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.


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.


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.


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?


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!


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’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.


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.”


(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.


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


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.


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

SundanceTV dramedy Holiday 2019 cancelled TV shows anime APB Turner Rock Dark Horse Comics Disney+ Disney Plus Podcast Pixar nature The CW Anna Paquin San Diego Comic-Con social media Stephen King Nominations Watching Series Premiere Dates 21st Century Fox Superheroes Turner Classic Movies news The Arrangement zero dark thirty festival strong female leads Pirates canceled superhero Britbox halloween Cartoon Network Emmys joker VOD Creative Arts Emmys TIFF Esquire Emmy Nominations Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt MSNBC cancelled television E3 blaxploitation free movies serial killer christmas movies Paramount cops game of thrones latino CMT Peacock crime thriller diversity parents Tomatazos hispanic finale comiccon breaking bad Black Mirror USA Baby Yoda Comic Book TCA 2017 Academy Awards Character Guide Trivia spy thriller 007 singing competition hollywood reviews OneApp Women's History Month Apple TV+ Countdown American Society of Cinematographers DC Comics Western universal monsters game show Opinion blockbuster a nightmare on elm street Ovation TNT Lionsgate Showtime doctor who versus historical drama Red Carpet theme song Sony Pictures 2020 Summer cancelled TV series Quiz Arrowverse Mystery Apple TV Plus classics chucky TruTV thriller Discovery Channel Hallmark Rom-Com cults Starz DirecTV cartoon police drama Vudu cancelled Sneak Peek Animation science fiction Rocketman adventure Valentine's Day crime drama USA Network die hard zombies indie sequel asian-american politics Country CW Seed based on movie sports Avengers all-time nbcuniversal Film Festival travel unscripted Hallmark Christmas movies Epix best FOX Oscars Reality Competition Mary Poppins Returns series cinemax Mudbound dragons Cosplay Amazon Studios Musical Pride Month Disney Channel streaming BBC America transformers directors 2018 space independent name the review dogs worst movies cooking Spectrum Originals venice Year in Review ratings First Look PBS FX on Hulu spain A24 NYCC Cannes Lucasfilm scorecard TV Land screenings comedies comic supernatural concert war YouTube Hulu Action revenge Awards Tumblr mockumentary Super Bowl 2016 child's play MTV comics Polls and Games See It Skip It Amazon Prime Video Box Office DGA Comedy OWN indiana jones Acorn TV President harry potter Set visit quibi LGBT Mindy Kaling binge ABC Family Rocky YA Mary Tyler Moore films Netflix Christmas movies ITV mutant festivals CBS Warner Bros. adaptation Bravo worst football Tubi Crackle Interview VICE award winner The Purge BAFTA 20th Century Fox ghosts aliens 24 frames Syfy Ghostbusters justice league Song of Ice and Fire Captain marvel DC Universe Television Critics Association 2017 Lifetime Spike New York Comic Con spider-man tv talk Brie Larson psycho Binge Guide medical drama green book vampires true crime TCA Winter 2020 robots Travel Channel video on demand 71st Emmy Awards Paramount Network zombie sag awards dceu television 45 Chernobyl Crunchyroll satire Marathons Hear Us Out RT History Sundance Mary poppins Toys rotten movies we love teaser PlayStation 72 Emmy Awards Sundance TV Masterpiece video children's TV Certified Fresh Sci-Fi First Reviews Writers Guild of America composers movie SDCC renewed TV shows hist Walt Disney Pictures political drama Apple NBC YouTube Premium BBC documentary disaster Nat Geo Heroines animated golden globes cars toronto Chilling Adventures of Sabrina CNN obituary ESPN LGBTQ Nickelodeon miniseries Extras Film franchise Reality Fall TV rotten Drama VH1 Winners crossover reboot Family Video Games south america sequels spinoff kids Trailer Music Winter TV IFC GLAAD ABC TCA critics elevated horror Star Trek Holidays Television Academy dark batman natural history Adult Swim DC streaming service laika PaleyFest Sundance Now crime stop motion facebook E! biography GoT romantic comedy spanish language Netflix YouTube Red casting stand-up comedy nfl FXX Disney Infographic slashers TV renewals Best and Worst Calendar toy story RT21 screen actors guild movies documentaries SXSW Christmas Ellie Kemper Tarantino Shudder HBO Comedy Central Teen period drama mission: impossible Black History Month sitcom Election scary movies History what to watch MCU fast and furious National Geographic Biopics WGN foreign Comics on TV psychological thriller TBS anthology cats Marvel GIFs criterion Trophy Talk Fantasy Funimation Columbia Pictures Pop TV Awards Tour Logo Spring TV Grammys jamie lee curtis FX Musicals Pop witnail HBO Go Classic Film remakes talk show BET 4/20 Universal BET Awards The Witch Superheroe Lifetime Christmas movies Schedule TCA Awards WarnerMedia Star Wars twilight Marvel Television Elton John emmy awards book Disney Plus Disney streaming service boxoffice Thanksgiving romance Martial Arts The Walking Dead Fox News werewolf docudrama Shondaland technology stoner HBO Max A&E CBS All Access Marvel Studios Pet Sematary BBC One El Rey canceled TV shows Amazon Amazon Prime richard e. Grant Food Network AMC Kids & Family Endgame TLC dc discovery Freeform TV X-Men 2015 Photos TCM IFC Films Horror