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

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