'American Horror Story: 1984' Theory May Reveal Sinister Competition Twist

Could 'Big Brother' be coming to 'AHS'?

The new season of American Horror Story is intent on showcasing its slasher horror movie vibes, but what if something more creepy and twisted is going on at Camp Redwood? The marketing for American Horror Story Season 9, titled “1984,” has highlighted the goriness of the season, but it’s also implied that not everything is what it seems. But, what does that even mean? Well, a thoughtful new theory suggests that the characters are actually taking part in a competition game show a la Big Brother.

Speculative spoilers for American Horror Story Season 9 below.

Redditor u/JamesGolds2907 theorized that 1984 has direct ties with the previous season, AHS: Apocalypse, and that the characters are a part of a reality competition show. AHS: Apocalypse highlighted the fact that people were being tested for various reasons and they were “being selected for the outpost,” etc. Therefore, AHS: 1984 becomes an extension of the previous season and ties everything together by finally placing the people tested on TV, their lives ready for public consumption.

American Horror Story 1984
Billie Lourd in American Horror Story: 1984

“In some of the teasers they are watching the new characters on TV,” writes u/JamesGolds2907 and they’re right. The evidence is in the marketing for the season.

Don’t think the theory is plausible? Well, American Horror Story series creator Ryan Murphy posted a video to Instagram detailing the opening credits for Season 9. The title sequence, which was created by Kyle Cooper and Corey Vega, plays out like an audience is watching a television show. Not only that, but the sequence includes several shots from a variety of images that have appeared at some point on TV in the 1980s – workout shows, water sport competitions, and former president Ronald Reagan. At the end of the credits, a cassette tape is coming apart and being destroyed, blood sprays everywhere, and the sound of a film deck comes to an abrupt stop.

Perhaps the theory is onto something. After all, AHS is known its twisty plots that always defy the original promise of each new season. The promos for Season 9 have all implied that someone is indeed watching these characters. Why else would the opening credits include a blue screen before starting and the sound of film rolling? It can’t be a coincidence, right?

In a previous theory, one fan proposed that the characters of AHS: 1984 were actually on a sound stage and not at a summer camp at all, with the implication of the setting working like The Truman Show or a Cabin in the Woods situation.

However, this new theory takes it a step further by connecting the dots from the previous season of AHS and putting the characters in more of a Big Brother reality game show situation. Do they have to play the game so they aren’t voted out? Are there rules they have to abide by within the camp to win over audiences’ favor? Either way, the idea of a sinister game show going on within an ‘80s horror film setting makes for a great twist.


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