Movie #183 2021: Fear Street: 1994 (2021)

A trilogy of horror movies released on Netflix weekly? Count me all the way in. Could this have easily been a regular TV series? Absolutely. But this is kind of a fun, innovative idea and I’m certainly not mad about the originality.

Fear Street is based on a book series by R.L. Stine (yes, the Goosebumps guy) that was originally created to be aimed at teens and young adults who were now a little too old for his more famous novels. In this film adaptation, some of the names and details have been changed, so it’s kind of a loose adaptation at that. What’s fun about it is that it’s set in 1994 in the fictional town of Shadyside, and it harks back to that fun period of early-nineties horror when Scream was super on trend. Basically, the plot revolves around an old curse that entails a supposed witch from 1666 who went by the name of Sarah Fier. According to legend, Fier has been terrorising the town ever since she was accused of murder and put to death. In the year 1994, it seems that she’s back for another killing spree.

Fear Street Part 1: 1994' Review: R.L. Stine Meets 'Stranger Things' -  Variety

Scream vibes with a Goosebumps twist? I like it. It certainly will not be for everyone, but if that sounds like your sort of thing, there are a bunch of things to like here.

No, Fear Street is not as good as any Wes Craven movie, but it knows what it is and it doesn’t try to be anything else. So what is it? A campy teen slasher flick with some gruesome, bloody deaths and a supernatural flair. It’s well aware that it’s not Citizen Kane or The Godfather, and it never pretends that it is either. Bonus points for self-awareness, I suppose!

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 Review - IGN

So the story itself is full of horror clichés and themes we’ve all seen before, but that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining. The best thing about it? All of the throwbacks to 1994. Pagers, old school video games and the SOUNDTRACK. Man, the soundtrack. Garbage, Iron Maiden, Portishead, The Prodigy… I’m definitely here for all that nostalgia. 

I was a fan of Kiana Madeira before this because I’d seen her in a lesser known Netflix series named Trinkets. However, I was not aware of any of the other cast members before this and honestly they were decent enough! Madeira does particularly well at leading the movie, and although none of the performances are extraordinary, they do a fine job. (Side note: I’ve seen a little of slander in regards to Madeira’s casting (she’s 28 years old in real life), but how that is her fault I will never know.)

It’s a little too long, but it’s pretty well made and the film’s handling of the queer relationship at the forefront was mostly admirable. It’s nothing special but I had a good time and I’m looking forward to watching the second instalment!

Fear Street: 1994 is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
Overall Rating: ½

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