Review: American Horror Story: 1984

Image via FX Networks

The Finale Of American Horror Story: 1984 Promised A Bloodbath But Left Us Asleep On The Toilet

Another year is ending which means we have came to another conclusion in creator Ryan Murphy’s anthology series, American Horror Story (AHS). From the first season, Murder House, audiences were instantly hooked with a star-studded cast, diverse storylines, brilliant plot twists, and enough spooks and scares to have us on the edge of our seat. Through the years, the series has gotten a little out of control. Political and social agendas are pushed by the creators, storylines lead to nowhere but confusion, plot twists make up for poor planning, and actors are inserted for hype rather than talent. Nevertheless, AHS isn’t going anywhere as they are signed on for season ten. But, we are all able to criticize or praise the current reigning season, American Horror Story: 1984, right? Buyer beware, there will be many AHS: 1984 spoilers coming your way in the next paragraph.


In the finale of AHS: 1984, we are expecting a huge blood bath at Camp Redwood (a play on Camp Crystal Lake in the Friday the 13th series) brought upon by the manipulative and evil Margaret Booth (played deliciously by television angel, Leslie Grossman). That doesn’t happen because Trevor (Matthew Morrison) and his gigantic penis (seriously, the character being well endowed is not just a one-off joke, it’s spoke of in almost every scene he is in. Beating. Horse. Dead. Eyeroll.) prevented anyone from entering the camp, thus quickly eliminating this two-episode story arch that we’re getting a huge festival of kills. For his act, Trevor is murdered by Margaret outside of Camp Redwood, thus he wouldn’t become a ghost and wouldn’t get to live forever with his love Montana Duke (portrayed incredibly by standout Billie Lourd). The presumed Final Girl stereotyped character, Brooke Thompson (AHS alumni, Emma Roberts) redeems herself by guiding Trevor into the campsite so he can live in limbo indefinitely with Montana and the endless amount of ghosts who roam the area. Brooke’s act of kindness has the ghosts of the camp decide they need to eliminate the evil consuming their camp once and for all. Dylan McDermott’s two-episode character is killed, Margaret is shoved through a woodchipper, and the kooky ghosts trap Zach Villa’s Richard Ramirez, who is a parody of the real-life serial killer of the same name, and ensure that he will never be able to harm anyone again. During this madness, psychology student Donna Chambers (Angelica Ross) manages to make it out as the sole survivor as we watch Brooke succumb to a fatal gunshot by Margaret.

Fast forward to modern day: Mega-hottie Finn Wittrock appears and is the son of Mr. Jingles (John Carroll Lynch) who wants any information on Camp Redwood and his father, the infamous serial killer who had been framed by the vicious Margaret decades earlier. This leads him back to Donna and eventually they discover Brooke is alive – now a mother living in the suburbs and has left her past behind her. Wittrock’s one-episode character is in almost every scene in the finale despite being a non-factor (and non-existent) throughout the season’s nine other episodes. He’s the last character we see as he gives a tearful farewell to his father’s ghost.

One must give credit where credit is due, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Cody Fern is an amazing actor… when you compare him to Gus Kenworthy. Kenworthy showcased his body, which is all he should be doing when he will ultimately be featured in every season moving forward as he now is bound to be a pet of the Murphy franchise. Kenworthy is cringeworthy in any scene he partakes in and could truly use some help from any Los Angeles acting coach for future roles. I understand he’s an Olympian, but he is certainly not an actor and his previous accomplishments do not mean he can do anything he sets his mind too. While it’s always great to see funny-man Leslie Jordan, this is arguably the weakest male-cast of any AHS season to date. Props, though, to newcomer DeRon Horton who may be the sexiest boy cast on this show, but he isn’t Fern or Kenworthy, so we didn’t have too much time to appreciate him in his role. However, the women of 1984 gave me everything I wanted.

Roberts, Lourd, Grossman, Ross, and Lily Rabe came to play and boy did they throw down. I’m a huge fan of Roberts and Grossman – so I made sure to tune into each episode to see how they would do. As predicted, the ladies did a phenomenal job with what they were given. It was a nice change to see Roberts play the nice girl and Grossman got to release her inner demons with the sadistic Margaret. While she is her own person, it’s always exciting to see Lourd on screen as she gives us some nostalgia of her mother, Carrie Fisher and grandmother, Debbie Reynolds.


The biggest surprise of the season was Ross, who had tons of lines to play with and really gave it her all. Ross, who you may recognize as the now-deceased character, Candy, in Murphy’s LGBTQ focused drama, POSE, went above and beyond what she should have. I’ve argued many times that the leading ladies of POSE are great, but Ross always appeared at the bottom of the totem pole against that crew. With the AHS girls, she keeps up and shows why she’s playing with the big dogs. Ross is a transgender woman. For perhaps the first time I’ve witnessed, her character in 1984 did not give her any storylines of being a victim of her gender. It didn’t matter. Which was lovely to see a transgender woman playing the part of a God damn woman. Kudos the team behind this wonderful decision.

The verdict? Messy. The plot was boring, the scares make you yawn, and the story gives you all the foreplay you’ll ever want but you end up with blue balls. It’s time to tell the story tellers to take AHS slow and maybe have a coherent plot before their audience becomes grossly fed up. Oh, and please don’t have Kenworthy or Fern back… seriously.

Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.

Image via FX Networks

7 thoughts on “Review: American Horror Story: 1984”

  1. I just read your critique again and I feel really shocked : sentences or words (about Gus Kenworthy) such as ” his previous accomplishments do not mean he can do anything he sets his mind” are not impartial. For some reason I don’t know, you want to be naughty.
    Have you ever been acting ?
    It’s always easier to criticize than to act.

  2. Don’t think they gave Gus much to work with. The final scene made the series worthwhile. It’s not the worst of the series. How could this season be any worse than “Cult”?

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  5. I couldn’t agree less. The last scene with the mike and the mechanics in the living years have every boy with daddy issues a glimmer of hope. I could not have asked for more as I sit crying on my sofa. Well done ahs


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