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American Horror Story: 1984 Trailer Has A Killer Throwback Vibe

Get ready for a return to the good old days of masked slashers.

American Horror Story: 1984 has a brand new teaser trailer, and from its grainy look to its soundtrack to the tease of its villain, it's clear that this outing's sensibilities will lie exactly where its title indicates: in the '80s.

The ninth season of the venerable horror anthology series promises a return to the golden age of modern horror, when the teen camp counselors were oblivious to impending mortal danger, the isolated settings made sure there was nowhere to run, and the killers spoke softly (or, better yet, not at all) and carried really, really big knives. The last couple seasons of AHS have been a bit divisive among its fan base, but this season looks like a killer return to form (pun very much intended), and it's becoming quite clear where series creator Ryan Murphy developed his taste for terror: in the theater in the Me Decade, watching Jason Voorhees machete his way through gaggles of victims who really should have heeded all of those warnings to stay the heck away from Camp Crystal Lake.

The spot opens with with a group of teens piloting an old, battered Ford truck down a dirt road en route to their (probably final) destination as the strains of John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band's "On the Dark Side" (a massive hit in the summer of '83) graces the soundtrack. That destination: Camp Redwood, as we see by the sign that makes them whoop and holler as they pass it by. Of course, they fail to notice that on the back of this sign, somebody has spray painted a single word in ragged, red lettering: "BEWARE." (Why, oh why, do these kids always ignore the warnings?)

They're obviously in the mood for copious amounts of drugs and alcohol, premarital relations, and fun in the sun — but somebody has other plans, as we see a shot of a black-masked, longhaired dude clinging to their truck's undercarriage. It's pretty impressive that he's able to hang on using only one hand; in the other hand is the biggest freaking knife you've ever seen, and we're thinking he's probably not going to use it to gut fish.

We get a quick (and very '80s) title card, after which we see our future victims enjoying Camp Redwood's lake as the soundtrack switches to another huge hit from 1983: "Suddenly Last Summer" by the Motels. Guys are throwing the football, girls are diving into the lake, and it all looks like the perfect idyllic summer scene until the spot brings us to its final shot: of a lone woman, sunbathing out on the lake in a canoe, getting a most unwelcome surprise in the form of Black Mask Guy, who springs from beneath the lake's surface (in an obvious shout-out to the famous jump scare near the end of the original Friday the 13th) wielding that giant blade. The spot abruptly ends, but it's probably not too tough to parse out what happens next.

It's clear that AHS is going all-in on its tribute to the Golden Age of slasher films, and we couldn't be more pleased; the year in which it's set, in fact, is another clear nod to a certain standard-setting franchise. (1984 was the year in which Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, which was intended to be the last movie in the series, was released.) While the previous three seasons have leaned a little hard into gimmicks (such as the reality show/found footage vibe of Roanoke) and topicality (such as Cult's examination of post-2016 America), 1984 looks to be going back to basics in the best possible way. You've got your carefree teens, your summer camp, and your hulking dude with a mask, a knife the size of Milwaukee, and a grudge; as horror fans, we're just not sure what else you really need.

The new season will be a tad bit light on the regular cast of AHS, as Evan Peters has confirmed that he is sitting out this season, and Sarah Paulson — according to the producers — will "not appear in a significant role," although that phrasing doesn't rule out a cameo. However, AHS veterans Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, John Carroll Lynch, Leslie Grossman, and Cody Fern are all back on board, and they'll be joined by newcomers Matthew Morrison (Glee), Angelica Ross (Pose), DeRon Horton (Dear White People), Zach Villa (Shameless), and Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy.

This spot has us psyched for what just may be the strongest AHS season in quite some time. We'll have to wait to see what creative twists Murphy and company put on the tried-and-true formula of the slasher films of yore, but not for too long: the ten-episode ninth season of American Horror Story debuts on FX on on September 18.