Fear Street Part One : 1994

Fear Street Part One 1994 is a 2021 American slasher film directed by Leigh Janiak, with a script co-written by Phil Graziadei and Janiak, from an original story by Kyle Killen, Graziadei, and Janiak. Based on the book series of the same name by R. L. Stine, the film was released by Netflix on July 2, 2021 as the first installment in the Fear Street Trilogy.

The slasher movie hour subgenre became popular in the 1980s with the likes of Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street establishing the tropes now commonly associated with the subgenre. R.L. Stine’s Fear Street book series provides the story foundation (basically the setting of Shadyside) on which the Netflix Fear Street film series builds upon rather intelligently, we would argue.

Superficially, there does not seem to be anything unique about the premise of Fear Street Part One 1994 but when one gets into the film narrative one realises that the movie is well written, well directed and well acted throughout. The plot and characters are engaging while remaining true to all the slasher horror tropes that have become all too familiar.

Character-wise, the trope of the gang of teenagers – utilised to good effect in Stranger Things as well – is competently exploited here. In Fear Street Part One 1994, we have the lesbian couple Deena and Sam (Kiana Madeira and Olivia Scott Welch), Keena’s nerd brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) and her drug dealing friends Simon and Kate (Fred Hechinger and Julia Rehwald), all misfits and outcasts relevant to contemporary times.

When Sam disturbs the grave of the local witch Sarah Fier, she reanimates the corpses of Shadyside’s past psycho-killers to eliminate Sam and the entire movie is focused on the gang’s effort to save Sam and themselves. The story works within the context of the narrative quite well and even more, will be continued in two more movies set in 1978 and 1666 which will expand on the antagonists introduced in Fear Street Part One 1994. Highly recommended for all horror movie buffs!

Now streaming on Netflix.

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