Fear Street: 1666

Fear Street: 1666 ★★★

The third volume of the Fear Street trilogy picks up pretty much immediately where the second left off, with an extended flashback to 1666 and the community that would become Sunnyvale/Shadyside, and reveals the truth behind the witch Sarah Fier's curse on the community, before bringing the whole thing back around to conclude the story with our contemporary characters in 1994 hatching yet another Scooby Doo ass plan to end the curse apparently for good.

I think in the end, the 1666 chapter ended up being my favourite of the trilogy. 1994 was a fun slasher in the mold of Scream, 1978 took a hefty amount of inspiration from Friday the 13th, but bogged itself down a little too hard in lore and world building, whereas it took 1666 to pay off those lore dumps with some pretty well-earned twists. I enjoyed the play on religious/folk horror in the 1666 segment, it provided a nice change of pace from the other films' slasher antics. And in not having a plethora of 17th century bangers to use as needle drops, the third film largely avoided the Stranger Things feel that permeated somewhat the previous two. (Not that I blame anyone for chasing the Stranger Things crowd, by all regards it's a large audience that's hungry for this sort of thing.)

As a whole, Fear Street wasn't made for me. I watch horror movies all the time, I'm a pretty seasoned genre veteran. Fear Street: 1666 will be the 1,078th movie I've logged on here, and of those 224 have been horror movies, far outpacing any other genre. And Fear Street feels designed to be a sort of my first horror movie, for people who are maybe sat on the fence about the genre as a whole. On that front, I can't comment as to whether it succeeds. It's my fervent hope that people who enjoyed them will go back and watch some of the golden age 70s and 80s slashers, or maybe fans of 1666 will try some folk horror like The Wicker Man, or something more modern like The Witch or Midsommar.

But just because they weren't aimed specifically at me, it doesn't mean I can't enjoy them as well. I have liked the way they've evoked tropes of horror flicks past to tell a contemporary story. I like how they use the 17th century fear of witchcraft in a fable about contemporary attitudes to LGBT issues - horror is a genre that's always morphing and can be used to comment on social issues, and on that front I found Fear Street succeeds.

There'll always be horror movies. It's actually one of the genres where it's pretty tough to go wrong in terms of turning a profit, so they never really go out of fashion like some other genres might. But it's heartening to see with Fear Street a big company putting some weight behind it. None of them have necessarily ascended to become favourites of mine within the realm of horror movies, but I'd still like to see more of this sort of thing going forward.

Christopher liked these reviews