Review of Episode 1 of AHS 9: CAMP REDWOOD

(Image from Entertainment Weekly)

 

9 seasons in and you have to admit: American Horror Story still remains on top. After the intense futuristic apocalyptic world of last season, showrunners Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy bring us back to the 80s, where campiness and slasher films rein. In the past few years, 80’s horror and nostalgia has been on an uprise, with shows like Stranger Things and the revival of Stephen King’s It.

“Camp Redwood” is a gruesome and fun start to the season, filled with many 80s references, everything from the hysteria of the decade from the infamous Night Stalker, to the teen stalker films that shaped the decade. Hopefully, as we go deeper into the season, we’ll get many more of the themes that really made up the 80’s.

Right off the bat, we are thrown into a horror show with two serial killers on the loose.

 

(Image from Vox.com)

AHS series regular Emma Roberts is back, but this time is playing the sweater-wearing good girl character,Brooke, unlike her usual edgy goth persona. So far, we don’t really know anything about her or where she came from before going to LA. She comes across as extremely paranoid and this ultimately saves her as she is attacked by the Night Stalker, Richard Rameriz, fending him off with a frying pan.

Brooke is soon whisked away to summer camp upstate with a group of new friends, filled with well-known actors, including fan-favorite Cody Fern, AHS alumni Billie Lourd, as well as newcomers Gus Kenworthy and DeRon Horton.

It is the same setting where 14 years ago,  a Vietnam veteran, nicknamed “Mr. Jingles” broke into the camp and slaughtered a group of teens working there. The only survivor of the massacre, Magaret (played by Leslie Grossman), ends up buying the very place where she experienced so much trauma before, hoping to make new happy memories there. However with the news of the camp reopening, “Mr. Jingles” breaks out of the local mental institution he was locked up in, and returns to terrorize the camp in typical slasher killer style.

The episode is filled to the brim with 80’s easter eggs.

(Image from The New Yorker)

Even before we arrive at Camp, 1984 allows us to dive into the quintessential 80’s culture, giving us shots of jazzercise, the 1984 summer Olympics, as well as the big hair and crazy fashion that shaped the era.

With the frequent mentions of aerobic classes and the Olympics, it seems as if fitness will be a major theme in the season.

 

Conclusion: 

 

American Horror Story has always given us a sufficient amount of horror and gore, and the latest season really lives up to the tradition. 1984 pays homage to the teen slasher movies, drawing inspiration from famous films like Friday the 13th and Halloween. This season really is unlike anything that AHS has done before and it will be exciting to see how the season progresses. Speaking as a lover of the 80’s, 1984 really hits all the marks.