R.L. Stine Slays Again with his Latest Chilling Creation


Parker Wilson and Gracie Westphal

Looking for something new to send a chill down your spine as Halloween draws nearer? The 3-part film, Fear Street, might have just what you’re looking for. Based on R.L. Stine’s widely popular Goosebumps book series by the same name, director Leigh Janiak takes on the enticing adaptation of the beloved children’s novels. 


Developing a new and relevant horror movie is a challenge on its own. For starters, not everyone has the same taste. Some prefer gore, while others look for a good plot rather than sit through a film that more or less leads to the killer coming back again. However, the famed author brings much more to the table with this twisted story, which brings in diverse audiences as well as various age groups. Critics and horror movie buffs alike are raving over the films, the New York Times calling the trilogy “an engaging and scrappy mini-franchise that plays like Scream meets Stranger Things”.


Each part of the trilogy was released to Netflix just weeks apart from one another, starting with Part One: 1994. In this beginning volume, we are introduced to the small town of Shadyside, which has been plagued by a curse that possesses a new citizen every 10-15 years, who commits mass murders. The curse was allegedly cast by the witch Sarah Fier, who died in Shadyside three centuries prior to present day in 1994. Teenager Deena Johnson, played by well-known actor Kiana Madeira, along with her younger brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.), friends Simon (Fred Hechinger) and Kate (Julia Rehwald), and her ex-girlfriend Sam (Olivia Scott-Welch) find themselves in a horrifying situation; They’re being hunted by killers of Shadyside’s past and present.


The second installment of the series, Part Two: 1978, is no disappointment either. The storyline picks up right where it left off, but promptly takes you back in time in one of the characters’ flashbacks. Said character is Christine “Ziggy” Berman, whose child self is played by famous Stranger Things actor, Sadie Sink, and whose adult self is played by Gillian Jacobs. As teens, Ziggy and her sister are at a summer camp somewhere near the rival towns of Shadyside and Sunnyvale when one of their fellow campers and boyfriend of Ziggy’s sister, Cindy, is possessed by the same witch and becomes the classic American axe murderer. This movie is just as gorey and terrifying as the first one, with the setting of a dark, creepy forest and spooky caves contributing even more to the eeriness. And still, many of the viewer’s questions remain unanswered as the plot continues to unravel in the final, horrifying addition to the series, Part Three: 1666.


Deena is thrown into another flashback, except it isn’t her own; It’s Sarah Fier’s.  All the secrets of the past are revealed and the characters from the first movie, at least those still alive, finally have a clue of how to stop the cycle of death, but it isn’t any easier from there.


The Fear Street movies are the perfect level of scary. You’re spooked enough to check around the corners of your house, but not too traumatized to fall asleep. But the series is about more than just the frights. The movies reveal only bits and pieces of the full story at a time, leaving you on the edge of your seat for the entire ride. Not to mention the gigantic plot twist in Part Three that’ll either make you gasp in surprise or yell, “I knew it all along!”


We also applaud the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ and racially diverse characters and cast members. As teenagers growing up in this decade, it’s refreshing to find something new and exciting to binge that is also so inclusive. The films are also great because you get a blend of classic slaughterhouse gore, witchcraft and the occult, and even romance. You pretty much receive the full horror experience with just one movie series.


However, we would have to say that the characters, while they may or may not have been played by legal adults in real life, are still teenagers. We don’t have a huge problem with it, but there are a lot of scenes featuring sex between some of the teenaged characters. While this is not uncommon in movies in this day and age, it’s slightly worrying that even in a horror movie series, where the characters are constantly being chased by countless, invincible murderers, filmmakers still find time to sexualize teens.


But aside from that, some oddly shallow graves, and occasional vacant sections in the timeline, there aren’t any other negative things to say about this horror movie series. Overall, it was very entertaining and we would recommend it to anyone looking for a good little scare this Halloween.