The season premiere of “American Horror Story: 1984” last week did the classic horror slasher genre justice and settled some reservations I had about this season’s casting. Episode two dives right in with two killers (Mr. Jingles and the Night Stalker) on the loose at Camp Redwood.
*Spoilers ahead, with key moments from episode two.*
The “Scooby Gang” is up for more than they bargained for this summer as a murder takes place within the first five minutes of the episode. This string of killings is not far off from the typical formula of classic horror slasher films. But no season would be complete without the iconic “AHS” plot twist. During this episode, we learn more about the drifter that the “Scooby Gang” hit while driving to Camp Redwood. The drifter turns out to be Jonas, a Camp Redwood counselor from the 1970s. But that’s not the kicker. It turns out that Jonas is a ghost and tied to the place where he died, Camp Redwood, at the hands of Mr. Jingles. This could explain why in episode one they could not find the body after Brooke ran to get help: Jonas’ body disappears each time he is killed.
Viewers learn more about our main characters’ pasts, that lead them to Camp Redwood. The wedding ring Brooke holds in episode one turns out to be her ring from her wedding last summer. But this is no fairytale wedding. Brooke’s fiance has a jealous track record and believes Brooke and his best man slept together the night before the wedding. Caught in a misguided jealous rage, Brooke’s fiance shoots up their entire wedding and then kills himself. Brooke is left standing at the altar with blood all over her white dress. This dark past is all told to Montana as they confide in each other, and we learn about Montana’s insecurities: spending a summer at a fat camp as a child where she learned “nom and vom” (eat then vomit).
Xavier — the young, good-looking aerobics instructor that convinced everyone to get away from Los Angeles for the summer — has secrets of his own. But his secret follows him to Camp Redwood. Xavier has aspirations to make it big as a movie star, but he’s already starred in a movie he would like the public never to see. We learn he was found strung out on drugs at MacArthur Park by his sugar daddy, Blake. Blake has convinced “not gay” Xavier to do gay-for-pay home movies.
While many of these revelations and many more murders occurred in episode two, there is one thing that was even more of a shocker. The end of the episode leaves viewers with a big cliff hanger; one that has me on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happens next.
“American Horror Story: 1984” airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.