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After two weeks, and just as many installments, the Fear Street trilogy has come to its final bow. With one final jump into the past that has been promised throughout the previous films, Fear Street: Part 3 - 1666 has earned a lot of pressure to stick the landing in Leigh Janiak’s trilogy of terror. Despite conventional knowledge having a bias against trilogies and their endings, Fear Street: Part 3 breaks from that tradition, landing a final blow that ties together the entire series in one, continuous narrative.
Continuing the story started in Fear Street: Part 1 - 1994, the final chapter of the trilogy sees Deena (Kiana Madeira) living through the final days in the life of Sarah Fier (Elizabeth Scopel). With the origins of Shadyside and Sunnyvale stemming to the colony of Union in 1666, the truth behind the curse that ruled both towns for almost 300 years is revealed – providing ever-deepening context to what is featured in the previous two movies. Of course, this is all going on while a narrative plays out in the "present" of 1994, with the final pieces to ending the curse of Sarah Fier eagerly awaited in hopes of restoring Sam (Olivia Welch) to her normal self.
Opting for a different tone than its predecessors, Fear Street: Part 3 - 1666 maintains its edge.
Fear Street: Part 3 - 1666 is another entry in this series that stands out as both an individual piece of inspiration while also fitting into the overall structure of the Fear Street Trilogy. This time, the world of films like Terrence Malick’s The New World or Robert Eggers’ The Witch is the canvas on which Leigh Janiak tells her story. It’s a noticeable detour into another style of horror film, but the results can’t be argued with, as 1666 maintains the edge that has became expected via the previous movies.
While Fear Street: Part 3 - 1666 does have the bloodletting that you’d expect after two slasher heavy films, it’s not entirely rooted in the world of that sort of horror. It is especially important in this final entry to focus on the characters that build the legacy around which Fear Street’s story centers its plot. But just because there’s an increased focus on storytelling and personal drama doesn’t mean the kills are any less effective or brutal. This is, after all, a Fear Street movie.
Tying up the loose ends from the first two Fear Street movies, this tale of persecution burns slower, but just as brutal, and with a bittersweet undercurrent to its story.
As Fear Street: Part 3 - 1666 winds its way through the Puritanical origins of R.L. Stine’s literary franchise, there’s a more deliberate pace that comes off as slow at first. Indeed, the entire movie moves at a slower clip, allowing for the plot to play out properly. While it may be the final film in the Fear Street Trilogy, 1666 is technically the first act of the story. Plot development is king in that crucial phase, and Leigh Janiak definitely makes it work.
Though the carnage is still unsettling, Fear Street: Part 3 - 1666 is possibly the most emotionally resonant entry in the series. Between laying down Sarah Fier’s history, and tying everything back to the events of the previous two movies, the losses incurred due to the supernatural menace that’s permeated Sunnyside are as fresh as they were when they first happened. This may not be as kinetic of a film as 1994 or 1978, but 1666 moves with as strong of a purpose.
Fear Street: Part 3 - 1666 sticks the landing, confirming that Leigh Janiak’s trilogy is built to last.
The Fear Street Trilogy could have been a quick nostalgic cash in with the wrong people at the helm. But Leigh Janiak’s co-writing and directing duties turned this trilogy into an epic for the ages. While still being reverent to R.L. Stine’s universe, Janiak embarked on doing her own thing, essentially creating a trilogy of films that exude different energies, but make a very cohesive whole. With Fear Street: Part 3 - 1666 sticking the landing, it’s only further confirmation that these movies are built to last.
For now though, the Fear Street adventure has come to its conclusion. With many threads and possibilities for future installments still on the table, it all depends on whether the audience is asking for more. As Fear Street: Part 3 - 1666 sews up the last portion of this visionary project, there’s still a terrifying universe waiting to be explored in the wake of this trilogy. For three solid weeks, Netflix delivered the goods with a new story designed to terrify; and as we saw in these films, the legacy of Fear Street can not only endure the test of time, but it can please a diverse audience at the same time. This is a curse that should be welcomed back, if only to harvest the screams of the loyal and the uninitiated.