Fear Street Part Three: 1666 – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Leigh Janiak
Starring: Kiana Madeira, Ashley Zukerman, Gillian Jacobs
Available on Netflix July 16th
After three weeks, the finale of this slasher horror trilogy, based on the books by R. L. Stine, reaches its conclusion. If you’ve had the willpower to hold off watching any instalments so you can binge the three in one sitting well done – but look away now as I can’t guarantee this review won’t contain spoilers.
For those of you who are up to speed with the story, this offering takes us back to 1666 and the origins of the Shadyside curse as a pilgrim colony is gripped by a hysterical witch-hunt. Although it’s set three centuries before the other films the same actors feature playing their ancestors. All the pieces of the plot finally come together as we learn who is behind the curse and who has been benefiting from it as the teenagers in 1994 race to break the cycle and finally eradicate the darkness that has hung over their town for so long.
This was actually my least favourite of the trilogy if I’m being honest. While I love a good witch hunt movie, using the same actors, whose accents were rather questionable and whose drama chops may not be up to this Crucible style story, was very distracting to me. It definitely has a far heavier tone than the other two and is far more cerebral and less in your face until we revert to 1994.
Even if you haven’t read the books you can probably guess the big bad villain here but it feels like it takes an age to reveal him. Once we return to 1994 and the teenagers try to break the curse in a mall showdown (which is once again, like the first part of this trilogy, very akin to scenes from that other Netflix hit Stranger Things). It does gain momentum but this is literally the last quarter of the movie and the 1666 scenes drag hugely as the young cast struggle with the more complex non-contemporary language and setting.
While the ultimate ending is satisfying and gives the audience the catharsis they have been lacking so far it really makes you work for it. Perhaps, for me, this trilogy peaked too soon but I definitely felt that overall this was the weakest offering even though it does wrap everything up nicely.
Again this won’t work as a stand-alone movie but if you have made the commitment of watching the other two you will find this conclusion satisfying albeit a bit slow to get going.