Fear Street: 1666

Fear Street: 1666 ★★

Oatmeal, right? Some people eat oatmeal straight out of the cylindrical cardboard thing, just heated with water, no additives. Others like to throw in fruits, brown sugars, I even knew someone who preferred it with some twists of lemon. Me, I was raised to enjoy it with considerable quantities of milk, butter and white sugar. I know, pretty unhealthy, but my mom's parents were midwestern so she brought that larded comfort-food sensibility to her meal preparations during our childhood. Maybe that's why I have a hard time getting through any of these "Fear Street" dishes, because I'm not used to eating such flavorless junk food. I need some saturated fats in these plain bowls of oatmeal.

Somehow the spewing gore, the earnest emotional underpinnings, the centuries-spanning breadth of the story, the nominal 'folk horror' set dressing, the carefully planned plot twist, and all the other little crowd-pleasing and legitimizing ornamental features in this trilogy conclusion still only induced an anesthetizing middle-of-the-road viewing experience. All I could see on screen for two hours was the adequate shepherding of a bunch of flat characters through busy, overplotted turmoil, none of which was fun, engaging or meaningful. More like derivatives of what was made in the horror genre during the times of baby boomers, Gen X and Millennials, now repackaged and homogenized even further like tattered hand-me-downs for Generation Z, for whom I offer my condolences. You deserve better stuff.

Not to harp on this overbeaten point, but all three "Fear Street"s truly felt like sitting through an identically-produced "Stranger Things" spin-off, and I quit that mediocre show after the first season years ago, so: fuck. Is part 3 here better or worse than the other 2? They're all pretty much the same. I can't imagine having a wildly different opinion of one vs. another. Nonetheless, in 20 years, there will be great nostalgia for this franchise, and I can't tell if that's equally as depressing as the current wave of affection for crappy '90s movies like "Hocus Pocus" and "Space Jam", or more so. Whatever, it all sticks in my craw. Not that the "Goosebumps" flicks or "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" were fantastic, but I'll stand by those as the preferable adaptations of '90s young adult horror books so far. Here's to savvier flavoring techniques when Hollywood gets around to producing the "Graveyard School" series, or "Shadow Zone", or "Point Horror", "H.O.W.L. High", hell even the Bailey School Kids, am I the only one who remembers any of these anymore...?

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