American Horror Story season 9 premiere recap: Camp Redwood

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984 -- Pictured: Emma Roberts as Brooke Thompson. CR: Kurt Iswarienko FX
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984 -- Pictured: Emma Roberts as Brooke Thompson. CR: Kurt Iswarienko FX /

American Horror Story: 1984 reminds us that this series has still got it!

American Horror Story: 1984 premiered this week, and it was finally what we’ve been waiting for. The last couple seasons have not been great, and quite honestly a drag. So, it was nice to see the ninth season take us back to the show’s roots of pure horror and suspense.

This season’s theme is the 1980s slasher vibe and based in a summer camp. I know, it’s literally the epitome of the classic horror movies, and I love it! The season 9 premiere episode stood out to me for so many reasons. First off, it has the same cheesy level as the horror movies it’s mimicking. They couldn’t have done it better! And the 80s music they’re playing in the background is absolutely perfect. Then there’s the opening credit sequence–it’s their best yet!

Okay, so let’s get into the actual episode. It starts off in 1970 when a serial killer, by the name of Mr. Jingles, murders ten girls at Camp Redwood. The murders are brutal, heinous, and disgusting–exactly what one would expect from a slasher film. And as usually happens in stories like this, the killer takes tokens of his victims. In this case, he cuts off their ear.

American Horror Story: 1984 takes us back to the glorious 80s with new trailer. light. More

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Fast forward to 1984, the camp is back in business and has been bought by the only survivor of the killer’s rampage. Unfortunately, the killer, who was incarcerated this entire time, manages to escape. Sound familiar, anyone? Michael Myers! 

Before we head to Camp Redwood, we meet the major players of the season which include aerobics instructor, Xavier (Cody Fern), Chet (Gus Kenworthy), Brooke (Emma Roberts), and Montana (Billie Lourd). Xavier convinces them to join him for the summer at Camp Redwood. Things are bad in Los Angeles with a string of unsolved murders and it’s better to get out of town and be camp counselors. That’s the perfect solution, right? WRONG!

At first, Brooke is reluctant to join them but when she’s attacked by someone that broke into her apartment, she’s quick to leave. I just want to point out that her attacker, known as the Night Stalker, is based on a real-life serial killer, Richard Ramirez. Creepy.


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As the group heads to Camp Redwood, they experience the usual cliche slasher film issues–someone telling them they’ll die or saying to turn back around. Of course, they don’t listen, and it is something they will definitely come to regret. And speaking of regret, they accidentally hit a guy on the street and take him to the camp with them. Never a good idea.

Once at camp, the group soon learned that it was home to a horrible massacre in the 70s (the one at the beginning of the episode), courtesy of Mr. Jingles, who literally got that name because he jingles his keys. I just love the corniness here–oh so much.

As previously mentioned, Mr. Jingles breaks out. His first stop? Camp Redwood, of course.

When the group arrives at the camp, they meet the owner and only massacre survivor Margaret (Leslie Grossman), Rita the nurse (Angelica Ross), and Trevor (Matthew Morrison). They’re all very interesting characters and fitting for the direction American Horror Story is taking this season. Especially Morrison’s character–a cocky, good-looking camp counselor.

After Mr. Jingles escapes, things start to take a dark turn at the camp, but only for Brooke. For now, everyone else has no idea what’s going on. Brooke has seen a dead body hanging from the back of a door and been chased by Mr. Jingles, although no one believes her. Classic horror movie move.

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As the episode comes to a close, Brooke wanders outside once again, against anyone’s better judgment of it being a stupid idea. The ringing of the payphone caught her attention, and as she picks it up, she hears jingling keys on the other end. What she doesn’t know is that Richard Ramirez is also watching from the comfort of the woods. Yikes.

American Horror Story is going to be a crazy, scary adventure this season. I can feel it! The show is back, guys, the show is back!

Be sure to tune in every Wednesday on FX to watch new episodes at 10 PM EST!