R.L. Stine’s teenage horror fiction series Fear Street has just landed on Netflix. The three installments are slated to appear on the streaming platform weekly beginning 2nd July 2021. Fear Street Part 1: 1994 has already generated a buzz as fans of Stine’s books scramble to savor the trilogy on screen.
Stine is famous for laid-back scares, the type that appeal to people of all ages. Goosebumps is a prime example of a Stine production that you wouldn’t mind watching with your child. How does Fear Street compare, however? Join us as we break down the fear factor in Fear Street.
Fear Street is a full-fledged slasher and therefore, not suitable for family viewing
“Readers know that the book series is rated PG,” per R.L. Stine. “But the movies are rated R. That means a lot more thrills – and a lot more terror.”
The film’s opening sequence will give you a rough idea of why Fear Street is rated R. As a shop worker closes up for the night, she responds to a phone ring before a knife-wielding killer in a black robe and Halloween mask ends her life. We later learn that the killer had massacred other mall workers.
Shadyside, a poor and seemingly cursed town, is used to such killing sprees. It has a rich history of normal people turning into serial murderers. The first scene sets the tone for the entire film. Fear Street foregoes the need to build tension and jumps right into stabs, cuts, death, and truck-loads of blood.
Due to this, Fear Street is not as scary as say, the first Conjuring. It doesn’t take time to build dread before revealing the gore. It’s plenty messy, as you would expect from a slasher, but it isn’t quite as scary.
Despite the sparse moments of psychological horror, Fear Street will keep you alert through to the end. It will get your adrenaline pumping for sure, and you might need a break or two from the carnage. Overall, Fear Street will excite you, but not necessarily scare you.
This R.L. Stine classic is not suitable for family viewing. It is way too bloody, and once you throw in sex and drugs, it’s probably best that the kids sit this one out. To R.L. Stine, however, horror feels like comedy to him. “I don’t get scared from horror movies,” he told the BBC. “There’s something missing in my brain. I just find horror very funny.”
There is a developing story to look forward to in the upcoming films
Fear Street revolves around two towns: The haunted and poor Shadyside and the affluent and fun-loving Sunnyvale. Our hero and Shadyside resident Deena loses her girlfriend, Sam, to douchey Sunnyvale football star Peter.
Where there are teens, you can expect romance and drugs. Fear Street adds a dose of mystery to that volatile mix. Deena’s brother Josh believes that there is a link connecting Shadyside’s massacres, and he has plenty of newspaper cuttings to prove it.
Josh opines that it all leads back to a witch named Sarah Fier, who was executed in 1666 (the last film in the trilogy is titled Fear Street Part Three: 1666). In the first film, there’s little to link the horror to the characters. The characters’ stories seem to be sideshows rather than contributors to the main action.
We expect that everything will make sense in the upcoming films. Fear Street Part Two: 1978 takes us back to a place where a previous massacre occurred, and the third film will probably explain the origins of the mysteries of Shadyside.
Fear Street might rank low on the dread scale, but there is a developing story for you to look forward to in the coming films. Furthermore, the teen characters are easy to love, and you probably won’t resist the urge to root for them. The stage is set for a bone-chilling Fear Street prequel.