Hey, frens! I’m back, back, back like Michael Myers rising from the undead to talk about the new Fear Street movie trilogy on Netflix. Now, I know what you’re thinking, that sounds cheesy as hell. I thought so too but then I got bored and watched the first one and they’re really pretty darn good.
I’m going to try and discuss the movie without giving much away because it’s pretty clever but I will tell you the the movies are all set in the quaint town of Shadyshide aka the murder capital of the world and that all three movies are connected, with each taking place during a different time period. 1994 kicks the series off and serves as the frame story that makes all three movies work together. I love me a frame story y’all. If they had called this movie Fear Street: A Hella Fun Frame Story I would have watched it the moment it released. So, way to bury the lead Netflix marketing.
The idea is that each movie will kind of recreate and reinterpret the style of horror movies popular in the era that they’re titled after. Well, except for 1666. They didn’t really have movies of any sort but I’m sure they had, like, slasher daguerreotypes collected together and labeled Ye Old Scary Story. This would admittedly be a tough vibe to recreate but I’m stoked to see them try.
The current 90’s nostalgia means that 1994 is a perfect place to kick off the series and the clothing, technology, and music are right on the money. I will warn you that they play around 7000 songs in the movie which feels like overkill (pun intended) but the closest thing the movie has to a love scene is set to the Cowboy Junkies cover of Sweet Jane. That song is indisputably sexy as hell and so more than makes up for their use of Machine Head by Bush. 1994 also mentions Spencer’s Gifts, B. Dalton’s bookstores and so many other little things that make my dinosaur ass nostalgic for my (long ago) youth.
The trailer tells you all you need to know really but, listen, I want to tell you that the director had the cast watch Scream (my all time favorite horror movie) and The Goonies to help them understand the vibe that she wanted to capture with the movie and also made them all mix tapes filled with songs to help each of them connect to their characters emotional arc. That is some nerdy ass shit and I love it. If that information doesn’t make you want to watch this movie immediately there’s probably something wrong with you. No judgement but there is.
The opening scene is a straight up and very intentional homage to Scream but the rhythm and characters are very much their own thing.
I really like that because these kids are the kind of marginalized characters that would be cannon fodder in most horror movies. They are not wealthy, not white, not particularly clean cut, not virginal, not entirely straight and all of ’em are from the wrong side of the metaphorical tracks. It’s refreshing. Fear Street 1994 is not the kind of horror movie that will give you nightmares but it’s suspenseful and engrossing. There’s a lot of mythology/backstory (my favorite) that it mages to set up as it hauls ass through a series of abandoned and neon splashed, malls, high school hallways, and hospitals.
The thing that makes this trilogy particularly bold and ambitious is that all three movies were filmed at the same time and Netflix is releasing them over the course of three weeks. 1994 dropped on 7/2, 1978 dropped on 7/9, and 1666 drops on 7/16 so the interconnected nature of the plots and the clever storytelling devices that all three movies use really sing in an immediate and visceral way that they wouldn’t if audiences had to wait a year or two between films. It also makes for a very fun viewing experience.
I’ve heard people lament that Netflix didn’t release these movies in October for maximum spookiness but I disagree. I used to spend many a night of summer vacation staying up late and watching scary movies. What better time to fully immerse yourself in those summer camp bloodbath movies than to watch them while being blasted by the arctic chill of air conditioning with fireflies buzzing outside your window? These movies are made for a triple feature at the drive in. In fact, I hope they do that for October. I would be so in. I’ll certainly rewatch them for Halloween month. I’ve seen two of them and they just keep getting better. So, if your a Freddy Fan, or a Ghostface thriller, or if you want Jason More-hees of some fun horror movies then lock your doors and windows, cook yourself up some Jiffy Pop on the stove. DO NOT answer your phone and check out this super fun trilogy.