To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, Fear Street Part Three: 1666 is a supernatural teen horror film directed by Leigh Janiak, based on the R. L. Stine book series of the same name and the final installment in the Fear Street Trilogy. The film stars Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Fred Hechinger, Ashley Zukerman, Gillian Jacobs, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Sadie Sink, and Elizabeth Scopel. The story follows Deena Johnson, a teenager in the fictional town of Shadyside, Ohio, as she is thrust into the past. She awakes in the mid-17th century village of Union inhabiting the body of Sarah Fier. She relives the events leading up to Sarah Fier’s witch trial and discovers the true origins of Shadyside’s terrible curse.
One thing that I enjoyed about this segment of the story is how well how it explained the ludicrousness some of the witch hunts of old were. The things people did to these women for just being smart or a little different or even just talking back is the real horror story. What we find out about Sarah Fier is that she was attracted to women and the young lady she was attracted to had the same feelings. Something clearly meant to connect with the modern relationship of Deena and Sam present in Fear Street Part One: 1994. At its heart, the Fear Street Trilogy is an LGBTQIA+ story with the main characters in two of the three films being a lesbian couple. A group that most would say deserves more representation than they get currently in young adult films. Sarah’s relationship with Hannah being outed by a jealous man in town because Hannah rebuffed him is what ultimately caused her tragic death. I think that was wise for the director to shed a light on that. It was hard during the 90s, and I would say especially the 1600s for a woman to “come out” and be comfortable saying that about herself. You’re looking at potential death and being shown by the family at the least.
While the connection between Deena and Sarah is admirable, one of the ways this film falters is by having the actors who portray characters in the 90s also portray the characters during 1666. I feel this was a mistake because Fear Street Part Two: 1978 has a fresh set of teenagers and I enjoy the fact that the viewer can get to know a new group of characters in each movie even though they are dealing with the same issue. As a trilogy, we already know the films are tied together and Elizabeth Scopel portrayed the real Sarah Fier even if only for a few scenes. It seemed as if the studio was trying to save money by not hiring new actors and actresses for these roles. The only character that made sense to use the same actor for was Solomon Goode as he was an ancestor of Sheriff Nick Goode. This doesn’t quite translate with Kiana Madeira portraying Sarah Fier as she is not related to her or any of the current main characters, considering she died young.
Then there’s also the twist and here’s where we get into spoilers. We find out that Sheriff Goode’s family has been behind the curse all along and every generation since Solomon has chosen one person in the town to be possessed by the devil in exchange for wealth and prosperity. The unfortunate side effect is that when people are possessed, they go on murder sprees. This reveal, however, does seem a little out of place with how the Sheriff has been presented in previous films. I understand that can just be a ruse but because they don’t hint at it it comes out of left field. In a well-written film, there are hints where they can flashback and show the viewer what was really going on. They try to do some flashbacks to Fear Street Part Two: 1978 when he tells Ziggy “ I let a lot of people die tonight” and that “being in his family isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” But at the same time if he’s caring about this curse continuing for his family’s sake, why did he save Ziggy’s life? This is especially odd since there’s no romantic relationship with them in the modern period. It’s even weirder that he let her know that the killings were happening again. This twist came off as poorly planned to and I do feel like this was done because the movies were a little rushed with the selling of the studio to Disney.
Overall the Fear Street Trilogy is an okay watch for horror fans to pass the time. I give Fear Street Part Three: 1666 a Solid 6.9/10. This was a solid experiment, but I believe that it would have worked better as a long-format television show just like Goosebumps or a limited series or a multiple-season anthology series akin to American Horror Story. Netflix would be wise to consider these options when moving forward with this franchise.