Fear Street: 1666

Fear Street: 1666 ★★

"I don’t fear the devil. I fear the neighbor who would accuse me. I fear the mother that would let her daughter hang. I fear Union."

Even though the series has been either good or decent up to now, I was hoping for a good conclusion to the Fear Street series in its third installment. Sadly, I was left disappointed as the third movie in this trilogy leaves a lot to be desired in execution. Whereas the first two movies were fun, somewhat genre-savvy flicks that delivered satisfying if formulaic trips through horror movie nostalgia, Fear Street: 1666 tries clumsily to both explain the origins of its mythology and wrap up the story taking place in the present, and ultimately fails to properly do either justice.

Essentially we have two miniature movies going on here that compromise the two halves of the feature, with the namesake first part exploring the origins of the curse in late 17th century America. Despite the shift backwards in time, the dialogue still carries a lot of the angst-riddled snarkiness of the previous two movies just with a bunch of "ye olde" speak thrown in. That tone of voice works perfectly for characters in 1994 and 1978, but in 1666, it actively disconnected me from the experience. And whatever themes it wanted to explore about Puritan-age America (I'd love to see more movies about LGBTQ+ relationships in colonial America because we only get a surface-level treatment of that theme here) are muddled by a constant need to tie back to the previous films. I do appreciate how the actors from the trilogy inhabited the old-time roles and they do a creditable job for the most part, but ultimately, this half turned me away so hard that I actually didn't see the twist coming — not because it was unpredictable (it's the most obvious answer in hindsight) but because I didn't care to even think about it.

Then we have the conclusion of the 1994 plot which I knew had to happen, but I suppose I wasn't expecting it to take up so much time when I started watching. Most of it is an extended final battle sequence that's satisfactory at delivering the action but ends in a very lackluster manner, going through the final movements way too quickly perhaps in an effort to keep the movie from being too long? A fair goal (this is a six-hour trilogy, after all), but as a result, the terror isn't properly built up and whatever tension is there dissipates quickly. It's still a mildly entertaining conclusion to what the films before set up, but as the grand finale to the story of Shadyside, it's ultimately shallow and lacking — a shame, as Fear Street could've left off on a much better note.

(But yet again, half a star for the soundtrack — Mr. Grieves as the credits theme? Fuck yeah.)

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