To save the future, you must first return to the past.
Fear Street 1666, the final installation of Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy, embodies this very concept.
After building up the story of Sarah Fier and the ‘Shadyside Curse’ in the previous two films, Fear Street 1994 and Fear Street 1978, the final film in the trilogy attempts to solve the mystery behind the cruel and unyielding curse.
Each film in the trilogy builds upon the last, with the entire trilogy having a three-act structure to the entire story as a whole. Fear Street 1994 acted as the set up, Fear Street 1978 acted as the confrontation, and Fear Street 1666 saw the resolution come into play.
With this in mind, the trilogy needs to be watched in order to truly grasp the story that Fear Street director, Leigh Janiak, is trying to tell.
Fear Street 1666, as its name implies, takes us back to where everything began. That is, to the early settlement, Union, in 1666. Instead of telling the tale through the eyes of a completely new cast, characters from the previous two films returned to portray the various settlers of Union. In this way, the connection to the previous two films felt stronger, as well as there being a link between the previous films and this one. You’ll see why this is important.
Going back to the origins of both the towns of Shadyside and Sunnyvale, we finally meet the infamous Sarah Fier, the woman accused of witchcraft who Shadysiders claim to be the witch behind the Shadyside curse. The film paints her life as a simple yet burdened one, with such old values being upheld strictly. Watching Sarah go about her days, living with her little brother and single father, we quickly learn who the major players in the town of Union are.
Befitting the time period, anyone considered ‘different’ were treated as pariahs, with the common good of ensuring the town’s prosperity being of utmost importance.
The main characters are given the opportunity to develop and shine in this film, helping to create what is a plot twisting story that I completely didn’t see coming. Each of the characters played their roles to perfection, allowing us to feel invested in their personal stories and the main plot as a whole. With a plot that is befitting of the supernatural genre, Fear Street 1666 felt more like a supernatural thriller than a horror film, which was a nice change of pace. The entire film’s pacing was comfortable, with just enough detail to make it entertaining but not overwhelmingly so.
Understanding the characters much better, everything we’ve seen throughout the previous two films begin to fall into place and the truth eventually comes to light in the most impactful way. Through the use of effective storytelling and tying loose ends together, what we end up learning will leave you wide-eyed and astounded. This kind of sudden turn in the direction of film is what usually keeps me on my toes and Fear Street 1666 did just that.
With everything finally making sense, we are given a great sense of understanding and closure, finally coming to grips with everything that has transpired throughout the three films.
Having several pop culture references sprinkled throughout the second half of this film certainly helped with making the film seem more ‘real’, which naturally adds a thrill. As a 90s kid and retro junkie who loves all things retro, many of these references truly made the trilogy a standout piece of nostalgia. With some light scares and effective use of creepy visuals, Fear Street 1666 really captivated my interest and is probably my most favourite film in the trilogy. Combined together with Fear Street 1994 and Fear Street 1978, the entire trilogy has me wanting more Fear Street films to be released, this time with stories inspired directly from the pages of the Fear Street Saga books.
Having such a rich and diverse history, particularly surrounding the Fier characters, as well as the Goodes (who are also included in the Netflix trilogy), I can foresee some fantastic screen adaptations in our future.
Overall, Fear Street is a trilogy that, while loosely based on the series of books by R.L Stine, is a completely original tale that captures the very essence of what makes an entertaining supernatural horror film. With characters that come across as so bad you can’t help but love them, a plot that encompasses centuries worth of loss and revenge, and a town that seems to continually be racked with bad luck, the entire trilogy is one that I could watch multiple times without getting bored. Netflix has done a great job with this trilogy and I can’t wait (and hope) for more in the near future.