I may be biased, as a true child of the 80’s, but we had perhaps one of the most iconic decades for horror movies. With this current wave of 80’s nostalgia it only made sense that we would eventually get to this era in the latest installment of FX’s American Horror Story.
We set the scene off perfectly with a flashback to 14 years prior , as some camp counselors are about to get into some…extracurricular activities…so to speak before they are all stabbed in brutally gory fashion by an unknown murderer.
The gore effects are pretty fantastic, more graphic in this TV show than some of the horror movies of the era they’re homaging here and I love it.
We then get a delightfully 1980’s theme song with enough synthesizers and keyboards to bring back big hair and all denim outfits, before introducing us to our new cast of characters this season, in an aerobics class because again, it’s 1984.
This time out we have Emma Roberts returning once again to the show, playing Brooke Thompson, a shy, new to Los Angeles young woman, who is our protagonist it seems.
She meets the other characters as we do post class, including Emma’s former Scream Queens cast member Billie Lourd who plays the outgoing “party girl” Montana Duke.
We get a good feel for the era, as people are on edge about the Richard Ramirez killing spree and the onset of people traffic from the upcoming Olympic Games which took place in Los Angeles that year, so to avoid all of that chaos they leave town on a tip that one of them has that a summer camp is opening up soon and needs counselors. So the group of young people, in order to avoid the real life chaos goes off to the summer camp for what promises to be horror movie chaos.
Brooke doesn’t fully escape the real world chaos though as she’s attacked in her home by Richard Ramirez and I must say the actor that plays him looks uncannily like the serial killer, it’s a nice touch, some good casting.
She manages to fight him off and is off to the camp, where they soon learn of the story of the Mr. Jingles massacre from 1970, how a deranged Vietnam vet (John Carrol Lynch- AHS: Freakshow) slaughtered the camp counselors.
We then cut to the local mental hospital , where, in a great homage to Halloween, Mr. Jingles escapes and will be making his way back to camp before too long I’m sure.
This was very engaging television, if you’re well versed in 1980’s horror movies you will notice homages to other movies of that era and even if you’re not it’s a great intro to what promises to be a very gory, very fun season of American Horror Story. I’ll be back next week with more.
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