Fear Street Part 1: 1994: Film Review

The first instalment of the Fear Street franchise has finally landed on Netflix, kicking us off with some nostalgic 90s slasher goodness.

For those not in the know, Fear Street is a trilogy of films based on R.L. Stine’s best-selling novels of the same name. Each film in the trilogy will cover a different time-period, during which a series of bloody and horrific murders take place. All of these murders are alleged to be connected, and span all the way back to 1666. Each film is being released a week after one another, so you won’t have too long to wait to put each piece of this gruesome puzzle together!

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 introduces us to the neighbouring towns of Shadyside and Sunnyvale; one of which is no stranger to slayings. When two local Shadyside teens are murdered late at night at the local mall, the town becomes abuzz with whispers of the infamous Sarah Frier; a witch who was murdered centuries before and has come back throughout the town’s history to haunt and massacre the innocent. For cynical Deena (Kiana Madeira), the town’s blasé attitude towards the horrific murders is just another reason to resent life as she knows it. Her ex-girlfriend Sam (Olivia Welch) recently moved to Sunnyvale to start a new life with an obnoxious new boyfriend, and Deena is devastated. Her pining is short-lived, as the pair are soon reunited and held together in a plot to piece together and stop the town’s supernatural murders.

I can safely say that this first chapter of the franchise is a must-see for any horror or slasher lovers. It’s dripping in 90s nostalgia, with a soundtrack boasting Iron Maiden and Radiohead as well as obvious homages to iconic 90s horrors like Scream. We were also treated to a whole host of killers from throughout time by the final act; whose backstories are teased to be explored in the later films.

Despite most of its plot being rooted in the past, it was refreshing to see a horror film’s emotional pull come from an LGBTQ+ relationship. Gay and lesbian characters have often been misrepresented throughout the genre, but Fear Street gives us a realistic and gripping relationship between Sam and Deena that is sure to drive much of the anticipation for the upcoming sequels.

With plenty of gore and a unique host of characters, I’d rate Fear Street a solid 4/5, and I can’t wait to see the second part of the series when Fear Street Part 2: 1978 drops on Netflix on July 9th.

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