Starring: Kiana Madeira, Benjamin Flores Jr., and Olivia Scott Welch
Written by: Phil Graziadei, Leigh Janiak, and Kate Trefry
Directed by: Leigh Janiak
After really digging the first two Fear Street films, I was a little apprehensive about the third. Could Leigh Janiak really make lightning strike thrice? As it turns out, she was able to do just that. Fear Street Part 3: 1666 isn’t perfect but it’s a helluva lot of fun. It brings the three distinct timelines to a satisfactory conclusion. And takes the audience on a wild ride in the process.
Synopsis: After surviving the events that unfold in the two previous films, a frantic Deena finds herself traveling back in time to 1666. While there, she witnesses,. first hand, the origin of the curse Sarah Fier has seemingly placed on Shadyside.
There are lot of things the third film gets right. And one of the first that comes to mind is Kiana Madeira returning in a double role as both Deena and Sarah Fier. She proves herself quite versatile as a thespian. Her dialect and mannerisms (while playing Sarah) are nothing like Deena’s. What’s more, Madeira serves as a familiar face. We’re thrust into a different timeline and have to get to know an entirely new group of characters. But having that bridge to the 1994 timeline made that adjustment much less abrupt. We also see Benjamin Flores Jr. (Josh in 1994) returning as Sarah’s Brother Henry and Olivia Scott Welch (Sam in 1994) appearing as Hannah in the 1666 timeline.
Further impressive is the way Fear Street Part 3: 1666 highlights the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community. It delves into the horrors of hive mentality. The way that Sarah is demonized and vilified for daring not to conform to heteronormative ideals really resonated. Even hundreds of years after the film takes place, we still see a fair amount of hate directed at the queer community. It may no longer be commonplace to assume someone practices witchcraft because they are attracted to the same sex. But the sad truth is that people continue to be victimized solely on the basis of who they love.
Even after all the progress we’ve made in the past several hundred years, many people still fear what they don’t understand. And instead of asking questions and educating themselves, people will sometimes turn violent and cruel when they see someone dare to be different. It goes without saying but that tendency is just as dangerous today as it has ever been.
There’s also a bigger theme at play about people that come from privilege and power abusing the marginalized and benefitting from their misfortune. I will stop there to avoid potential spoilers. But you’ll likely see what I mean when you check the film out for yourself.
Social commentary aside, there is an unexpected turn of events in the third act that made me enjoy all three films more because of it. Without giving too much away, we witness a timeline jump that sees the film take a dramatic change of direction in the back half. It may have been a risky move but the shift works brilliantly.
The finale is pretty epic. It’s much more than the typical final girl showdown we’ve seen in so many slasher films over the past forty plus years. There is naturally a final showdown but it’s inventive, unique, creative, and deviates from many of the typical conventions.
As for what doesn’t work, the pacing in Fear Street Part 3: 1966 is a little up and down. That’s forgivable given the film had to deliver quite a bit of backstory. But I wish the first hour had been peppered with a bit more action and a little less exposition.
My only other quip is that the flick is just a bit on the long side. I’d really like to have seen some of the events from the 1666 timeline condensed a bit. The majority of it is quite relevant. But there was still some fat that could have been trimmed.
All things considered; this was a great conclusion to a terrific trilogy. I am dying to see what Leigh Janiak does next. You can check it out on Netflix starting July 16th!
Fear Street Part 3: 1666 provides closure to the series and delivers an epic finale that is likely to delight fans of the first two installments.