Fear Street 1666 Thoughts

Last week saw the release of the final film in the Fear Street trilogy: Fear Street 1666. It was quite a doozy!

Starting where the previous film left off—with protagonist Deena mentally sent back in time to experience the life and death of Sarah Fier, the Witch of Shadyside—Fear Street 1666 delivers an entirely new experience compared to its predecessors.

While 1978 was an homage to ‘80s slashers and 1994 was a take on both the supernatural slasher and meta-horror, 1666 eschews the slasher formula entirely (well, almost entirely) to focus on a suspenseful, supernatural period piece in the vein of The VVitch.

That’s by no means a unique observation, but I want to be clear about something. In writing about these movies, I’ve compared 1994 to Scream, 1978 to Friday the 13th, and now 1666 to The VVitch; however, I don’t want to give the impression that the Fear Street movies are derivative of those films. They’re not ripping anything off—they’re paying homage to some of the titans of the horror genre. When 1994 recreates the intro of Scream, it doesn’t feel like it’s just copying a successful scene. It feels like the film is making a statement: the people behind this movie love horror movies, and they made this trilogy as a love letter to horror films and horror fans.

While I thought the first two films were great, 1666 elevates the trilogy by shifting gears in a way that proves the franchise can be more than (slick, well-made, smart) slasher fare.

Sarah Fier’s story is a tragic and terrifying one, and the choice to have Deena experience it firsthand is a smart one. I love the way this trilogy is structured, by the way, with the first two films establishing the lore behind, and locations of, Sarah’s body and hand with this film both explaining and subverting what we thought we knew about the Witch.

This movie also uses previous cast members in the 1666 section, underlining the vicious cycle that the town is caught in. I love a good looping timeline/eternal recurrence-type narrative, so this approach really worked for me.

The twists aren’t particularly hard to see coming—something that was true of the last film as well—but the whole thing is so damn fun that I don’t really care if it’s a tiny bit predictable.

Despite the title, 1666 isn’t locked into the 17th century for its entire runtime; after all, we’ve still got the 1994 plot to resolve. The final act of the movie takes us back to the characters of the first film as the resolve to end Shadyside’s curse once and for all.

It’s a great final sequence, with an atmospheric setting and high tension throughout. It brings the whole trilogy to a satisfying end, while leaving the door open for more stories in Shadyside and Sunnyvale.

I really hope there are more Fear Street movies. This trilogy was so fun and interesting! I’d love to get more of them, maybe dealing with some other supernatural elements (there’s a whole book of dark magic to choose from, after all). Give me a mid-‘80s werewolf movie! A vampire movie set in the late ‘40s! The possibilities are endless, and I’m happy to watch whatever Leigh Janiak wants to direct.

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