American Horror Story: 1984 review


Riding the wave of nostalgia, American Horror Story took us back to 1984 with a slasher-themed series this year.

While sometimes trying to set trends, AHS has started to follow them in recent seasons, with the politically fuelled Cult season and last year’s crossover Apocalypse.

What you can always expect from American Horror Story is a multitude of plots and arcs, with some always being unfulfilled. While the first two episodes set the scene, by the third one they attempt to undo all of the good work with a messy lot strand involving the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez.

AHS has had real-life serial killers in the show before but none cast their shadow larger than Ramirez, and they just about get away with his arc after a bumpy start.

Sorely missed this time around are regulars Evan Peters and Sarah Poulson, although Murphy has looked to replace them with the superb Leslie Grossman, who chews the scenery in an off the wall performance.

John Carroll Lynch, who many know as Twisty the Clown from Freak Show is back, and after a misdirect introduction he is given some emotionally heavy scenes later on which are occasionally at odds with the whacky tone of 1984.

As expected there are slasher tropes left, right and centre throughout the series, with the finest homage being Lily Rabe’s tribute to one Pamela Voorhees. If Friday the 13th ever does return, they may have found their killer mom right here.

AHS doesn’t always stick the landing, with many promising seasons spoilt by lacklustre endings and 1984 is definitely another case of this. Where they could have gone for the spectacle they have gone for grounded, which again is a conflict for the slasher themes.

With the 10th season of American Horror Story rumored to be it’s last, here’s hoping they learn lessons from a journey back to the ’80s.


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