News

Everything We Know About American Horror Story: 1984 So Far

A full-length trailer gives a closer look at the latest installment of the horror anthology series. What twist does über-producer Ryan Murphy have in store for fans this time?

by | September 11, 2019 | Comments

FX’s anthology hit American Horror Story returns this fall. With a late September season premiere, season 9 will run straight through Halloween and beyond. We’ve devoted part of our summer to piecing together what the new season, 1984, is about.

Every season of American Horror Story is secretive. After the success of Murder House, Asylum, Coven, and Freak Show, series creator Ryan Murphy became even more cagey — much to the frustration of television journalists scraping around for even the smallest details. He has revealed a tad more about American Horror Story: 1984 than he did about previous seasons, however.

Here is everything we know about American Horror Story: 1984 so far from teasers, interviews, Murphy’s own Instagram feed, and the first full-length trailer.


IT’S SLASHER SEASON

Every season of American Horror Story has tackled a subgenre of horror. Murder House was a haunted house. Coven was witchcraft. Cult was, well, cult but applied to present-day politics. Apocalypse was the end of the world. Hotel was true crime mixed with the surreal and supernatural. Murphy confirmed that AHS: 1984 would tackle the slasher genre.

“This has been an area that Ryan has talked about since I’ve known him, and it’s just a real sweet spot for him. And I think it was time for him to do it,” AHS executive producer Tim Minear told The Wrap.


WE KNOW WHEN IT’S SET

Duh, it’s going to take place in 1984. That’s the one thing the title gives away.

The ’80s were prime time for slasher movies like the prolific Friday the 13th series and its imitators like April Fool’s Day, Sleepaway Camp, Prom Night, Slumber Party Massacre, Silent Night Deadly Night, and more. The Nightmare on Elm Street series began in 1984 and positioned Freddy Krueger in the subconscious dream world to do his slashing. Halloween began in 1978, but its sequels continued through the ’80s.


WE KNOW WHERE IT TAKES PLACE

A teaser showed a group of counselors arriving at “Camp Redwood,” and we see more of what appears to be the season’s main setting in the full-length trailer. This seems to be Murphy’s version of Friday the 13th’s Camp Crystal Lake. Then again, it could be a misdirect. Murphy is never afraid to add a twist to the obvious — could it be a movie within the TV show?


WE KNOW WHO IS IN THE CAST

Thanks to Murphy’s initial Instagram post, we do have a roster of AHS: 1984 cast members. They include regulars from AHS and other Murphy series, and some new faces. Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, John Carroll Lynch, Leslie Grossman, Cody Fern, Matthew Morrison, Angelica Ross, DeRon Horton, Zach Villa, and Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy (making his acting debut) will all appear.

Please tell us those are their actual costumes in the series!


THE COUNSELORS ARE EXPERIMENTING

Sex = Death was the equation of the Friday the 13th movies. Jason Voorhees would punish counselors for hooking up, mainly because he drowned while counselors were busy having sex. In Murphy’s updated version of the 1984 slasher, that includes same-sex pairs exploring their desires. Unfortunately, they’ll probably share the same fate as Jason’s victims.


WE KNOW WHO THE KILLER IS…OR AT LEAST WE THINK WE DO

We’ve seen images of the AHS: 1984 killer in his hooded slicker and his weapon of choice, the curved scythe. Now the trailer reveals his origins: Mr. Jingles escaped from a mental hospital one rainy night, and he’s returning to the campsite of his previous legendary massacre.


AHS: 1984 REMEMBERS THE VALUES OF PEDESTRIANS

When you think about ‘80s slasher movies, you think about masked killers and teenage victims. American Horror Story remembers much more, like how pedestrians would often cause problems for our victims — er, heroes — on the way to their fateful destinations. Think: the hitchhiker in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the locals warning them to turn back, or the fisherman in I Know What You Did Last Summer. AHS: 1984 has a pedestrian the campers hit with their car and a local who warns them, “You’re all gonna die.”


A WES CRAVEN VETERAN APPEARS THIS SEASON

(Photo by Fox)

Wes Craven made Freddy Krueger a household name, but AHS: 1984 found a deeper Wes Craven cut. The X-Files veteran Mitch Pileggi starred as Horace Pinker in Craven’s Shocker, about a killer who used the power of electricity to transfer his soul into other bodies, and eventually into your TV set. In AHS, Pileggi (pictured above in Fox’s X-Files revival) plays a hospital administrator dealing with Mr. Jingles’ breakout.


WE KNOW WHO GUS KENWORTHY PLAYS

Thanks to another Murphy post, at least one character is revealed. Kenworthy plays Roberts’ boyfriend. Now, who is Roberts playing?


EIGHT IS ENOUGH FOR SARAH PAULSON

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: APOCALYPSE -- Pictured: Sarah Paulson as Ms. Wilhemina Venable/Cordelia Foxx. CR: Kurt Iswarienko/FX
(Photo by Kurt Iswarienko/FX)

After eight seasons of American Horror Story, Sarah Paulson will not star in 1984. She’s already played at least 10 characters for American Horror Story, considering Freak Show gave her two heads and Apocalypse brought back multiple Paulson characters and gave her a new one.

Variety said, “Paulson will not appear in a significant role” but that doesn’t rule out a cameo. Billy Eichner also said on his Twitter feed he’s not in this season, and Evan Peters told Extra he’s out too.


THE TEASERS ALL HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON

A nubile victim getting chased through the woods, a cabin in the woods, a lake, a gratuitous shower… Those all feel like Friday the 13th (with a splash of Halloween in the laundry teaser), but we’ve been through season 6, so we know teasers aren’t to be trusted. These teasers do all fall within the same genre though, where the season 6 teasers cast a wider horror net.

American Horror Story: 1984 premieres Wednesday, September 18 at 10 p.m. on FX.


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

Set visit Countdown MTV zombie Trivia mutant Comedy streaming theme song Rock Esquire ESPN Marathons canceled TV shows Bravo miniseries politics sequel Amazon Prime Video facebook Red Carpet DC Comics green book joker Action Food Network 2017 Elton John RT History dragons TCA 2017 TV Land YA Lifetime LGBT travel Cannes Sundance Now BET foreign Biopics Teen singing competition Watching Series spain casting romance Pixar renewed TV shows thriller video Podcast Film Tomatazos Acorn TV BBC cults Adult Swim halloween Amazon Character Guide IFC Films TIFF political drama aliens CW Seed Mary Tyler Moore Cosplay Disney streaming service harry potter stand-up comedy festivals spider-man Freeform witnail finale Box Office nature X-Men HBO Max Music docudrama medical drama SXSW GoT psychological thriller DGA TCA Valentine's Day WarnerMedia Trailer Winners Nat Geo spinoff comic Reality Competition Thanksgiving Writers Guild of America batman robots social media based on movie psycho Starz Extras Winter TV Stephen King 007 Mary Poppins Returns History Fall TV Musical The Walking Dead diversity free movies Netflix Fantasy VH1 cinemax A&E dceu cars 45 anthology richard e. Grant Disney DirecTV SundanceTV Logo 2016 Ellie Kemper Television Academy cancelled TV series talk show Premiere Dates CMT crime thriller Toys TV NBC cats adventure what to watch spanish language PBS RT21 south america Comedy Central Sundance unscripted Martial Arts 21st Century Fox TBS serial killer technology Spring TV National Geographic Mary poppins First Look MSNBC Best and Worst YouTube golden globes Nominations science fiction Binge Guide Paramount The Arrangement The CW disaster Emmys Shondaland Women's History Month children's TV Comic Book Film Festival WGN 2019 historical drama TruTV Heroines space Opinion Paramount Network cops Tumblr Peacock DC streaming service crime drama Tarantino American Society of Cinematographers ghosts adaptation Apple Spectrum Originals Ovation Dark Horse Comics El Rey revenge Ghostbusters crossover LGBTQ Comics on TV latino Hulu dramedy Brie Larson sports CNN jamie lee curtis quibi TLC Rom-Com anime FX IFC Apple TV+ Grammys Song of Ice and Fire Anna Paquin Chernobyl Quiz slashers cancelled television game of thrones 2018 Vudu Drama Kids & Family Trophy Talk Columbia Pictures Certified Fresh SDCC Interview transformers Masterpiece CBS Nickelodeon YouTube Premium Pet Sematary First Reviews See It Skip It ratings Holidays Infographic Mudbound game show Super Bowl APB discovery ABC Family biography Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Sony Pictures Rocketman Chilling Adventures of Sabrina CBS All Access USA Pirates YouTube Red award winner Polls and Games Video Games cooking President Animation FOX dc PaleyFest true crime Mystery 2015 Photos Mindy Kaling USA Network blaxploitation E! spy thriller TV renewals AMC 20th Century Fox doctor who movies Shudder Fox News Pop Christmas sitcom supernatural Reality GLAAD kids hispanic Rocky Country Year in Review Awards Tour Star Trek teaser Walt Disney Pictures Spike elevated horror BBC America strong female leads Universal Black Mirror Britbox period drama VICE book New York Comic Con mockumentary DC Universe Marvel natural history ITV Pride Month cancelled TV shows FXX San Diego Comic-Con Amazon Prime TNT hist Musicals Election police drama ABC Showtime Family Cartoon Network 24 frames Creative Arts Emmys GIFs zombies television Disney Channel war 71st Emmy Awards boxoffice Captain marvel MCU tv talk Oscars The Witch Sci-Fi Western Horror Warner Bros. Syfy Awards Arrowverse cancelled Calendar Crackle comiccon E3 HBO Emmy Nominations zero dark thirty justice league binge series Sneak Peek OWN Epix crime canceled Star Wars animated toy story composers Summer NYCC vampires Superheroe Lionsgate Lucasfilm Superheroes Disney Plus Schedule TCM