Fear Street Part 3 1666 Review: Netflix Pulls Off a Hat Trick With it’s Horror Trilogy Event and Saves the Best for Last.
As many curses as we see plague our characters in this Netflix trilogy event based on the YA novels from R.L. Stine, one curse we see all these films steer clear of is the sequel curse. Fear Street Part 3 1666 neatly wraps up Netflix’s R.L. Stine trilogy event with deepened character development, adult horror themes, and satisfying twists and turns that give the films dimension and deepen the viewers ties to every aspect of the films.
The first two films paid tribute to classic slasher films, and were a perfectly designed love letter to classic horror films while maintaining it’s own identity in its own right. The third and final film was it’s own monster of a film. Although it resonated with classic films such as “The Crucible” as I found myself shouting “I saw goody Sarah with the devil,” it did expand beyond these constraints and delved into its own parameters and identity. The film moved viewers from the idioms of classic horror films and jump scares and steered us into a rousing origin of the Shadyside witch, Sarah Fier. Director and co-writer Leigh Janiak instead steers us into a creepy setting that digs up the skeletons in the closet of everything that has been fueling the so called “Shadyside Curse” we have been witness to in the 2 previous films. With the film releasing in this pre-planned trilogy format, we see the long form story telling really start to hit us with high stakes, eye opening reveals and twists that start to piece together the puzzling mystery that has haunted us since Fear Street Part 1.
“1666″ picks up from the end of “Part 2: 1978,” when series lead Deena (Kiana Madeira) thought she was ending the Shadyside Witch’s curse but instead found herself somehow transported to the Witch’s/Sarah Fier’s time, seeing the world through her eyes and living in her body. At last, we learn the truth behind the Witch’s legend and the events leading to her death, but not in quickie-flashback treatment. Rather, the bulk of the film is set then, exploring the characters, their motivations and their world.
In American Horror Story fashion, we see the characters from the previous films now fill the roles of the townsfolk in 1666 in the time of the town’s founding. It’s here that we see that Sarah Fier was in fact no witch at all, and instead we see her the victim of feminist struggles as we see her the victim of masculinity and homophobia after being seen kissing the woman she loves, who happens to be the pastors daughter, and after a few more events and altercations that we will save for you to enjoy when you watch, we see the town go into a frenzy and accusations of witchcraft and dealings with the devil lead Sarah and her love the victims of extreme prejudice.
Through these events we discover Sarah’s innocence and the true culprit behind the Shadyside Curse. This leads us to return back to 1994 where we see our rag tag group of Shadysiders attempt to bring closure to the madness that has haunted their town for years and take down the real person responsible for all of it.
The creators substitute body count for tension and supernatural elements and the dread of watching our seemingly helpless characters we love in a flashback leading to what we know to be a deadly event. Disturbing visuals and themes pave the way to the unveiling of the truth. Returning to the core 1994 plot point after wrapping up the flashback gives us the change in dynamic and closure we desperately needed in this rollercoaster of a trilogy. Returning to where the first film took us having experienced and consumed the trauma and truth behind all the events in 1978 and more importantly 1666. The trilogy twists itself to a very satisfying end. We get closure for the characters we grew to love all the while enjoying an enticing mid-credit scene that leaves the door open to expand even further on these tales from R.L. Stine. This trilogy is an instant classic.