American Horror Story: What Movies to Watch in Preparation for ‘AHS: 1984’

Viewers, beware — the newest season of American Horror Story premieres on Sept. 18, 2019. These episodes star Cody Fern, Emma Roberts, and Gus Kenworthy, and thanks to a few teasers, fans got hints about the story’s premise. Until then, here’s our list of binge-worthy horror movies from the 1980s.

A Nightmare On Elm Street
‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ | Photo by New Line Cinema/Getty Images

‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’

One of the most iconic movies of the 1980s, A Nightmare on Elm Street features the sharp-handed Freddie Kruger, a monster who kills victims in their sleep with razors on his fingers. The protagonist of the story, Nancy Thompson, realizes she must stay awake in order to survive. (As an added bonus and connection to American Horror Story: this film premiered in 1984.)

‘Friday the 13th’

Everyone’s heard of Jason Voorhees. This is his movie to shine. Friday the 13th tells the story of kids who go away to summer camp. Following a string of murders, the protagonists must figure out who is behind the killings and try to make it out of the summer alive. It’s a little cheesy in some parts, but don’t knock it — the ending of this movie still gives us nightmares.

‘Sleepaway Camp’

We’re getting serious American Horror Story vibes from this 1980s slasher. Sleepaway camp, released in 1983, tells the story of Angela Baker. In classic slasher fashion, a series of murders happen at the local summer camp and it’s up to a few characters (and the audience) to figure out who did it. A few sequels were made in the franchise — the first movie, of course, earned the highest rating on IMDB.

Conversely, the trailer for American Horror Story: 1984 features Camp Redwood, another sleepaway camp that the characters attend over the summer. This camp, however, couldn’t be more obvious, especially with the word “beware,” sprawled out in red ink, on the back of their sign.

American Horror Story Season 9
Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for FX

Is ‘American Horror Story: 1984’ based on anything?

There is no direct link between AHS: 1984 and older movies or previous seasons of the horror series — not yet, anyway. Some fans speculate that characters from other episodes of American Horror Story will reappear. Others speculated that Emma Roberts’ character from the series Scream Queens might make a cameo.

“What if American Horror Story: 1984 takes place on a movie set about murders that took place at Camp Redwood and Chanel is now an actress that dyed her hair brown,” questioned one Twitter user. A fan favorite, Sarah Paulson, is only making a cameo in this season. As a result, some fans speculate that they will portray her Alysum character, Lana Winters.

“If Lana Winters had her son (the son of Bloody Face) in 1964 in Asylum, that’d make him 20 in 1984. He grew up to be a serial killer like his dad and Lana killed him in 2012. So, what happened in between 1964 and 2012? I think we’re about to find out,” said another Twitter user.

Some speculate that the name of this season is a nod to George Orwell’s dystopian novel of the same title. Although fans have some theories regarding the plot of AHS: 1984, they have to wait until September to find out more.

FX’s series, American Horror Story: 1984, premieres in the United States on Sept. 18, 2019.