Review by James Lindorf
On July 2nd, The first installment of Fear Street, the most ambitious project ever undertaken by Netflix, was released. We all know Netflix releases an astonishing amount of original movies, but sequels are years in the making if they ever materialize. In this case, it took just one week for the second installment of the trilogy to start streaming. In the conclusion of Fear Street, we will finally get to meet Sarah Fier and see how she met her end back in 1666. Amazingly Netflix has taken a process that would typically take a minimum of two years and compressed it down to two weeks now that Fear Street Part Three: 1666 is streaming on Netflix worldwide.
Much like 1994 was an homage to movies like “Scream,” and 1978 took inspiration from the Friday the 13th series 1666 has a whole new inspiration in films like 2015’s “The Witch.” One tactic that almost all horror movies employ is isolating the victims. The first film was a group of kids on their own in a seemingly deserted town which was so prevalent in slasher films of the 80s and 90s. The second film takes place at a camp out in the woods far from help. The third film manages to be the most isolated of them all. The year is 1666, and we are in Union, a small Irish settlement in the nondescript portion of America that would become Shadyside and Sunnyvale. Combining that level of isolation with the creepiest thing, this side of demon children, religious horror, “Fear Street Part Three: 1666,” is starting in a great position.
“Fear Street Part Three: 1666” is the longest of the three movies, though by only a mere five minutes. It needed every minute of that time because it is essentially two parts on its own. The first hour of the runtime is a puritanical horror focusing on sin and witchcraft. The remainder is essentially 1994 part 2. The series ends where it began because they are the only ones still alive to make a difference in the future of Shadyside. The ratio was a bit off and should have been more like 30-70, with the more significant portion going to the 1994 segment. With a few extra scenes and editing, the first portion could have been a stand-alone film, and since the kids from 1994 are my favorite group besides Ziggy (Sadie Sink). Asking for four films in a month feels absurd, but it would have been more enjoyable overall.
It is fitting that the final movie is a bit uneven since that is true of the series overall. The first movie has my favorite group, but their actions in the climax are headache-inducing stupid. 1778 has an ok ensemble, with Ziggy easily standing out because Sink may be the best actor in the entire series. Kiana Madeira as Deena is definitely in the running, which is lucky since she is the main character throughout all three movies.
Netflix should be incredibly proud of what they created here. Each of these movies is one of the better horror movies released in the last five years. Fear Street soars above so many in a genre known for low budgets and lousy acting. Its story pulls you back in for more each time, and it features one of the best casts in the history of horror. “Fear Street Part Three: 1666” is a 3.5 out of 5 on its own. The trilogy as a whole, however, is a 4.5 out of 5. It gets credit for its acting, technical ability, watchability, and sheer gall. Making three movies at once with a lesser-known cast, an unknown director, all while adapting the lesser series of a favorite childhood author, was a major risk. Director Leigh Janiak brought the R.L. Stines series into the 21st century, and I hope it continues for weeks or more likely years to come.
Rating: R (Strong Violence and Gore/Brief Drug Use/Some Sexuality/Language)
Original Language: English
Director: Leigh Janiak
Producer: Peter Chernin, David Ready
Writer: Phil Graziadei, Leigh Janiak
Release Date: July 16th, 2021
Runtime: 1h 52m
Production Co: Chernin Entertainment
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