Last week at least some of the mystery surrounding American Horror Story: 1984 was solved when Ryan Murphy released a full trailer for the upcoming season, revealing the full cast for the series' ninth season. However, while it was exciting to see the cast, including some familiar faces such as Cody Fern, Leslie Grossman, and Emma Roberts, all done up in '80s style, the format of the casting teaser has prompted many fans to wonder if perhaps there's more to the video than meets the eye -- specifically, that the teaser is a subtle clue that 1984 may not be what it seems.
Earlier this year, Murphy announced the title of Season 9 with a teaser that presented things in the vein of a 1980s slasher horror film. In that teaser, a young woman runs through the woods, chased by an ominous killer who eventually slashes his blade through the door she's hiding behind. While that teaser had obvious similarities to popular horror franchises from the '80s, such as Friday the 13th, given the secretive nature of pretty much everything else about the season, fans wondered if there might be more at play. That's been reinforced by the casting teaser specifically because it's set up as a camera test.
What does that have to do with anything? Well, if you look carefully at the video, particularly in the parts shot in what appears to be a summer camp, the actor's marks are very clearly visible. This has led to some speculation in various fan communities that 1984 may actually be a story-within-a-story type of situation, specifically that the cast will be filming a horror movie set in the 1980s when real-life horror breaks out on set.
While that might sound a little out there, American Horror Story does have some precedent for it. Back in Season 6, Roanoke, the story centered on the making of a documentary reenacting the experience of a couple who relocates to North Carolina. While the idea of making a movie has been done before, 1984 could have premise just different enough that it would be set fully apart from Roanoke -- especially if 1984 does dig deep into the horror/slasher vibe.
Of course, the teaser's style may not be a tell for the actual format of the season at all. Murphy is a master at keeping fans guessing until seasons actually premiere so ultimately fans will simply have to wait until the show returns in September to find out what is really going on.
American Horror Story: 1984, starring Emma Roberts, Cody Fern, John Carroll Lynch, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Angelica Ross, Matthew Morrison, Zach Villa, and DeRon Horton premieres September 18th on FX.