In an extended homage to campy horror classics, the latest "American Horror Story" updates a few old cliches while holding fast khổng lồ its own.
Cody Fern in “AHS: 1984”
Kurt Iswarienko FX
In classic horror fashion, the most morally unsound campers are the ones who’ve been offed first — Ray got killed after admitting to killing, for example — but he also was killed for running away. He could’ve stayed & helped Montana (Billie Lourd), và he decided lớn hop on the motorcycle alone. This came after he told everyone to “split up” (another classic sign of doom in horror movies) because he thought he could run faster than his friends. “AHS: 1984” is making a case that the real heroes are the ones who stay và fight, rather than those who run, hide, và look out for themselves. Selfish traits unite the villains và victims, while separate the true heroes — it’s not reinventing the wheel, but it’s definitely a timely allegory in a world plagued by political self-interest & isolated thinking.
And yet, aren’t these the same issues “AHS” has been investigating for years? Between the election-themed “Cult” & the faux-“Apocalypse,” plenty of recent “Horror” stories have cycled through similar issues, and “AHS: 1984” feels lượt thích it’s lacking any enticing flavors. The cast, largely populated by Murphy veterans, isn’t bad, but they don’t relish their absurd circumstances the way, say, Billy Eichner or Joan Collins did as new editions khổng lồ recent seasons. & you can tell Murphy isn’t that invested in the series anymore from the joyless, by-the-book premiere. “AHS: 1984” has at least one more big twist lurking, which could jolt it into exciting TV: time travel. The new season has lớn figure out a way lớn explain the hitchhiker from 1970 who keeps popping up even after he’s been killed, but it’s just as likely lớn silly as it is khổng lồ be shocking.
That’s the downside of watching “AHS” in its ninth season. Even the weirdness has become rote. While “1984” finds effective ways khổng lồ play in the genre, the homage-y elements have been done just as well elsewhere, if not better, và it seems a little too comfortable mimicking the structure of past seasons. What made “American Horror Story” revolutionary was its anthology format. Today, that format is everywhere. Barring a behind-the-scenes shakeup, where other creators are given the chance to play in Murphy’s sandbox, it’s hard to lớn imagine the series going anywhere truly shocking. Instead, it’s just spinning its wheels in a different decade.
“AHS: 1984” airs new episodes Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
Sign Up: Stay on đứng đầu of the latest breaking film và TV news! Sign up for our email Newsletters here.