Fear Street Part 1: 1994

Netflix has something really cool happening right now.

The Fear Street trilogy, one a week for three weeks.

Based on a book series from Goosebumps author R.L. Stine, Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is a slasher movie featuring young actors trying to survive against magically powered killers. The film is directed by Leigh Janiak, with a script co-written by Phil Graziadei and Janiak, from an original story by Kyle Killen, Graziadei, and Janiak.

1994: Shadyside, Ohio. The story shows us a group of teenagers, dealing with their own typical high school problems, trying to discover who they are and hoping to escape the small town failure of Shadyside. However, there was more to impact their lives than just high school drama. They were being pursued by an ancient evil witch, Sarah Fier, and her cadre of murderers which had been causing trouble in the town for centuries.

The legends of the town were usually dismissed as urban legends, but when Samantha (Olivia Scott Welch) accidentally stumbled across a grave, she became the target of the witch’s evil. Sam’s former girlfriend Deena (Kiana Madeira) held a lot of anger over their break up, but, along with her brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr) and the local high school drug suppliers Simon (Fred Hechinger) and Kate (Julia Rehwald), teamed up with Sam to try and stay alive.

This was a rousing good time and horror fans should have a lot of fun with this. There is a lot of gore and blood, but not so much as to be disturbing. The three main killers are each different and bring their own dynamic to the film and there is some extremely creepy imagery of the killers and of the witch. The design of the characters really work and create a tension that is effective in the film.

The young actors all do a fantastic job with their performances. Every one of them was believable and conveyed their emotional depth for each character. There is depth provided to them, more so than you usually see in a slasher film and that helps build the tension for the audience. You like these characters and so you are worried when they are placed in jeopardy.

There are several classic horror movies that inspire Fear Street Part 1: 1994. Scream is clearly one of them, as the cold open reminds you of that iconic opening of the first Scream movie with Drew Barrymore. There is also a major plot point here that is an allusion to Poltergeist.

Part 2 coming up is going to head to 1978 and will be dealing with a massacre at a youth camp, a well used premise for horror movies. I am anxious to see how this will tie together with what we got this week. There were multiple mentions of the camp during Part 1 and it will be a vial component to the overall story the trilogy is telling. Part 1 ended with a dramatic cliffhanger and the “To Be Continued” at the end helped to create a anxiousness to see the upcoming part 2.

4.2 stars

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