• Adam Antoun

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 - A Review Free of Spoilers

Updated: Aug 1

Written by Adam Antoun

Photography by Alex Feliciano

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 packed a deathly punch from start to finish. This first installment of the bloody trilogy opened on a girl named Heather working a closing shift at a Halloween store in a nearly empty mall. Heather, played by the rising star Maya Hawke, would come to learn what horror fans know all too well: dark and quiet places are not your friend. Fast cuts and anxiety-ridden sound mixing pushed the story in a screaming start that left you on the edge of your seat after just a few minutes. It was clear our director and co-writer, Leigh Janiak, would honor R.L. Stine’s source material by holding nothing back. Blood was spilled in Shadyside. Real blood.

Little towns in middle America, where seemingly boring life perpetuates itself for generations, almost always become the setting for death and destruction. Shadyside is no different. Our heroine Deena, played by the stern-faced Kiana Maderia, finds herself at the tail end of a relationship in a nowhere town hoping for something more. Deena would get all the change she wished for and some. With the aide of her brother, ex-girlfriend and trusted friends, Deena seeks to put an ancient evil plaguing her town to bed. Our team of affable and fearless teens take on more than they can handle, and do a surprisingly great job of reminding us that strength comes in all forms.

Whether you lived through the 90s or not, it seems to be an era revisited by all. The music, the slang, the clothing, all speak to a certain timeless sensibility. Set in 1994, this first installment is a nostalgic ride that is sure to have you playing the Pixies or Nirvana or Radiohead for days afterward. The music was perfectly set to transport you to ’94 with over a dozen recognizable hits. Anxiety was born in the editing room with harsh stoppages in music and abrupt sounds signaling something creeping over your shoulder or the sudden appearance of a wielded knife. This chaos was intentionally set to disrupt any calm and keep our heartbeats rapid, something consistent with all classic horror films.

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 will be available on Netflix on Friday, July 2nd with part 3 coming out Friday, July 9th & part 4 Friday, July 16th. The ending of Part 1 left me in hopeful anticipation for the rest of the trilogy. I recommend the movie for anyone that has love for the 90s or the horror genre. But, a strong stomach is required. The film could rob you of the butterflies and rainbows we’ve come to expect from a Hollywood ending. But that’s quite alright with me. We could always use a friendly reminder that no one is safe.

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