By JAX ARMSTRONG
The four-time-winning Critics Choice Television Show, American Horror Story, debuted its ninth season, “1984”, on Wednesday, September 18.
Like the first eight seasons, 1984 takes a central setting, and creates horrifying events to pervert the previous conceptions or connections the audience had to that given setting, generating a chilling effect that often leaves the audience both terrified and eager to see more. This pattern is consistent through 1984, as in the season premiere, directors set the stage at a mid 80’s summer camp, and in the first episode alone, we see the Freddie-Krueger-like-antagonist massacre three camp counselors.
Unlike the previous seasons, 1984, is emblematic of a cliche horror movie, filled with romance and classic horror movie elements like a “camp-slasher” and “clumsy protagonist”. While some may find it too cliche, I actually like it a lot. Who doesn’t like a campy horror movie? Furthermore, who doesn’t like a campy horror movie with an acclaimed cast?
The idea of “small town ‘80’s teens” in a horror movie kind of reminds me of the Netflix Original drama series, Stranger Things, although it’s fair to assume 1984 will be more of a thrilling experience and less of a “homey” sci-fi comedy. Also, the cast of 1984 is very different from that of the notorious stranger things group, as the camp attendees (and future victims of the camp slasher) are older teens that have more mature story-lines, and have been characterized with more adult qualities.
The characters introduced in the first episode gave me a humorous impression, and furthered the idea that the premiere isn’t to be taken too seriously.
Personally, I really enjoyed the season premiere. American Horror Story has often used horror, and spooky thematic elements to convey a message, which in itself proves to transcend the normal boundaries of horror and allows American Horror Story to classify itself as a brand of meta-horror. Meta-horror makes the audience think, and often has philosophical undertones which are really unique for a television show. However, the premiere of 1984 was different, it seemed to just be a cheesy horror show, which was slightly relaxing and kind of funny.
Overall, I’m excited to see how the whole season will play out, and especially anxious to see how the characters will be developed throughout the season. Although, it is important to steer clear of getting too attached to any character in American Horror Story, because odds are, they will die.