Updated: July 19, 2021 8:53:56 am
Fear Street Part Three 1666 cast: Kiana Madeira, Ashley Zukerman, Gillian Jacob, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr, Darrell Britt-Gibson
Fear Street Part Three 1666 director: Leigh Janiak
Fear Street Part Three 1666 rating: 4.5 stars
Fear Street Part Three: 1666 is the denouement of Netflix’s Fear Street Trilogy that was preceded by Fear Street Part One: 1994 and Fear Street Part Two: 1978, both of which were released this month. The movies are based on RL Stine’s eponymous book series.
Directed by Leigh Janiak, known for Scream (the TV series), the story is set in an ominously named town Shadyside that has been haunted by brutal murders for decades, perhaps centuries.
There is an ancient evil curse or a mental health epidemic that turns everyday people into crazed murders. A tale is told of a 17th-century witch called Sarah Fier who sold her soul to the devil and cursed the town before being hanged by the people of Union, the settlement that predated Shadyside.
The neighbouring town Sunnyvale, in comparison, is just like its name: sunny and happy.
The first film introduced Kiana Madeira’s Deena Johnson, her brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr), her on-and-off girlfriend Samantha Fraser, and her friends Kate and Simon. As strange things begin to happen in the town, including visions and resurrected murders, they band together to find out the origin of the horrors that have plagued Shadyside and root it out.
Each movie in the trilogy takes place in a different time period. While the first film was set in the 1990s, the second film took place in 1978. Fear Street Part Three: 1666 traces the beginning of evil in Shadyside.
The trilogy as a whole tells a cohesive, compelling story from start to finish. It is also an earnest love letter to popular works of horror from the late last century, most notably slasher movies like Halloween and Stephen King’s It and Carrie. It is similar to Netflix’s own Stranger Things in this regard, but unlike Duffer Brothers’ series, it does not just make you sentimental about your childhood. It also updates the tropes and has more to offer than just nostalgic references.
But it is Fear Street Part Three: 1666 that the trilogy really shines. The film is a horror fan’s delight with a tone that switches effortlessly between humorous and poignant, and an absolutely riveting third act that somehow manages to end the movie with sincerity and is still brimming with the campy fun of likes of The Goonies.
Leigh Janiak, who has also co-written the trilogy, clearly has a keen sense of horror and uses practical effects wherever possible. There are very few computer-generated visual effects in the entire trilogy, perhaps due to the film’s limited budget, and it actually works in favour of the story and experience.
The biggest reason that the trilogy works so well in my opinion, apart from writing and direction, is the acting. Every single actor, young or old, appears to be perfectly cast and gives their all. The performances go a long way in making the story immersive.
No horror fan worth their salt should miss this trilogy. Keep in mind that none of the three films can or should be watched as a standalone story. Consider the films as individual episodes of a miniseries.
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