Fear Street Part 3: 1666 emphasizes the historical reality in the final instalment of Leigh Janiak’s trilogy, based on RL Stine’s popular YA horror series.
Parts 1 and 2 of Fear Street took us to 1994 (the present-day within the story’s universe) and then 1978.
Both parts are set within the neighbouring towns of Sunnyvale and Shadyside — the former thriving heaven, the concluding a tyrannical dump.
For three centuries, Shadyside and its residents have been subject to an evil curse; local folklore hints it to a lynched witch called Sarah Fier.
Part 1 featured a group of friends — Deena, Sam, Simon, Cathy — and Deena’s brother Josh become the latest to fall prey to the curse.
But part 2 saw Deena, Josh (and Sam) approach Christine Berman, a survivor of one of Shadyside’s annihilations, who helped fill in some of the gaps in their understanding of Sarah Fier’s tradition.
This part ended with Deena trying to ‘unite’ the witch’s remains at the burial site, in the hope of ending her nasty hold over Shadyside.
And part 3 picks up the story right at that point, transporting us — and Deena — to 1666, and a Prude reimbursement is known as Union.
The prejudice and ignorance play out in a gloomily expectable way for the women. Simultaneously, the origin of the Shadyside curse is revealed with a satisfying twist and a sharp (if not new) moral.
Deena, back in her world in 1994, must now use the visions she collected into Sarah’s story to end the curse for good and save her loved ones. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
The Fear Street trilogy is a pretty fun thriller, and fans of classic slasher horror will find this a particularly enjoyable and well-made Netflix offering.
The world-building is engaging, the transitions between instalments are seamless and the backwards-travelling story arc is charted niftily.
The trilogy’s low-key cool is a testament to Janiak’s assured direction.
Part 1 remains the weakest of the films, especially since its reverence to horror tropes comes off, at times, like a spewing of genre stereotypes.
This affects the second half of Part 3 as well when we leave the Union of 1666 and return to the Shadyside of 1994. Stock moments like Deena delivering a rousing speech just before launching into the final battle against her supernatural pursuers don’t help Team 1994 any.
However, the lovely use of Oasis’ ‘Live Forever’ at an apt point in Part 3 makes us inclined to (nearly) forgive and forget the ho-hum aspects of the present-day storyline.
The Fear Street trilogy is among the early arrivals of Netflix’s new push for ‘scream teen’ content. It’s a solid start, one that elevates the prospect of more binge-able horror stories to come.