It almost feels like this season of American Horror Story just came out of nowhere didn’t it? Well, that would be keeping with the theme since it appears that this season is starting to look like an 80s slasher film thanks to the teasers we’ve been given and the fact that the title is American Horror Story: 1984. It’s not just a jump back in time to come forward again, this time we’re getting thrust back a few decades to a time that some folks want to forget and others might experience flashbacks of every now and again. Petrana Radulovic of Polygon has made it known that several of the cast members from the previous seasons will be returning, but surprisingly two of the mainstays, Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson, will not be making it into this season. While there are rumors that Paulson might have a cameo somewhere in the season, there’s no word at all that the same could be said of Peters.
It’s also evident that the supernatural might not play as strong of a role in this season as the trailers seem to indicate that we might see the show lean heavily upon the slasher genre that was so prominent in the 80s. But of course as Petrana mentions that could also be the foreshadowing for something inherently spooky since let’s face it, slasher films have been commonly seen to skip in and out of reality, leaning heavily on a big dose of the supernatural to propel themselves forward. Marcus Jones of EW says pretty much what everyone else has been saying in his own words, that we don’t know a whole lot about the new season thus far, but that a good number of new faces will be making an appearance to hopeful enjoyment of the faithful audience that has been there since season one. One thing you can say about AHS fans is that they’ve stuck around through thick and thin and through one failed plot device after another.
That’s not to say that AHS has been a complete flop, but there have been moments that have come along that have tended to confuse some fans and even irritate others. AHS: Roanoke for instance was something that a lot of fans seemed fit to scratch their heads over as they wondered just what the producers were thinking when they signed off on the idea. It was an interesting take to be certain, the fact that a home built on cursed land was continually under attack by malevolent spirits that were led or at least controlled by the Butcher, a vengeful ghost that had been corrupted by a dark spirit of nature. But at the same time the show within a show idea kind of muddied things a bit and didn’t really offer up the type of story that some folks wanted to see. It was interesting, that much was obvious, and it had a tie-in to Freak Show as well, if only in passing with the mention of the Mott family. But apart from that it stood on its own two legs for much of the season, while Apocalypse, the following season, drew heavily from Murder House and Coven. This kind of makes a person wonder if 1984 could possibly draw from such seasons as Freak Show and Asylum, if only because it could possibly have built up from the fallout of each season. It’s as stretch no doubt since Freak Show was set in the 50s and Asylum was set a decade later, but considering that Apocalypse dealt with time travel it seems reasonable that a more natural progression might be allowed to take place, something that might need a season to explain itself but could still be quite interesting.
Obviously we’ll have to wait until September to find out just what the creators decided to come up with, but at this point it seems that we’ll be waiting with just as much anticipation as we had for Apocalypse. A lot of people might be hoping that the season won’t emerge with the same force of the last one only to fade out with an ominous but quiet exit as Apocalypse did, but again, we’ll have to wait and see. What we should probably expect is that the 80s references and images will be every bit as accurate as folks are hoping for since a lot of people are becoming super picky when it comes to their shows and how accurate they really are, despite the fact that fiction isn’t quite as bound as anything else and should be allowed to be a little more free with their references. One thing we can hope for is that people will stop grousing about the fact that people in the 80s smoked quite a bit, which means we could see a lot of it as the season rolls on. If you’re wondering why this might be an issue, try reading Kimberly Nordyke’s article on how Netflix is responding to Netflix’s decision to cut back on smoking after the backlash from the current season Stranger Things. Hopefully FX won’t be taking the same tactic, as when it comes to realism people have to learn to take the bad with the good. That being said, one can only hope that AHS will continue to dish out the horror and gore as it’s been doing considering that back in 1984 slasher films managed to get pretty intense.