‘American Horror Story’ is back in classic 80s horror fashion


American Horror Story “1984” promotional poster. Photo courtesy FX.

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for “American Horror Story: 1984”

“American Horror Story” premiered its ninth season “1984” and there is a lot to discuss. In celebration of the first episode and in hopes that this season doesn’t disappoint, I wanted to take this moment to share what I thought, and what I hope is in store for fellow “American Horror Story” fans.

First, let’s talk opening credits. I thought it was perfectly cheesy and nostalgic of the ‘80s. Although it was sad to see that many of the show’s iconic actors like Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, Evan Peters and Kathy Bates didn’t appear in the credits, I’m hoping that season nine stays afloat without them.

The season does, however, include some returning actors, like Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, Cody Fern and Leslie Grossman.

The first episode, “Camp Redwood” captures the ‘80s horror genre by combining tropes from classic 1980s horror films. As a fan of cheesy horror from that decade, I was really excited to see this portrayed.

The episode starts when a young group of people, Xavier, Montana, Ray and Chet ask their new friend Brooke (Emma Roberts) to join them as a counselor at a summer camp that was previously closed due to a massacre that happened 14 years prior. Now I know what everyone is thinking: yes, this pretty much mirrors the plot of “Friday the 13th” (1980), but as a horror fan, I really appreciated the homage to the franchise.

“Camp Redwood” also includes several other references of ‘80s slasher flicks. When Mr. Jingles the Camp Redwood killer breaks out of a mental institution (another classic trope) and returns to terrorize the camp, it was a clear nod to Michael Myers’ backstory in the “Halloween” franchise.

Along with the allusions to the slasher genre, there was an added historical twist to the episode when the infamous serial killer Richard Ramirez aka the Night Stalker, played by Zach Villa, made an appearance. Ramirez breaks into Brooke’s apartment, terrorizes her and claims that he will follow her wherever she went. It was a pretty great scare based on real events. Also, as an “American Horror Story” fan, it was exciting to see Ramirez reappear, as we’ve seen glimpses of him in the past season, “Hotel.” I’m really anxious to see if any connections will be made between the two seasons.

As far as a first episode goes, I’m really hopeful for this season of AHS. There were lots of little references that I personally loved and that I hope keep going throughout the season. My fingers are crossed that “1984” won’t disappoint.

Danielle Kessler can be reached at [email protected] or @reserv0irpups on Twitter.