“Fear Street: 1666” Review

Pulling off as successful part three of a trilogy is way more difficult than it should be.  2 weeks ago, Fear Street 1994 took the internet by storm, and a week later 1978 solidified itself as an even better installment as it echoed and paid tribute to classic slashers we all love.

Right away, its finale Fear Street: 1666 has a lot to live up to, and a lot to deliver on.  And while it does contain great moments, and exciting thrills here and there, this third installment might feel like a bit of a letdown, particularly to fans who absolutely loved 1978 and the way that it pulled off its subgenre.

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Going centuries in the past is always a risk, and one that doesn’t always pay off.

Understanding the Past
Firstly, the title 1666 is a bit misleading, as only the first half of this installment is actually set during that time period, with the second half returning to 1994 and giving us a climax to the entire story.

As we saw at the end of last week, Deena is given a sort of mystical hindsight, and sees things through Sarah Fier’s perspective, watching the events unravel in that fateful year of 1666.  She sees a Puritan village called Union (which would eventually split into Sunnyvale and Shadyside), and bears witness to the grotesque paranoia and persecution that result from fear and ignorance.

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Sometimes the most evil deeds are done by those claiming to be holy…

Deena sees how a great injustice and suffering of the innocent was involved in the creation of the curse itself.  And doing so gives her better perspective on how to stop the curse once and for all in her present year of 1994.

Saving the Future
The film goes so far as to refer to its own second half as “1994 Part Two”.  With the combined efforts of Deena, Josh, and adult Ziggy Berman, they go back to the mall to stage on last confrontation with the killers, but with as scheme that will hopefully end the curse once.

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At first, it’s a bit jarring to jump back to the “present”, but you can’t really have an ending without it.

As far as climaxes go, it was decent, but lacked the intensity or brutality that made 1978 so memorable.  Granted, many characters had previously died already.  But when planning for the big finish, if every character who goes in comes out alive at the end, especially after killing off so many, the stakes don’t feel very high.

Perfectly Imbalanced
In a very strange way, the 1666 segment feels like it’s either way too long or way too short.  The plot details could have been told in a series of flashbacks, or visions that Deena could have had.  But at the same time, it could have been longer and fully fleshed out, complete with more character development, and its own story arc.

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Most of this segment just seems like it could have been 10 minutes, or fully explored into a 90 minute movie.

Keeping it at just an hour makes it too long for a side segment, but not quite long enough to be its own installment.  And that was far from the only issue with the segment.  It made complete sense that instead of seeing Sarah Fier herself, we saw Deena in her place, as she was having the vision.

But it was a bit strange to see the other actors like Benjamin Flores Jr. (Josh), Olivia Scott Welch (Sam), Sadie Sink (Ziggy), and Emily Rudd (Cindy) also playing characters in 1666.  It just seemed kind of gimmicky, and as talented as these actors were in 1994

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Again, it makes sense for Sarah Fier to appear as Deena. But having all these other characters in these roles makes it seem like a TV show that did a flashback episode and they still had to use their main cast.

and 1978, they didn’t really fit here, especially with all of them trying (unsuccessfully) at some sort of fake Irish/English accent.

Part One did a great job pulling off a 90’s teen slasher like Scream, while Part Two did the same for classics like Sleepaway Camp and Friday the 13th.  Part Three aims high for a blend of The Witch and Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”, but doesn’t quite have the understanding of that subgenre to portray it effectively.

By no means in Fear Street Part Three: 1666 a bad installment, or even necessarily a “letdown”.  /*It does have a cool ending, where all the pieces come together after three installments.  But for those who were hoping it would end on the same ultra-high note that was 1978, it seems that lighting could only be caught once…

What did you think of the Fear Street: 1666?  Was it a satisfying conclusion?  Let us know in the comments!

Fear Street 1994, 1978, and 1666 are streaming exclusively on Netflix

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