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Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review

It’s a tale of two halves in Netflix’s third and final instalment of the ‘Fear Street’ trilogy, with the former seeing director Leigh Janiak adjust the film’s tone once more. The two genre-defining slasher-movie tropes are both abandoned in favour of a horror film that depends largely on tone and a foreboding sense of dread. The kind you’d expect to see in a horror film about witches set in an ancient era.

When it comes to the ancient age, ‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666’ goes all the way back to that year in the 17th century. It was the year that Sarah Fier’s curse began. Following the events of the second film, in which Deena (Kiana Madeira) ultimately returns Sarah’s severed hand and burys it with the rest of her skeletal remains in her burial site, she is abruptly taken back in time.

Deena then begins to perceive everything through Sarah’s eyes. Sarah lives with her younger brother Henry (Benjamin Flores Jr.) and their widowed father in a settlement known as Union, which is populated by only a few other locals. Without going into too much detail, the storey eventually leads to a witch hunt and, eventually, Sarah’s sad finale.

True to the film’s title, Janiak intends to give us a detailed flashback rather than simply a fleeting one. Some may argue that it’s a needless prequel that doesn’t need to be told because those who saw the first two films already know what happened to Sarah Fier. Furthermore, a prequel to a successful horror film in a franchise is sometimes considered as either inferior or purely a cash-in (see, for example, 2004’s ‘Exorcist: The Beginning,’ 2011’s ‘The Thing,’ and 2014’s ‘Cabin Fever: Patient Zero). One of the reasons why most prequels failed was a lack of elements of surprise. And, in other cases, the origin of a character in a horror film should be kept unexplained or ambiguous (as with Leatherface and Michael Myers in their respective ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘Halloween’ prequels).

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Back to ‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666,’ the picture doesn’t feel inferior because it has a few excellent moments, most notably the way Janiak sets up all the dread-inducing scenes. The cast is generally good, with Janiak going so far as to cast the same performers in multiple parts. Kiana Madeira shines brightest as Sarah Fier, as predicted, but it’s surprising to see Benjamin Flores Jr. go from a well-acted nerdy sibling in the first film to a barely-there supporting role as Sarah’s brother in this sequel. While it was an innovative move for Janiak to use the same ensemble to play multiple characters, they appear to speak with uneven accents that fit the era. Most of the time, they sound like they’re still in the present day. Given that the film is set in a colonial era, their accents should have been different from what they sound like in the 1990s (as in 1994 in the first film)

The film also prefers to stick to the formula, with Janiak, Phil Graziadei, and franchise newcomer Kate Trefry (Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’) recycling the usual clichés (the obligatory sins, witch trial, and so on) typical of a witchcraft-based horror film set in an ancient era (genre films like ‘The Crucible’ and ‘The Witch’ come to mind). If you’ve seen enough of these types of horror films, you’ll know what to anticipate here.

Aside from the predictable outcome, Janiak manages to outdo herself in the second half of the film. The ‘storey of two halves,’ as noted previously in the first line, relates to the film’s back-to-1994 setting. It wasn’t exactly a spoiler because the film eventually finishes with Deena and the rest of the surviving teenagers from the first and second films all joining forces to finally break the curse.

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The second part even has a twist, which I won’t go into detail about here. Let’s just say it was something that made us finally see how everything is woven together over the course of three movie. Although ‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666’ has its problems, this trilogy-ending chapter transcends the majority of them with an overall, more-than-expected satisfactory conclusion. The film skillfully ties up the loose ends and even offers a clear and justifiable resolution. But here’s a gentle reminder: Once the end credits begin to play, don’t close your browser. Continue to watch as a few scenes appear between the credits.

Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review
Fear Street Part Three 1666 Review

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