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Family Portrait (website)

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This article is about a web page for American Horror Story; for the promotional video of the same name, go here.

American-Horror-Story
"Family Portrait" is an official webpage companion to the show. It contains an interactive element which features an introduction to each character and at least two clues each (short videos) as to what happens to them. In order to reveal more characters, the user has to scratch that character's initial on the wall in the living room. The living room features a red couch with a creepy baby doll underneath it, cantaloupe melons on a table, a historical pram with two horns as decorations.

From the top of a cupboard there are two pairs of cut off legs dangling off.

There is a ghost or demon screaming at one point, although this only happens once and at the beginning, while you're scratching in Violet's name. The videos do not have titles on the webpage itself, but the working titles were revealed on Youtube for some of the videos. Once the "Family Portrait" is complete, it shatters into pieces to reveal a scene from the Pilot episode.

Violet Harmon - The Daughter

  • Appearance and action: Violet enters the room in a long white lace dress with a cardigan on top. She sits down on the red couch.
  • Description: "Violet's new high school has her cutting more than classes".
  • Clue 1 "Violetdog.jpg": A dog (not the Harmon family dog, a different breed) running around in a room sniffing the floor. [Reference: Violet's corpse]
  • Clue 2 "Violethandstied.jpg": Hands tied with a rope against a wall struggling to free themselves. [Possible reference: "Home Invasion".]

Vivien Harmon - The Wife

  • Appearance and action: Vivien enters in a white cocktail dress and sits next to Violet on the couch.
  • Description: "Vivien Harmon caught her husband in the act. Now she is battling a low libido and is ripe for seduction. Something in the house has aroused her curiosity."
  • Clue 1 "Vivienbooties.jpg ": Baby shoes dangling from their laces on a nail in a wall. (Reference: Foreshadowing the arrivial of one of Vivien's babies)
  • Clue 2 "Vivienbed.jpg": A Cello lies on a bed. The Cello disappears and is replaced by large pools of blood. (Reference: Vivien plays the cello and shows the bloodstains on the bed she gave birth on)
  • Clue 3 "Vivientorso.jpg": A woman's belly and a cello bow running across it by Rubber Man. (Reference: A baby, possible Anti-Christ, inside Vivien that wants to get out)

Ben Harmon. The Father

  • Appearance and action: Normal clothes. A white shirt and grey slacks. He sits down on the couch beside Violet.
  • Description: "Ben Harmon is a loving father, cheating husband, and tortured psychiatrist who could use some serious dream therapy."
  • Clue 1 "Bendesk.jpg": An antique desk with weird tools on them which starts to burn. The chair appears to have an old fashion Lobotomy drill (used to drill into a skull) attached to it. [Reference: Ben needs to have his brain checked out, or he'll burn in hell]
  • Clue 2 "Beninkblot.jpg": An ink blot test made with blood that starts to burn. [Reference: Ben is a psychiatrist who has caused physical harm to someone (possibly Hayden.)]
  • Clue 3 "Benwtf.jpg": A hand touches a cantaloupe which looks like a vulva. The hand takes out the seeds. [Reference: Hayden's 'aborted' abortion] NOTE: The melon as symbol for sexuality is also referenced in the "Family Portait" ad campaign, in which Tate eats a melon (referencing him having sex with Vivien). Freud, who psychiatrist Ben quotes in the "Pilot" episode, interpreted melons as a symbol of our psyche for sexuality: "a sexual picture which occupied the lonely young man’s imagination."[1] His most famous case study, Anna O., only ate melons for weeks.[2] Freud wrote a study on her together with his colleague Josef Breuer for a book entitled "Studies on Hysteria" (published in 1895). Breuer and Freud both diagnosed Anna O. with "hysteria", the fake illness today identified as female sexual arousal, that Moira talks to Vivien about in the "Rubber Man" episode. Breuer stopped treating Anna O., when she developed psychotic episodes in which she believed that she was pregnant with Breuer's child.


Larry Harvey - Burn Man

  • Appearance and action: Larry is wearing a hat and a dark suit and sits down next to the pram. He starts to burn.
  • Description: "For some reason, Larry is hot and bothered by the Harmon's house."
  • Clue 1 "Fire": A burned baby doll. (It is the same doll located under the red couch on which the Harmons sit.) [Reference: Larry's family burned to death.]
  • Clue 2 "Stairs": Larry is running down a staircase to the basement. He keeps looking over his shoulders. He runs into an opening in the wall. [Reference: Larry getting Travis' clothes from the hole in the wall in the basement to confess to Travis' murder as atonement, although he didn't actually commit it]

Adelaide - The Daughters

  • Appearance and action: Note the plural. Young Addy and adult Addy walk in holding hands. Young Addy is also holding a doll in a baptism gown or nightie in her other hand.
  • Description: "The girls next door have an annoying habit of stopping by uninvited. To deliver death threats."
  • Clue 2 "ironmask.png": An iron mask. [Reference: The pretty girl mask that ultimately killed Adelaide.]
  • Clue 3 " ": A blonde woman with strong eye make up is suspended from the ceiling.[3]
  • Clue 4 " ": A showgirl with elaborate jewelery is looking at a mirror. [Reference: "I want to be a pretty girl."]. If you look closely, this woman looks almost identical to Rachel Zoe (and could quite possibly be her).

Moira - The Housekeepers

  • Appearance and action: Young Moira comes down a staircase. Old Moira enters from the other side and starts cleaning blood stains next to the cantaloupes.
  • Description: "Owners come and go, but those pesky stains are forever. The Help are loyal, but have two sides. Trust neither."
  • Clue 1 "Moirabloodyroom.jpg": A completely blood splattered room with a bed in it. [Reference: Moira was murdered on a bed.]
  • Clue 2 "Moirabw.jpg": Someone scratching their neck frantically with their fingernails. [Reference: Gives Mr. Escandarian a blowjob] -- Possibly referencing when Moira told Hugo that their fling "was a mistake"; he gave her an STD.
  • Clue 3 "Moiravoyuer.jpg ": Young Moira strips and teases on a sofa. She is wearing fishnets. Around her are a baby doll and a decapitated angel statue. [Referenc e: She is seductive around the children, and the decapitated angel represents her being no saint.]

The Twins - Bryan and Troy

  • Appearance and action: The twins sit on either side of the sofa. One of them has a baseball glove, the other a butterfly net.
  • Description: "Boys will be boys. And basements will be basements."
  • Clue 1 "File:Twinsjars.jpg": Dr Montgomery's fetus jars from the basement, including one with a pig fetus. [Reference: Troy and Bryan find these in the basement before they were killed]
  • Clue 3 "File:Ahsbasementboys.png '": Two boys go down to the basement. One is significantly taller than the other. [Reference: The boys go into the basement and never seen again] '-- Perhaps a reference to the other set of twins, Michael and the unnamed Stillborn who is not presumably a house ghost. One fetus[Michael] was said to be much bigger than the other.

Constance

  • Appearance and action: Constance is wearing a dramatic black dress. She stands next to the mantlepiece with the horns on them.
  • Description: "Constance is a typical Southern Belle. She chain smokes, steals jewelry and burns sage."
  • Clue 2 "Coffin": A young woman climbs in and out of a coffin. [Reference: Either Violet "Did you buy her (Violet) a casket yet?" or Moira]
  • Clue 3 " ": A young man is drowning.

Tate - The Patient

  • Appearance and action: Tate comes up from behind the sofa and seems to whisper in Violet's ear.
  • Description: "Tate is your typical teen who is in love, in treatment and insane."
  • Clue 1 "Tateboy.jpg": Tate as a little boy stands in front of a wall. He is wearing a striped T shirt and holds his hands away from his body. His hands seem to be covered in blood. [Reference: His human son killing his baby sitter]
  • Clue 2 "Melt": Tate is lying on a beach in swimming trunks. His arms are tugged under his body in an extremely twisted way. His body convulses and is blood splattered. The video on the webpage has no music, but the same video was also published as a clue video with music and sent to websites.
NOTE: Some of the film scenes on the projector in the Attic (child's fable, brother-sister murder room) are beach footage as well.

Rubber Man

  • Appearance and action: Rubber Man is suspended from the ceiling.
  • Description: "Frightening things come in latex packages."
  • Clue 1 "Lying Down": The scene with the Rubber Man and Vivien in black underwear in a red chamber with a baby inside the Rubberman's belly. [Reference: Rubberman wants to put his seed into Vivien]
  • Clue 2 "": Rubber Man goes into the basement. [Rubberman puts Chad and Patrick's bodies in the basement]

References

  1. Freud, Sigmund, "A letter to Maxime Leroy: Some dreams of Descartes'", 1929
  2. Freud, Sigmund, "Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis: Anna O. case"
  3. The image resembles the poster for An American Haunting based on the Bell Witch legend, which is also referenced in the other promotional page for the show. In that film, a house becomes haunted after a virgin girl is abused by her father. Her violated innocence conjures up a poltergeist. Violet wears a similar dress to the character of the film.

Media in category "Family Portrait (website)"

The following 22 files are in this category, out of 22 total.

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