Given that I did a re-read of R.L. Stine’s original “Fear Street” series, as well as a few “Super Chillers” and a couple special Trilogies within the Universe, when I saw that Netflix was going to make some “Fear Street” movies I knew I was game. And because that re-read series was chronicled on this blog, I figured that I ought to give my thoughts on these new movies as well, as nostalgia bombs and a new way for people to connect with a classic series in YA horror literature! So let’s see what the Netflix “Fear Street” Trilogy does for the series when introducing it to a new generation!
We have come to the final installment of Netflix’s “Fear Street” Trilogy, and that means that everything is coming to a head. When we left off at the end of “1978”, Deena had tried to reunite Sara Fier’s hand with her body to save Sam and Shadyside (as the curse is interpreted as being done once they’ve been reunited), but then found herself transported back to the town of Unity in 1666, and experiencing Sara Fier’s final days before she was hanged as a witch. I figured we had to get the backstory to Sara and the curse somehow, and this was how we were going to do it.
I found this choice to be a bit risky, but only because period pieces can be difficult to pull off. But I felt that everyone involved (as cast members from previous movies came back to play members of the town of Unity, before it was split into Shadyside and Sunnyvale) did a pretty okay job, accents notwithstanding. We get a little bit of a historical thriller here a la “The Crucible” or “The Witch”, as once things start going bad in the town Sara and her friend/potential lover Hannah are seen as the obvious culprits due to their rebellious (and Sapphic) ways. You know I was steaming the whole time, as Puritanical bullshit really steams me, and it was interesting watching Sara Fier go from strong willed but generally affable townsperson to reviled by her community, and then consumed by her rage at the injustice of it all, willing to do anything to save Hannah and herself, even if that means making a deal with the Devil. That said, things aren’t always as they seem, and I feel a bit sheepish to admit that I wasn’t always totally in tune to what the movie was doing. Which was nice, actually. I fully appreciated the tried and true themes of ‘women being oppressed because they won’t tow the line’ within this flick, as well as ‘injustice can lead to very bad things that repeat over the years’. Throw in some really gruesome moments in the flashback (ugh, a couple actively made me gasp in disgust) and you have an effective historical horror section.
We also get the wrap up of the entire trilogy as a whole as Deena and Josh, with the help of familiar faces from the previous movies, try and stop the curse upon Shadyside once and for all. This felt less like a historical thriller and more like the slasher genre that the previous two movies had, which made it fit a little bit better within the trilogy. And like in the other two movies, the various Shadyside slashers get to show off their creepiness for one more big fight scene. I would love it if we could get backgrounds for all the slashers we haven’t seen origins of (especially that of Ruby Lane, the teenage girl who went on a murder spree the night of the Prom in the 1950s. Ruby was my girl!), as the tastes in these movies were fun and creepy, but definitely making me want more. I think that my only qualm is that in some ways it felt like it wrapped up a little neater than the other two movies. I’m not saying that I wanted more blood and guts, necessarily, but the balls to the wall stakes didn’t feel as high when all was said and done. Not to say it wasn’t fun and satisfying! It just didn’t go as far as previous installments when it came to emotional dread and fallout.
Overall, “Fear Street Part Three: 1666” was a satisfying end to a really fun trilogy. I think that “1978” is still my favorite, but they are all quite enjoyable in their own ways. As a whole, “Fear Street” is nostalgic slasher goodness, and if they wanted to continue exploring R.L. Stine’s stories I would definitely be on board!