Three weeks after it all began with Fear Street Part One: 1994, director Leigh Janiak‘s Fear Street trilogy comes to an end with Fear Street Part Three: 1666. The movie – which stars Kiana Madeira, Benjamin Flores Jr., Ashley Zukerman and Elizabeth Scopel – picks up directly after the events of the second film, with lead character Deena finding herself occupying two time periods.
As the movie opens, Deena is spiritually transported back to 1666, where she is given the opportunity to discover further information about the witch, Sarah Fier. Here she uncovers something very significant about the day Sarah died, as well as those who were instrumental in her death.
Deena is then reawakened in 1994, where she must use the knowledge she has gathered to finally put an end to the witch’s curse. But bringing a centuries old curse to a close is not easy, and Deena must face old enemies before the job can be done.
Of all the entries in the Fear Street trilogy, this third chapter is the one I expected to struggle with. From the trailers and promotional material, I knew this movie largely took place during the 17th Century, and of all the time periods covered in the series (1990s, 1980s, etc), this is the one I was personally least interested in.
But my initial apprehension quickly faded away when it became quite clear that despite the time jump, there was still much to enjoy. Director Leigh Janiak had managed to once again riff on a classic story, this time The Crucible, and using this as a source of inspiration, she had crafted a tale filled with paranoia, black magic, and a big dollop of gore.
The 1666 setting also provided the opportunity for various cast members from across the two previous films to return for this final chapter. Actors from Part One and Two popped up in different roles, and suddenly there was this playfulness in the storytelling that I never expected to see.
It was fun, it was nice to have familiar faces take on new parts, and it was a strong indication that once again, this movie knew exactly what it was doing from the outset. It had the scope to tell a sprawling story, which could take in multiple time periods, and the confidence to move into a completely different subgenre of horror and play with expectations.
And then just as things started to settle into a groove, the movie threw another curve ball at the screen, by switching things up for the second half of the story. Deena was zapped back to the ‘90s, in order to bring this tale to a close, and this meant a return to slasher territory and a satisfying conclusion.
As with the two previous movies, Fear Street Part Three maintains the same level of quality that audiences have come to expect. And while it isn’t my favourite chapter of the three, mostly because I prefer the settings of Part One and Two, it is still arguably as good.
Once again, my only criticism is the length of the film. It has been the same criticism throughout this entire trilogy, and I’ll say it again, this movie could have done with losing a few minutes.
But in all honesty, when you manage to deliver three strong movies, and tell the story you want to tell, who am I to comment about the editing choices?
When the Fear Street trilogy was conceived, it was originally intended to be seen on the big screen. The plan was to release one movie a month, with the entire trilogy playing out in cinemas across a three-month period.
Due to some backstage issues, the plan was changed and this led Netflix to picked up the trilogy instead. The streaming service then altered the release schedule to weekly instalments, and in my opinion, this was ultimately the best decision.
I believe streaming is the best home for this collection of films, and having a new entry every week was the correct way to deliver each picture. It has helped to build up the right amount of excitement and momentum, and has really complimented the tale that has been presented.
Fear Street Part Three is another winner for me, and a cracking end to a really great trilogy. These films have taken me on an interesting journey, have provided an intriguing central mystery, and have allowed me to revisit various high points from the horror genre.
Do I want any more Fear Street movies? Probably not – but that is because I have enjoyed this trilogy so much.
I really don’t want Fear Street spoiled by any (potentially) inferior follow-ups, so I am happy to let this stand as something special. And it is something special.