Fear Street Trilogy

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Fear Street Part 1: 1994.
Fear Street Part 1: 1994.
Photo: Netflix

MOVIE:

Fear Street Trilogy

OUR RATING:

3.5/5 Stars

WHERE TO WATCH:

Netflix

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

In 1994, a group of teenagers discover the terrifying events that have haunted their town for generations may all be connected — and they may be the next targets. Based on R.L. Stine’s best-selling horror series, Fear Street follows Shadyside's sinister history through a nightmare 300 years in the making.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

I didn't think I'd enjoy The Fear Street Trilogy as much as I did, but I was surprised by the storyline that was far deeper than I anticipated. The scares were balanced with just the right amount of slasher humour and a talented cast to bring it all together. This is a fun horror film series to sink your teeth into for a marathon fright night or to space out with sure-as-hell enough blood and gore to last you an entire Halloween weekend.

The Fear Street Trilogy is based on the book series of the same name by R. L. Stine. Split into three films, each set in a different period, it tells the story of the town of Shadyside in 1994, when a group of teenagers start investigating a string of brutal killings. Film two takes it back to 1978 with one of the few people to survive the murders during a summer at Camp Nightwing, with the story concluding in 1666, where it all began, in film three.

Director Leigh Janiak compared 1994 to Scream, 1978 to Friday the 13th and 1666 to The New World – and the influences of each film and its sub-genres, the killer(s), and more, are evident. Each film borrows the best aspects from its predecessors – you'll notice the influence of the Scream franchise, in particular, with the trilogy having teenage characters try to survive a masked killer or killers, with the traditional slasher film balanced with hard-to-miss, self-aware horror-genre humour – with excellent set design and cinematography to transport you to each period.

That said, though there's enough blood and gore, this isn't a particularly scary film series, or at least, not the kind of switch-the-TV-off-and-run-to-your-bedroom-as-fast-as-you-can-in-the-dark-of-night scary. Perhaps still a brisk walk, though – no doubt. But the story itself, considering the genre, carries a lot of meaning.

Not what you'd expect from a horror film series, I know, but there are prominent themes of power, greed and love that emerge by the third film. The latter is the central theme and revolves around a queer couple, significantly and underrepresented beyond the horror genre; their love endures, masked murderers and all.

The Fear Street Trilogy sees an impressive young cast lead by Canadian actor Kiana Madeira (Trinkets) as Deena/Sarah Fier. Some cast members, including Madeira, act across all three films, and play more than one character – an impressive feat in itself. Madeira, particularly, adapts seamlessly to embody the trilogy's fearless leader before becoming Sarah Fier. Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Fred Hechinger, and Stranger Things' Sadie Sink also give solid performances.

Now, though I know you can't really compare the first film to the last, or rather, fairly rate it knowing there's so much more story left to tell, the films do get better the deeper into them you get. So again, you'll really appreciate the relevance of the themes by the end of it all, and I'm sure they'll appeal to a whole new generation of horror fans.

The Fear Street Trilogy is a refreshing horror film series; I'd say, and an entertaining one too. One that'll spook and surprise you, should you dare to watch it this Halloween weekend.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:

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