Keepin’ it reel: Fear Street

By now, we all know Netflix and Hulu’s original movies are wild cards. When I first heard Netflix was creating a trilogy based on the hit book series by R.L Stine, Fear Street, I was skeptical. The Goosebumps and Fear Street stories were some of my favorite books growing up, and I was worried the streaming service would not do them the justice they deserved. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised in all aspects. The Fear Street trilogy was excellently written, and the storyline was creatively arranged in a way where anyone could enjoy the film, regardless of whether or not you had previous knowledge of the books.

The first two films are full of nostalgia of the 70s and 90s, paying homage to not only the slasher genre but also delivering a fun and edgy cross between The Goonies and Stranger Things. Janiak and her writers have captured the tone of Stine’s Fear Street books created for the young adult audience, rather than the spooky Goosebumps childhood stories for which he was most known. The third feature throws us into the far past and reveals how the horror began. Not only does the third part become more involved in its mystery, but the characters prove to be more diverse, and the threat level much higher. The trilogy of the movies is cleverly orchestrated, delivering thrills and chills and pulling heartstrings.

Fear Street 1994: Part One introduces us to Deena, a girl from the murder capital of the world, Shadyside, who recently broke up with her girlfriend, Sam, who moved into the neighboring town of Sunnyvale. We learn very quickly that there is a massacre every couple of years in Shadyside, and while the members of this town mourn their losses, Sunnyvale continues to improve. Most of the community believes their misfortune comes from the curse of Sarah Fier, a witch hanged in 1666. Until her hand reunites with the rest of her body, the curse will continue to take more and more lives. When Sam becomes all too quickly involved with the so-called “curse,” Deena, her younger brother and her friends swiftly take action to find Sarah

Fier’s hand, hoping to stop the next massacre.

To avoid providing too many spoilers, let’s skip to Fear Street 1978: Part Two. This film gives us a quick recap of where our characters left off in the present, speaking to the only survivor of the witch’s curse, C. Berman, who begins by telling her story of survival during the camp massacre of 1978. As an audience, we are thrown straight into 1978, where we meet C. Berman, her late sister and the Sheriff of Sunnyvale as children. The events of the massacre provide big spoilers for the rest of the series, so I’ll merely say that Deena and her crew were not the first to try to break the curse of Sarah Fier. After learning a little bit more about what happened then versus what happened in 1994, we begin to figure out that the only one who knows what happened when Sarah Fier was hanged was the witch herself.

This brings us to the finale of this series, Fear Street 1666: Part Three. To find out how to stop this curse, Deena decides to visit the witch’s corpse, hoping to learn more about the incident in 1666. Deena touches the body of Sarah Fier, and she is taken into 1666, where she will finally discover the harsh truth of what happened all those years ago. There’s not much else to say without spoiling the big plot, but I will say this: this last film will leave you shaken to the core with twists and turns.

`Honestly, I have rewatched this series at least three times, and it is still as interesting as it was the first time. The plot was creatively organized in a way that the audience cannot guess how the story concludes until it does. If you are a fan of horror, slasher, or nostalgic movies, this series is a must-see!