry
as Martin Lancaster
Mary-Pat Green
as Nurse Hicks
Bob Bancroft
as Administrator Kirkland
Cyd Strittmatter
as Nurse Braxton
Lara Harris
as Rhonda Lancaster
Eugene Byrd
as Detective Perko
David Gianopoulos
as Detective Grayson
Debra Christofferson
as Patricia Stone
Lily Knight
as Sister Felicity
John Pleshette
as Magistrate
Tehya Scarth
as Susie Lancaster
Don Stark
as Joe Engle
Kasey Mahaffy
as Father James
Erin Allin O'Reilly
as Nurse Fuller
Show More Cast

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Audience Reviews for American Horror Story: Asylum

  • 3d ago
    What characterizes this new season is the great terror it offers, shocking, desperate and very dark. Performances like those of Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe and Evan Peters make "American Horror Story Asylum" a very moving journey of madness and that reaches the viewer.
  • May 15, 2020
    Really fucked up but in a good way, very interesting storyline
  • Apr 18, 2020
    The best season, change my mind.
  • Apr 07, 2020
    This season is simply fresh.
  • Apr 01, 2020
    How is this even called Asylum? This should have been called like Alien Afterlife or something else. The story line wasn't even good. To make matter worse you had to throw in the Ann Frank story and then add in an Murderous Santa episode? It should have been 10 episodes and not 13. Oh and way toooooooooooo many characters. Episode 1 and 13 were the best and then after was episode 7.
  • Mar 29, 2020
    This Season was amazing, I give it five stars because it had everything that makes a horror show a horror show. The creators have great minds, I love this show.
  • Mar 28, 2020
    Despite this one being one of the most top-ranked seasons of AHS, it's just as chaotic as the one that preceded it in terms of premise. "American Horror Story" continues to remain a novelty because it's got many of the right ingredients but never quite hits the sweet spot. Like a fucking good hookup who you participate in equally scintillating conversations with but you wouldn't necessarily date them. "American Horror Story" continues to try to be an exemplar of inclusivity in its second season but misses the mark once more as they do in other areas of the show. By no means does that discredit the prowess of some of the actors in the roost that joined the ever amazing Jessica Lange. If there's something AHS is to be lauded for is its almost ridiculous yet equally ingenious world-building. The characters sometimes border on caricature-like but the theatrics never fails to incite a laugh and a stir from me.
  • Jan 18, 2020
    Brilliant season! I particularly enjoyed the Bloody Face story-line, Zachary Q played a great part. Yeah, go watch it if you haven't already! It's great!
  • Jan 03, 2020
    I'd say it's a breathtaking masterpiece among other seasons of the show. Amazing work, amazing story, amazing acting.
  • Dec 24, 2019
    Aside from the out of place alien subplot, this was a satisfying, intense season with a new theme each episode to keep you on your feet. (A-)

News & Features