The street is coming to a dead end and we have encountered a bevy of evil forces that have fought against us as we try to solve the witch’s curse. We approach the dead-end sign hung up on a wooden post accompanied by two long metal guard rails on either side, blocking us from going any further. A black hole appears and we are transported back to 1666( Fear Street Part 3 ), the year when the Great Fire of London broke out and destroyed most of the city. Strap on your waistcoat, gown, periwig, and bonnet because we are ending this thing once and for all.
The fear on the street slowly diminishes and starts to look like an old dirt road with a clear view of all angles. Do you see? There is nothing to fear here. It’s a roundabout of horror tropes, clichés, and more needle drop moments than an 80s disco party. We are forced back into a period piece, a witch trial era-Ohio with our most minor favorite characters of Part 1 who can’t hold up a rhotic accent consistently enough throughout to keep in the film. This entry into the trilogy is a conclusion to our main storyline, and because I felt that from Part 1 to Part 2, there was a massive leap of faith, it stuck and worked towards something more significant. This was the “greater”, an ample opportunity to inject a new look into the folk horror Canon. But, unfortunately, it felt more like a dull version of a Robert Eggers film made for Stranger Things fans. With some detached oculus uterque.
As we stroll through a dusty colonial village, the Shadyside of 1666 alongside Deena and other supporting cast members from the two previous films. We were learning about Sarah Fiers’ past and why she has possessed the murders we have witnessed throughout. This version of Shadyside feels childish, with no truth to the time period but just what we think it must have been like to live then. It’s unknown why it feels this way, on purpose or not; my motto for this trilogy has been “Pick a Lane”.
The underlying themes in the first half of the film make it work on some levels, though, as it’s not entirely misguided but just a little tough to chew. However, there are still a few great moments in Fear Street Part 3, a fun way to connect each story, and intelligent uses of previously set rules. This is where the trilogy works the most and the main reason for a recommendation. It’s not the stuff we have all seen before – brutal kills, good tunes, bad language, bad jokes, and characters from all different avenues of life – it’s the overarching mythos where the lore of Sarah Fier exists. The lore will linger with you long after the credits, not the filler.
Credit where credit is due. To make three films in such a short time, to have them release a week apart with runtimes that eclipse your standard 90 minutes is a ginormous task. Regardless of your buy-in, these are objectively well-made films. Fear Street Part 3 falls in line with the others, they all feel very much of the same canon, they all have similar faults and similar strengths, and they all ditch a story beat or a sub-plot or two.
After spending a considerable amount of time with this series of films that has felt more like a series of TV episodes, an American Horror Story for kids if you will, and to have the big twist come as a disappointment is not only just that but a deterrent for what else may come for this film series. That being said, there is great promise for director Leigh Janiak; she has directed some of my favorite moments in the film of this year, i.e., bread slicer kill back in Part 1. I would love to see what she can do with her own story and a stricter target audience.
With the series now wrapped up, we can safely walk back home.
We know everything there is to know and defeat these monsters if we ever encounter them. Make sure you got a pen and paper handy for the second half of the film, as you may want to take notes just in case you forgot. A mishmash of scares, lights, and jokes leads to a satisfyingly horror-centric finish, but I can’t help but have similar feelings toward all three films. My feelings have also become mishmash sifting through the tropes and clichés to figure out which ones I like and which ones I don’t.
That concludes this trilogy of reviews, and the beauty of the genre is some may agree and some may not.
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