As summer begins to wind down and the crisp breezes and scented candles of autumn beckon, we’re taking a week to circle back and talk about what has (thus far) been the horror event of the summer: Netflix’s trilogy of Fear Street movies. Set in 1994, 1978, and 1666, each of the entries in director Leigh Janiak’s teen-centric series combines a period setting, abundant needle drops, and queer romance for a YA riff on slasher movies. Our critics A.A. Dowd and Katie Rife dig in to all this in their discussion of Fear Street, as well as the layers of homage that go into these films.
Here’s what A.A. Dowd had to say about the final entry in the Fear Street trilogy in his written review:
The most pleasant of the surprises lurking like a masked killer in the final Fear Street movie is that Netflix’s teen-horror saga has actually worked its way to a fairly satisfying conclusion. Make no mistake, this isn’t really, on its lonesome, a better movie than the two that came before it; it shares some of its predecessor’s problems (unconvincing period detail, a dearth of genuine scares), while also sacrificing the nominal retro charm of those slasher homages in favor of a more poker-faced evocation of the American pilgrim era. But as an end to the larger story director Leigh Janiak has been telling—at a once-a-week clip of release that rivals the clockwork output of R.L. Stine, author of the YA bestsellers on which these films are loosely based—1666 mostly delivers. Which is to say, it doesn’t entirely matter if you liked or just wearily trudged through the previous two installments; either way, you deserve to see how Janiak and her screenwriters have pulled everything together at the finish line.
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