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“AHS: 1984” promises camp-tastic horror for upcoming season

“AHS: 1984” promises camp-tastic horror for upcoming season

BEWARE: SPOILER ALERT AHEAD. There were mullets and midriffs as far as the eye could see in Wednesday’s “American Horror Story” season premiere. As is implied by its title, “AHS: 1984” takes us back to one of the most murder-y eras in pop culture history: the 1980s.

The pilot episode, titled “Camp Redwood,” introduces us to Brooke Thompson (Emma Roberts) whose plans to study to be a vet over the summer were quickly and aggressively re-routed after a serial killer breaks into her apartment, steals her jewelry, and vows to return and murder her. When a man who calls himself “The Night Stalker” promises to kill you, you take it seriously.

As a safer alternative to staying home and waiting to be taken out by The Night Stalker (or so she thinks), Brooke agrees to join her new aerobics friends as a counselor at Camp Redwood—a new summer camp that conveniently happens to need four new counselors! RED FLAG! 

If that wasn’t enough, the group receives a fairly clear warning from a gas station attendant on their way to camp (who literally says “you’re all gonna die!”), yet Brooke and her friends carry on toward Camp Redwood, managing to hit and almost kill a hitchhiker in the process.

We’re then introduced to the camp owner, Margaret Booth (Leslie Grossman), a devout Christian who came to Christ back in 1970 when her faith kept her alive after a brutal stabbing at Camp Redwood (yet another red flag; go home Brooke!). The killer, a deranged man by the creepy name of “Mr. Jingles” (John Carroll Lynch), killed nine campers that night. Even though Margaret survived, she lost an ear in the process. In case you couldn’t tell by now, this camp is death-by-serial-killer central.

Brooke’s plan to escape her own inevitable murder isn’t exactly going the way she’d hoped it would?, Mr. Jingles makes his glorious return to Camp Redwood the same week Brooke arrives with her friends, and set everyone else in his mental institution free, just for good measure. Unless Brooke is hallucinating —which she’s definitely not—the final shot of the episode welcomes back our good ol’ friend The Night Stalker, who is, at the least, a man of his word.

Even in the absence of iconic cast members like Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and the queen of AHS herself, Jessica Lange, we’re introduced to several new characters that we may recognize from Murphy’s other shows. One cast addition that’s sure to entice a wider audience is Matthew Morrison, known for his portrayal of Mr. Schue in “Glee.” Morrison plays Trevor Kirchner, a mustached stud who graces Camp Redwood with his short-shorts and sex appeal.

Think of “1984” this way: “the Chanels” from “Scream Queens” go to camp as counselors. A serial killer shows up to stir the pot. What happens next? Director Ryan Murphy always has a trick or two up his sleeve—let’s all hope he can keep up the absurd humor and genuine horror for the rest of the season. With Murphy’s tendency to let his shows slide downhill about halfway through the season…let’s hope 1984 doesn’t suffer the same fate. 

Everyone keep Brooke and the rest of the gals at Camp Redwood in your prayers—we know Margaret Booth sure will! Catch you next week—it’s about to get real stabby. 

Feature Image: Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes.

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“AHS: 1984” promises camp-tastic horror for upcoming season