Cult’s sole representative on this list, Evan Peters’ Kai Anderson was a starkly drawn character who represented the scariest monster American Horror Story has ever depicted: society itself.
Or radicalisation within society, to be more exact. Cult held a mirror up and forced us to stare at it, and the thing we saw gazing back was Kai Anderson. Cult eschewed the usual supernatural tropes and left us with only the evil of mankind. Kai personified this with a discomforting charm.
We saw him channeling Tyler Durden as the charismatic leader of his cult, but underneath it all he was far less smooth than Brad Pitt’s character. Kai was prone to bouts of apoplectic rage, and while Durden just wanted mindless destruction, Kai engineered everything to put himself on a path to the top.
Political parodies can often fall short in television, especially when they’re parodying somebody already so over the top as Donald Trump. But in Kai, AHS winks at real life just enough, while still delivering the devastating violence with their usual flair.
Another Peters’ character with charm and power might also have made the cut in James Marsh, but Hotel already has some representation in the top ten.