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

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