Fear Street PART 1: 1994
Director(s): Leigh Janiak
Writer(s): Kyle Killen, Phil Graziadei, R.L. Stine (based on the Fear Street books by)
Starring: Kiana madeira, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Olivia Scott Welch, Fred Hechinger
We have to keep it FRESH people.
What the heck am I talking about at this point since this generic statement can apply to almost anything in life, whether it be literal with tomatoes or existentially with this adventure called life. Who am I kidding though? We’re in the FEARTastic Vault MAH GHOULS, so when it comes to horror flicks, I always appreciate any venture that tries to accomplish something that turns some heads in the macabre community!
When I first watched the trailer for the Fear Street series on Netflix, it definitely felt more like an event than a series of movies which got me quite excited to see that the main point they were trying to hit hard throughout the trailer was that these films were already shot, they’re taking place in THREE different eras and that each flick shall be released only mere weeks apart from each other! That was a lot to take in for one trailer, but I was sold and I was very much IN to taking part in this innovative horror-rific venture.
Fear Street Part 1: 1994 starts off on the right foot with a nice murder sequence (odd to say anywhere BUT the FearTastic Vault) that seems by the book based on the quirky banter between friends, the chase throughout a mall and of course, the slasher costume (Skull MASK…yeah, the name can use some tweaking). We get some background with some of the characters and it sets the basic foundation of the story where our main characters are from a crap town called Shadyside and their rivals are from the seemingly perfect town of Sunnyvale. Everything in the first half hour or so of this flick seemed to lay the right foundation for your basic horror flick which was fine since the characters were pretty engaging and not playing into their suggested archetypes. You have a love story at its very core supported by popular kids that moonlight as drug dealers and geeks who make you miss the concept of message boards.
Once the story gets going however, you start to get the idea that this is more of a supernatural horror flick that utilizes slashers as a way to fulfill its goals which makes it much more interesting. You start to get flashes of what the prequels/sequels have to offer since aspects of the other flicks are sprinkled throughout the movie to the point where you feel like you have to watch the whole series again just to catch the subtle Easter Eggs that elude the connection for all three flicks. The characters themselves are what drive the story since the plot allows their characters to have growth to the point where you actually start to care whether they survive the entire ordeal.
The ties between the supernatural and the slashers that are revealed throughout the flick are fantastic since they are definitely inspired by the classic slasher tropes and it seems that every slasher introduced in this movie could definitely have their own movie at some point which is very much aligned with building a more rich…and definitely lucrative shared universe (i.e. the massive and enjoyable Conjuring universe). You have the aforementioned Skull Mask introduced in the beginning of the movie and they’re soon joined by other Shadyside slashers such as Camp Nightwing Killer (more on him…later…much later hee hee hee) and Ruby Lane (stole the creepy show mid-point in the flick) to cause havoc throughout the flick in very satisfying ways. Again, this movie does a great job in setting up future movies in the series and perhaps even beyond this series which was a great move on their part to ensure that a possibility of an every growing “Fear Street-verse” is something lingering in the viewer’s minds.
The most satisfying thing about this first entry, however, is its seamless transition to the sequel/prequel which reveals how the stories will most likely tie together seeing that the next flick is in 1978 and the last of the trilogy is set in 1666! Even during the trailer, I was curious how going backwards in time was going to move the story forward but by the end of the first entry, I was completely caught up and definitely on board on how these stories were going to play out (no spoilers here my GHOULS, check it out yourself)!
This first of three flicks feels like the first part of any good roller coaster where you’re still getting somewhat comfortable in your surroundings as the musty smell of the gears/wood begin to fill your head and the clicking sounds of the railings as you go upwards cause your heart to beat faster. You don’t know every drop or turn that’s coming ahead but you do know that it’s about to go very fast and you’ll be screaming/smiling very much…and that my friends, is how you keep it FRESH.
…and with that, I’ll be exploring all three entries in this Fear Street trilogy so buckle up and let’s enjoy this ride together my macabre minions and I’ll see you for Fear Street Part 2: 1978!
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.