Movie Review: Fear Street Part 3: 1666
The three week journey through the terrifying blood-soaked history of the town of Shadyside has come to an end by taking the audience back to the beginning. Filmmaker Leigh Janiak’s ambitious trilogy concludes with a film rooted in to time periods, the colony that will become the troubled community and the 90’s setting where Deena and an adult Ziggy join forces to rid their town of supernatural evil once and for all. The stakes are the highest they have ever been and the their enemy is incredibly powerful.
Picking up where Fear Street Part 2 left off, Deena from 1994 finds herself not only transported to 1666 but in the body of Sarah Fier the hanged witch who supposedly cursed the town centuries before. Joining her are 17th century incarnations of the characters from the previous films as she discovers everything she thought was true about the town was a lie. Returning back to the 90’s, Deena is now armed with the truth about what has cursed Shadyside for centuries and left her girlfriend Sam possessed. Joining with her brother, an adult Ziggy, and their friend Martin, they set out to finally stop the supernatural horrors that have caused so much bloodshed.
First off, as a history buff I am always game for horror rooted in historical time periods. I am that friend in your clique that proclaims The Witch is the best horror film of recent years, so for me Fear Street Part 3 started off on the perfect foot. Like in the previous films, astute horror films can see the DNA of other genre masterpieces woven into this first half of the film like the before-mentioned the Witch and the silent masterpiece Haxan. Janiak truly captures a bleak New England colony that may seem to be peaceful on the surface but is one horrific event away from exploding. That event comes in the form of Pastor Miller who will become the first of Shadyside’s nonstop parade of colorful psychos. Considering that in the first film he was hyped as particularly terrifying killer, he had a lot to live up to and he did. While his scene is brief it is chilling, most of it is built around the suspense of what he was capable of and when we see what he did it is downright ghoulish. This is the catalyst which plunges the town into paranoia with Deena/Sarah and her girlfriend Sam/Hannah at the center of it. The strength of this trilogy so far had been its emphasis on characters and their relationships with one another and this continues on through this finale. The ultimate fate of Deena/Sarah is scary on its own, but given how well we know her it packs an even stronger punch. Even my wife who is largely ambivalent towards horror was enraptured by this, because as I say about pretty much every form of storytelling character is everything. You can have the scariest monsters in the world but if we do not care about those in their path it really does not matter.
Once the horrors and secrets from 300 years before are revealed, Deena takes this information with her back to 1994 for the inevitable payoff that we have been building to for three movies. We see just how intricately plotted out this series was as story elements from the previous two movies are brought back into play and we see how everything that happened in 1978 and 1994 all led to this moment. Two generations of Shadysiders join forces to execute a plan that is equally intricate and dangerous as they have to confront a host of supernatural slashers. To my enjoyment the final showdown takes place in the wonderful mall setting from Fear Street Part 1.
There are some game-changing plot twists in Fear Street Part 3: 1666 so excuse this review if it vague, but suffice it to say this film was a killer climax to an ambitious project. Regardless of their personal feelings on the Fear Street movies overall, any self-respecting horror fan has got to be thrilled that the genre has a grand three film series that not only tells a complete story but each chapter is capable as standing on their own. This is an ambitious undertaking and director Leigh Janiak deserves all of the applause for what she pulled off. It is like a smaller budgeted scary Lord of the Rings-style undertaking accomplished by an up-and-coming filmmaker who definitely has a bright future in the genre. This was clearly a trilogy made for fans of horror by fans of horror as no matter what your tastes are in the genre there is something here for you. With the success of the Fear Street trilogy, Netflix is ready to go with spin-off films based off the variety of theatrical killers, plus a mid-credit scene shows there is plenty more story to tell.