EJ Moreno reviews the second episode of American Horror Story: 1984…
In true American Horror Story fashion, things are getting wild quickly. With possible ghosts, two serial killers, and not one trustworthy character, AHS: 1984 is presenting damn good ideas in a short amount of time.
The second episode, ‘Mr. Jingles’ does a great job expanding on things introduced in the premiere, by taking the story in a different direction while explaining away odd moments from last week. What’s working for the season is the fantastic blend of tones. It somehow feels like one of the goriest seasons yet, but still one of the funniest. Finding that balance is what made slashers so beloved in the ’80s, and you can feel it here as well. If they can all of this up, 1984 might end as one of the show’s most exciting seasons yet.
One of the critical factors to the season’s early success is the strong cast and all their zany characters. Every one of them is in top form, providing the scares and laughs when asked. Emma Roberts is doing a great job as our traditional final girl, but if anyone knows the actress’ filmography, the “good girl” gimmick never lasts long.
With the backstory about her wedding massacre and her constant attacks while she’s alone, how truthful is our final girl Brooke?
Same goes with Margaret, the head of the camp played by Leslie Grossman. While I enjoy her work and often hear the best lines of the episode come from here, there’s something off with her. The way she handled the potential ghost at Camp Redwood and meeting a deranged killer, it sent up major red flags. For a good Christian woman, she sure expected the supernatural relatively easy and found a way to make Richard Ramirez work for her. Quite devilish work if you ask me!
With the introduction of some wonky timeline shenanigans, expect each episode to get stranger and stranger as we go on. AHS: 1984 wants to present itself as a standard slasher movie on face value, but for any fan of the franchise, you know there’s more than meets the eye. There’s going to be a moment around the half-way point that explains how wild things are for the campers of Camp Redwood. Are our characters stuck in a constant loop? The way the 1970’s hitchhiker freaked out by seeing the new face of Ramirez that could mean he’s not supposed to be in these woods.
And what is up with the titular Mr. Jingles? While I am enjoying having a Michael Myers/Jason Voorhees-type presence in the season, there is something off with his character. Is he even really there? No one is seeing him with a large group to prove he’s even real. And if he is real, is he out for murder or trying to get revenge on Margaret for something that happened in the past. Actor John Carroll Lynch is too good of an actor to play a strong, silent type of killer. Give the man an episode to explain his madness.
Overall, the season is off to an excellent start with two solid episodes behind us. ‘Mr. Jingles’ improved on last week’s episode and I expect another great episode next week. American Horror Story: 1984 continues to be a refreshing change of pace for how heavy the show can be, and will end up being a fan-favorite for that reason.