(c) Netflix/ Fear Street.
Here's some background information:
I will be the first to admit, I had never read a book from the Fear Street franchise until about seven or eight years ago. When I was a kid, there was a girl in my class (around fourth grade), and she was obsessed with books from R.L. Stine. Of course, Stine wrote the Fear Street books, as well as Goosebumps. However, the former was more so aimed at "older" kids- a teenage audience.
With that in mind, I remember reading Goosebumps novels all the time, but Fear Street was filled with the types of themes we see in this Netflix film trilogy: drugs, murder, sex, and other types of constructs associated with being a teenager in North America. Well, at least what the media allows people to believe.
Fair Use. The first book in the "Fear Street" saga was published in 1989. This book was called The New Girl, and launched the original ten-year run of the series (1989-99).
Let's talk about the first film:
Last night (at the time of writing this article), I watched Fear Street: 1994. I'll be up front about this: I'm not writing a film review, so spoilers are fair game. Furthermore, I'm aiming to discuss what I liked about the film.
(c) Netflix. Taking a look at this trailer, we see motifs used in film trailers from the 1990s- when the film is set.
Since "spoilers" are fair game, the premise behind the Fear Street franchise is that a witch was executed in 1666, and has exacted her revenge on the future residents of Shadyside ever since. The name of this witch was Sarah Fier (pronounced "Fear"), and she is said to have cut off her own hand prior to execution so part of her will always remain in the town.
Consequently, a series of murders has taken place throughout the history of Shadyside. According to residents of the fictional town, something horrific usually transpires on a weekly basis.
Two things I liked most about the film:
I've mentioned in recent blog posts, I have become a fan of the horror genre within the last year or so. Nevertheless, some of these films are new to me. In terms of the 2021 film Fear Street: 1994, I appreciate how the production team used popular music from the 1980s and 1990s, as well as their own original score. Since the film is set in 1994, it's necessary to use music that wasn't released post-1994, unless it's an original song. Moreover, it just allows the film to appear genuine.
However, in some cases film production teams will use music that doesn't fit the timeframe of the film. With respect to this film, a popular track used was 1992's "Fear of the Dark" from Iron Maiden.
(c) Iron Maiden.
Another aspect of the film I enjoyed was the presence of LGBTQ characters. More specifically, the main character (Deena Johnson) is lesbian. Despite the primary conflict of the film involving "the witch", another major plot aspect is the relationship between Deena and Sam.
Of course, the presence of LGBTQ characters in media set in the twenty-first century has become commonplace- which I love. However, this film is set in 1994. Around thirty years ago, gay couples were not necessarily accepted by the public. Interestingly, the writers challenged this concept and created a lesbian main character, while the film is set in 1994. Although some characters disapprove of Deena and Sam's relationship, this does not stop them from being together. Love conquers all, folks.
What did you think of this film?
The Modernist Son, 2020-2021.