RYAN MURPHY: "WE ALL LOVE BRIAN DE PALMA IN THE WRITERS' ROOM"
In last week's (December 4) episode of FX's American Horror Story, a fanatically religious mother, not unlike the mother in Carrie, insists to her son that he has been made "unclean" by the witches next door, and after disturbingly attempting to cleanse him from the inside out, she locks him in a closet, bound and gagged. The episode was written by series co-creator Ryan Murphy, who tells Vulture's Denise Martin that the recurring "closet thing" (there was a mother/daughter closet scene in the first season, as well) comes from Brian De Palma's Carrie.
In the Vulture article, which contains several SPOILERS for the current season of American Horror Story, Martin querys Murphy, "When Nan finds Luke trapped in the closet by his mother, it reminded me of when Constance threw her own daughter [also played by Jamie Brewer] into the closet. Are those callbacks intentional given that each season has a different story?"
Murphy replies, "We do it more than you know. It’s fun for us. I call them the goodies, 'Where are the goodies buried?' People go on Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, they catch up with seasons they’ve been watching and then they re-watch it with passion and fresh eyes. So we’re very cognizant of that. There’s usually one goodie per episode. The closet thing was very much based on Carrie, and we’ve done riffs on that and other things in that movie many, many times because we all love Brian De Palma in the writers' room."
As we've noted before, one of those writers in the AHS writers' room is Jennifer Salt, she of many early De Palma pictures. In the season premiere episode of season two, two of Pino Donaggio's music cues from De Palma's Carrie were used very specifically. Murphy has talked about being obsessed with De Palma while making season two last year, mentioning Dressed To Kill as a major influence, as well.