American Horror Story: 1984: 5 movies we want to see referenced


American Horror Story’s ninth season is probably going to be chock-full of classic horror references. Which movies should get shout-outs?

Even as the spring TV season continues raging, networks and creators already want you to set your sights on fall. Enter Ryan Murphy, who dropped a title reveal for the next iteration of American Horror Story:1984.

AHS has gone period before, including for the bulk of seasons like Asylum and Freak Show, but this is the most recent setting, time-wise, that’s still in the past. As Entertainment Weekly noted, there’s a lot that the teaser owes to Friday the 13th — down to the font choices, we think — but Murphy won’t satisfy himself with one reference.

Check the teaser out below:

So what else could Murphy be looking to for inspiration? We’ve got some ideas.


Laurie Strode is the ultimate survivor in horror films, and Murphy has a penchant for casting women to play characters who get through things — no matter the cost. Is the girl in the trailer our Laurie? Maybe, and maybe not. All the same, expect there to be a few references to this classic, and perhaps even a whole-episode reference for the show’s Halloween week episode (assuming it airs one).


Yes, we know: Scream is a ’90s horror flick, so there will be no Ghostface jokes in AHS: 1984. However, it’s a self-aware horror film, and we think that’s the spirit that will fall over AHS. Besides, do you think Murphy doesn’t have enough pull to get some celebrity to play a short-lived wonder, like Drew Barrymore? It’s happened before with Adam Levine in Asylum, after all.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

AHS is inevitably going to get weird. Even in its more realistic seasons, and we use that word extremely lightly, there are odd, preternatural events — if not outright supernatural ones. Elm Street loves itself some dream mythology, and AHS could look to that for some ideas as to how to make things get stranger. Besides, who doesn’t love an iconic killer ensemble, pun only slightly intended?

The Shining

Okay, it’s a knife in the teaser and an axe in The Shining. However, AHS does good work when it has some iconic locations to focus its shots on. From the Murder House to the Hotel Cortez, an audience can feel pretty uneasy as soon as a building is shot in a different way. The same goes for interiors, too. Additionally, perhaps our AHS killer is slowly going mad, much like Jack Torrance does at the Overlook Hotel.

The Wicker Man

Other things that Ryan Murphy likes to play around with are the ideas of cults and religion. Cult and Asylum are the two obvious ones, but the ideas tend to pop up in other seasons, from Hotel‘s Ten Commandments Killer to the witches of Coven to the literal Antichrist in Apocalypse. The Wicker Man focuses on an island with a dark secret and a return to the old ways; transport that to an ’80s suburb and you might just have the entire plot of AHS: 1984, although it might engender some possibly unfair comparisons to Stranger Things.

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American Horror Story: 1984 premieres in the fall of 2019.