In just a few days American Horror Story returns with the upcoming season, subtitled 1984, heading to a summer camp nightmare. As we get closer and closer to the eagerly-anticipated season premiere, fan theories as to what we can expect from the FX horror anthology series are starting to get really interesting and now there's one suggestion that we're all getting played, suggesting the season is really a game show.
Over on Reddit's r/AmericanHorrorStory community, one fan has suggested that the long-running thought that there's more to 1984 than just a straightforward horror slasher in the vein of Friday the 13th may in fact be true and that we're really dealing with a game show that the characters are participating in. It's a theory that builds on some rumblings that 1984 isn't exactly what it’s presenting itself as.
The theory suggests that there are clues to this "game show" premise in both last season's Apocalypse as well as the marketing leading up to Wednesday nights premiere. As fans will recall, Apocalypse introduced an element of that season's story in which people were selected for specific Outposts to survive the end of the world. While that part of the theory might be a little bit of a stretch as we've seen no hint of a connection between Apocalypse and 1984, the other suggestions actually make sense. First, the casting announcement was put together in the form of a screen test with the actor’s marks clearly visible throughout. Fans have already suggested that that is clue that maybe it's a show within a show, but it could work with the idea of a game show as well.
There's also a mention in the theory of some of the teasers -- the ones that don't feature 1984's actual cast directly -- we see campers watching the "real" cast on television. The idea there is that the real cast of 1984 is participating in a television game show, perhaps one like Big Brother just sinister. It's intriguing to be sure.
Even if American Horror Story: 1984 doesn't end up being a game show, there's still the real possibility that the season won't be what fans expect. Nothing is ever quite that straightforward on the popular series and some fans have already speculated that 1984 will end up having a dystopian theme given that 1984 is also the title of George Orwell's iconic dystopian novel which explores themes of government overreach, totalitarianism, repressive regimentation of society, and more. It's also possible that Ryan Murphy will take things in a direction no one sees coming, which is pretty much the case with every season of American Horror Story. It's never exactly as it seems.
Whatever the "real" plot of American Horror Story: 1984, we'll start finding out soon. The series premieres on Wednesday, September 18th at 10/9c on FX.