Genre : Thriller; Horror
Director : Leigh Janiak
Platform : Netflix
Fear Street 1994 is the first in the trilogy and is based on R. L. Stine books. The movie is about the Shadyside town which is said to be cursed. Over the past centuries horrifying killings and massacres have happened. Yet theses killings don’t tend to stop as a new masked killer is on his run. A group of teenagers must look into the history of the town and fight back from the killers
After the teaser and trailers, my expectations for this concept revolving around a slasher story in three different time intervals skyrocketed. But as I finally watched the first part, I am questioning my excitement for these movies.
In the opening scene we see the talented Maya Hawke being chased by the masked killer. There is action, drama and plenty of blood. But it also has hints of naivety. Further we are shown these colourful yet haunting newspaper clippings and pictures in the title sequence. I really adored it. It feels as if we are reading a strong and intense prologue in a book.
Coming to the books. I have read R. L. Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ as a kid and they were strange and terrifying. The setting, the music and the fluorescent colour themes in Fear Street do justice to the books and immerses us into the 90’s. But the question comes, “Is Fear Street scary?”
I must admit the kind of killers included in the story like the Milkman, Billy Barker (a creepy boy with oversized mask) is amazing. However, major part of the movie is occupied by the clique Skull masked killer and Axe killer. When the Skull masked killer is around, we don’t feel scared. Instead, he running from corridor to corridor which adds to the humour than to jump scare. Though in the last half hour we do get some gory scenes, but they are too less for a slasher movie.
Even the movie fails to keep the suspense and tension. In one scene, two people hear some noise in the forest and they look back. Before even letting us guess, the director cut to the conclusion. This is not the first time. We witness multiple rushed through sequences which just worsens the scenario.
In terms of characters, the movie does an exceptional job in cutting off the usual stereotypical characters. It not only has queer representation but it also smashes the idea of a typical teenage boy. If you will notice, one of the male characters wears nail paint. Neither there is any focus nor any dialogues explicitly stating that.
The movie is a bumpy ride. The characters keep on changing their locations from home to hospital to police station to grocery store. As they run to these places, we as an audience get tired. Though, I am looking forward to the next two parts and hope they save this trilogy.
An Indian reviewer who writes about horror and thriller movies/series. If not movies, he likes to pick up a mystery book to read. Some of his favourite movies/series include Stranger Things, Elite (S1-3), Train to Busan, Andhadhun, Strangers: Prey at Night.