Netflix’s ‘Fear Street’ trilogy review: Smells like teen spirit(s)

Based on RL Stine’s horror book series, the three movies purr along smoothly with the right lashings of blood, guts and gore

No matter how many times one says it, it does not become any less true. Streaming has changed the way one consumes content. There, I said it again. So first there was the whole binge-watching trend, and then they decided to go retro and release an episode a week; those who wished to binge just waited for all episodes to drop. Then, there were mini-series that felt like six-hour movies, or sprawling, gargantuan shows where the number of episodes crossed the century mark.

And when all this was happening, what about conventional movies? Apart from regular features, anthologies became a thing—what kind of thing was open to interpretation. Were Solos and Homemade movies or shows, or both?

And now here comes the three-part Fear Street trilogy of movies on Netflix, which were dropped weekly. Based on RL Stine’s book series, the interconnected movies tell the story of the twin towns of Shadyside and Sunnyvale. While Shadyside is a dead-end town, Sunnyvale is doing very well for itself.

The first movie, Fear Street Part One: 1994, opens in a mall, where a seemingly innocuous young man goes on a rampage. Teenager, Deena (Kiana Madeira) is upset when her girlfriend, Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), moves out of Shadyside to Sunnyvale. Deena’s brother, Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) believes a witch from 300 years ago, Sarah Fier, (Elizabeth Scopel) is responsible for all the bad things happening in Shadyside.

Fear Street Trilogy

  • Director: Leigh Janiak
  • Cast: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Fred Hechinger, Ashley Zukerman, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Maya Hawke, Jordana Spiro, Jordyn DiNatale, Elizabeth Scopel, Gillian Jacobs, Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, Ryan Simpkins, McCabe Slye
  • Story line: A group of teenagers try to rid their town of a curse even as they battle a battery of serial killers
  • Run time: 330 minutes

With Nick Goode (Ashley Zukerman), the sheriff of Sunnyvale, unwilling to believe in 300-year old curses, Deena, Sam, Josh and their stoner friends Kate (Julia Rehwald) and Simon (Fred Hechinger) decide to tackle the evil. They realise that Shadyside has been particularly unlucky with serial killers popping up with frightening regularity. There is the Nightwing killer who went berserk at a summer camp, Ruby Lane (Jordyn DiNatale) who killed her boyfriend and others, a killer milkman, and a wicked child.

There has been only one survivor of the Nightwing massacre, Ziggy, (Gillian Jacobs) and the teens go to her for help. Fear Street Part Two: 1978 has Ziggy detail the events of the summer camp. In 1978, Ziggy (Sadie Sink) is always getting into trouble, while her elder sister, Cindy (Emily Rudd), is Miss Goody Two Shoes. Cindy, her boyfriend, Tommy (McCabe Slye), her former friend, Alice (Ryan Simpkins), and Alice’s boyfriend, Arnie (Sam Brooks), follow Ruby’s mum Mary’s, (Jordana Spiro) map to the witch’s lair.

Netflix’s ‘Fear Street’ Trilogy Review: Smells Like Teen Spirit(S)

Fear Street Part Three: 1666 as the name suggests goes back in time to the beginning of the curse and Deena learns the truth about Sarah. Back in the present, the teens with Ziggy and Martin (Darrell Britt-Gibson) a petty thief, try to rid Shadyside of its curse once and for all.

The three movies purr along smoothly with the right lashings of blood, guts and gore. Unfortunately, a dog dies, there is a stomach-churning eye gouging, and some sweet piglets meet a sticky end. That is all par for the course in horror films. There is some truly terrible acting as well.

However, the films, with their Stranger Things, Scream, Carrie and Friday the 13th vibes, and cool music is a good enough way to spend the rainy days. Oh, and you might want to rethink buying that bread slicer.

The Fear Street Trilogy is currently streaming on Netflix


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