'American Horror Story' Season 9 Trailer Teases a 'Truman Show' Twist

Or maybe it's more of a 'The Cabin in the Woods' scenario?

Camp Redwood’s about to get a whole lot less campy. Set in the 1980s, American Horror Story Season 9 (titled “1984”) seems to be paying homage to the age of slasher films. Much like Friday the 13th, the new season of AHS is set at a summer camp and everything looks dandy, until, of course, it isn’t.

However, there could be a major twist hiding in plain sight. A probable new American Horror Story theory suggests this isn’t a real camp at all, but are a part of a staged event where everyone besides the main characters knows what’s going on. Creepy, right? Let’s dive in.

Redditor u/Jesse_Allen3 presented a fan theory that’s a little wild, but also completely possible. They compare the set of AHS: 1984 to that of The Truman Show, which followed Jim Carrey’s Truman, a man whose entire life was a staged reality show he couldn’t escape.

AHS 1984 Trailer
Something's definitely not right in 'AHS: 1984'.

“All these locations will just be different sets similar to The Truman Show where they are trying to find an escape and being chased at every corner while everyone else around them is in on it,” they write.

Of course, The Truman Show isn’t exactly a traditional horror movie by any means, but the idea that the AHS characters could be stuck in a place where they’re secretly observed and not allowed to leave isn’t out of the question. After all, Truman didn’t know that his life was a sham and when he realized something was off, he tried his best to escape and was thwarted at every turn.

AHS: 1984 could share this through-line of everything not being what it seems. U/Jesse_Allen3 also argues that they could have easily called the season “AHS: Summer Camp”, but they chose 1984 for a reason and the title could already be hinting at what’s to come. 

American Horror Story has always been on the pulse when it comes to current events, so perhaps Season 9 will have a strong commentary about our society that is hiding within the slasher horror style of 1984. It also goes without saying that the use of that specific year must mean something. George Orwell’s 1984 also comes to mind and gives the theory that much more depth. Perhaps the season will draw upon some of the novel’s theme of an authoritarian society where all human activity is surveilled and policed.

Cabin in the Woods AHS 1984
Everyone remembers what happened in 'Cabin in the Woods', right?

Season 9 seems to also share similarities with Drew Goddard’s horror film, The Cabin in the Woods. Several college students head off to a cabin and, to no one’s surprise, start dying. Sounds like your average horror movie, right? Sure, but the biggest twist of all was that everything was set up by a secret organization observing them from an underground facility.

Interestingly, AHS: 1984 employs a lot of the same visuals used in The Cabin in the Woods and everything from its use of cabins, the forest, and the middle-of-nowhere setting echoes that of the aforementioned film. Plus, it’s weird that the rest of the characters would just join in on a trip to a summer camp when only one of them got a job there. The trailer offers a look at a variation of sets, possibly leading to the big reveal that the camp is actually a soundstage and that the characters have been brought to camp for something more sinister.

Additionally, the fact that the trailer introduced several camp employees — all of whom look like they have secrets — doesn’t bode well for the characters’ fates. They could be in on it just like everyone knew Truman’s life was a lie and played a role in it, anyway. We won’t really know until Season 9 of AHS premieres, but the theory certainly provides a lot of food for thought.


American Horror Story: 1984 premieres Wednesday, September 18 on FX.

Media via FX, Lionsgate, FX/TV Promos, Paramount Pictures