Based on the popular stories by R.L Stine, Netflix starts off its summer event trilogy, Fear Street with Part 1: 1994. Set in the town of Shadyside, a group of teenagers come up against the ancient evil that has been the cause of the town’s most brutal murders over the past 300 years. Fear Street immediately sets itself apart from its more kid friendly counterpart, Goosebumps, by coming out with a hard R rating.
Written by Alex Gilston
Over the years we have come to know Netflix for its approach to releasing its TV series’ in one "bingeable" bite, but what might happen if that was applied to a film series instead? The Fear Street trilogy poses that question and Netflix will be releasing the three films over the course of three weeks, starting off with Part 1: 1994.
Part 1: 1994 kicks off the Fear Street series with a bloody bang. You’re instantly thrown into the action in a shady American mall miles out of town, with Heather (Maya Hawke) who is alone and being chased by a hooded figure akin to Ghostface. It starts as it means to go on with the first of the film’s bloody murders. Fans of the slasher genre will be glad to know this doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to the gore on offer, and are sure to be impressed with the demises some of the characters meet.
Thankfully this first instalment doesn’t get too bogged down by the fact that it’s really just a taster for what’s to come next, as you get a neatly tied up plot that's easy to follow. It’s also cleverly interspersed with little threads and references to the overarching story that will continue in Part Two: 1978, and Part Three: 1666.
With the success of the IT films and Stranger Things, Hollywood has proved itself useful at putting a group of younger actors together that have chemistry to boot, and this film is no different. The characters gel together well and prove to be the strongest point of the film with Benjamin Flores Jr.’s performance as, nerdy, lore crazy, Josh a highlight amongst the main group.
Fear Street Part One: 1994, with its ambitious scope, sets a precedent of quality for parts two and three that hopefully, they will be able to live up to. Although, as its own stand alone instalment it serves as a sumptuous delight for the original stories fans and horror buffs alike. By delivering ghoulishly freaky scares and satisfyingly gory kills it cements itself, quite solidly, as one of the slasher greats.