American Horror Story is usually filled with so many demonic twists and turns within a completely original story, but the current season feels much more straightforward than ever before. Basically, as of the Oct. 2 episode, the whole 1984 season feels like your run-of-the-mill '80s slasher movie at this point — which is not a bad thing, since that genre in itself is so fun to get lost in — but many fans think that since AHS doesn't really ever do things in an expected manner, a massive twist must be coming. That leads to the big question of the moment: Is AHS: 1984 actually about a movie? The theory has been discussed in the show's fandom since before this season even began, and now it has risen as the most prominent idea about what is really going on this season.
The crux of the theory is that everything fans have seen on AHS: 1984 so far has simply been an act, and soon enough the show will pull back to reveal that Camp Redwood is really just a movie set surrounded by lights, cameras, and tons of crew members. There several reasons why fans are holding this theory up as a major possibility:
1. The Casting Announcement
The movie-set theory first arose after showrunner Ryan Murphy announced the main cast of AHS: 1984 in a clip that featured each actor miming a film's character test, complete with marks where they had to stand and poses they had to strike.
As fans pointed out, the video seems to hint at an extra, meta layer to the new season, prompting speculation that the characters are actually actors playing roles in a movie.
2. The Slasher Movie Tropes
The most convincing force behind this theory is the fact that AHS: 1984 is so heavily reliant on '80s slasher movie tropes, to the point where the plot is super similar the slasher classic Friday the 13th. While AHS loves to play with horror tropes in all of its seasons, 1984 definitely stands out as the first time the show has gone so all-in on one very specific work of inspiration that it nearly reads as straight-up replication.
Many fans have theorized that the show is purposely leaning heavily on the slasher movie tropes to build up to the reveal that the first half of the season was literally a slasher movie. If the theory hold true, then the whole tone of the season will likely change when the show zooms out to reveal all the characters are actually actors playing parts. There's even an extension of this theory that Emma Roberts' character is being played by her Coven and Apocalypse character Madison.
3. The Precedence
Finally, the potential movie-set reveal makes sense simply because it feels like something that AHS would do, especially looking back at its past seasons. AHS: Roanoke had a similar storyline about actors making a TV show, but more convincingly, most seasons of AHS are infamous for a major midseason reveal that completely changes everything. Last season, AHS: Apocalypse spent its first several episodes cooped up within a radiation bunker, which seemed to be the main setting for the rest of the series, but in Episode 3, all of the supposed main characters were killed and witches jumped time to bring the rest of the season to events before the apocalypse.
Since AHS has set a precedent for big midseason revelations, fans are even more drawn to this movie-set theory, which totally feels like AHS' style. For now, though, fans will just have to wait to see if this big reveal actually happens or if the whole fandom was completely off base as AHS: 1984 continues to air Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on FX.