Review: Teen horror goes 17th century in 'Fear Street Part Three: 1666'
Third part of Netflix trilogy is a throwback to the not-so-good ol' days of witchcraft and panic.
The "Fear Street" trilogy — Netflix's ambitious three-horror-movies-in-three-weeks streaming experiment — comes to a satisfying conclusion with "Fear Street Part Three: 1666," which brings the tale of the cursed town of Shadyside, Ohio, full circle.
If the tale's first two 1994- and 1978-set chapters took their cues from "Scream" and "Friday the 13th," respectively, "1666" borrows from "The Witch," or other period tales of the threat of witchcraft and the resulting panic of townspeople.
It also brings back the series' strongest thread, the love story between Kiana Madeira and Olivia Scott Welch's characters, which leads to the revelation of the source of the town's curse.
It's 1666, and the casts from the previous two films are back playing ancestral versions of their characters. Madeira is Sarah Fier, who would come to haunt Shadyside for generations, and Welch is Hannah Miller. Their secret affair is exposed and inspires a good old-fashioned witch hunt, proving fear and intolerance are as old as the hills.
"1666" loosely adheres to its time period — the characters speak with slight accents but skip the "thous" and "arts" that were representative of the era — and director Leigh Janiak resists the urge to drop the needle on some bangin' soundtrack fare, which powered the first two chapters.
The timing and pacing of the action back "1666" into a corner — if things seem like they're ramping up to end well before the run-time expires, it's because they are — which the film wiggles out of with an innovative narrative twist too good to spoil here.
The "Fear Street" films — they're based on a series of books by "Goosebumps" author R. L. Stine — will be remembered for their rollout, a first of their kind for a streaming property. But there's plenty to admire in this fun, bloody, cheeky and self-aware series beyond their release strategy. "Fear Street" is a gory good time.
'Fear Street Part Three: 1666'
Rated R: for strong violence and gore, language, some sexuality and brief drug use
Running time: 114 minutes