Fear Street began as a really neat and cool idea – a trilogy of horror films released over three consecutive weeks – and it has ended by cementing itself as one of my favourite horror experiences of all time! The conclusion to the trilogy, Fear Street Part 3: 1666 sends us back in time to explore the origins of Sarah Fier’s curse and how this one, fateful night still impacts the lives of Shadysiders today.
The first two films in the trilogy derive heavily from its slasher film influences, including the likes of Scream (1996), Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th (1980). This conclusion interestingly takes a different route, instead focusing on more of an old village/witchcraft vibe with a similar visual aesthetic to the likes of The Witch (2015). This is a very welcome approach as it makes for the most creepy entry in the trilogy – focusing a lot more on the atmospheric thrills and chilling undertones to drive the horror elements. On top of this, it may also be the darkest entry – with some moments even topping the brutal axe murders in 1978. Also, what I love is that it almost entirely does away with cheap jumpscares, instead finding creative ways to creep out audiences through the eerie atmosphere and shocking visuals.
Unlike in Part 2: 1978, this one wastes absolutely no time in getting full on weird and creepy. All of the content based in 1666 moves along at a calculated pace – unfolding the history of Sarah Fier’s curse in a way that’s entirely compelling and surprisingly keeps you guessing right up until the last minute. Despite feeling like we’ve learnt a whole bunch of information about this time period from the other films, the events here weren’t predictable in the slightest. Then, the entire second half of this movie is jam-packed full of non-stop thrills, making for an insanely fun and satisfying conclusion. There’s not a moment of downtime in this latter half and it keeps you hooked while brilliantly tying together every loose end and answering every single question that was introduced in the previous films. Concluding a trilogy is not an easy task, and I’d say this film executes it perfectly.
I did have one major concern going into this film regarding the decision to re-use the cast of the first two films as the new characters in here. It seemed like a cheap way to save on casting an entire new slate of actors, and I was under the impression that it would take me out of the film – especially since I was so attached to them in their original roles. But, by the end of the film, my opinion on this completely flipped to where I was actually celebrating this decision for reasons I cannot get into because of very heavy spoilers.
Speaking of the performances, it’s yet another entry where the cast elevates the emotional weight of the film, all while selling the horror elements in fine fashion. Once again, Kiana Madeira shines in the lead role, this time as Sarah Fier – the one responsible for the evil that has plagued Shadyside. It’s interesting to see the way she plays this role in contrast to Deena, differentiating the two through her dialogue and not just falling into the trap of playing both in the same way. Ashley Zukerman, who I didn’t mention in my 1994 review, is really strong in the role as Solomon, given a lot more to do this time around and making the most of that.
Once again, I need to highlight the brilliance of Leigh Janiak, the mastermind writer/director behind this trilogy of films, who has crafted something truly spectacular. All three of these films are brilliantly intertwined, with each one connecting to the other in creative ways – leading to countless surprises and rewarding moments. They all work together in unison, with exceptional use of foreshadowing and awesome callbacks between the films. She has done a phenomenal job in crafting a trilogy in which each entry elevates the other. On top of the interconnected nature of the films, each one delivers a narrative that stands on its own, featuring a beginning, middle and end, and characters that have their own arcs spanning the length of the film. The ability to coordinate these two storytelling approaches at the same time is awe-inspiring.
In the end, Fear Street Part 3: 1666 is as good of an ending to this trilogy as I could have hoped for. It sticks the landing and delivers an entirely satisfying finale that is deeply thrilling, engaging, fun, emotional and immensely entertaining from beginning to end. There are shocks, surprises and great twist payoffs that were set up way back in Part 1. Being the conclusion, it had the tough ask of bringing everything full circle, while also telling a story of its own, and it does all that brilliantly. This has been one of the best and most thrilling horror experiences I’ve ever had, with everything executed to near perfection. Fans of the slasher genre, or horror in general, will get a good kick out of this trilogy – all available right now on Netflix.