Poster for Netflix's Fear Street films
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I watched and reviewed Fear Street Part 1 (1994) as part of an effort to combat my inner scaredy-cat before Halloween this year. I am notoriously bad at handling most scary movies, and I have to ask friends who know me really well if I can handle certain ones first before I attempt them. 

The premise of Fear Street looked interesting enough where I wanted to at least attempt it, so I had my best friend come over so we could watch it during the day (I’m nowhere near brave enough to attempt a scary movie at night. Baby steps!) We made some popcorn and started the movie. 

As usual, a huge SPOILER ALERT for Fear Street part 1 (1994) applies below this point. 

An Homage to 90s Horror? 

Something about Fear Street felt familiar. It might have been the music, but I was definitely reminded of Scream more than once while watching. The opening scene at the mall was fantastic, and quite honestly, I wanted more of that throughout. We were granted a great scene in the hospital that was similar, but after that, we had to wait until almost the very end for any more hack n slash action. I understand exposition is good, and we want a good story on top of a good horror movie. I suppose I expected more killers killing than we actually got (but it looks like we’ll get much more hack n slash in part 2, if the trailer is anything to go by.) 

I also appreciated the way that just like in Scream,  these characters have seen horror movies before. It frustrates me to no end when characters are obviously living in a world where no one has ever seen a horror movie of any kind in their lives. A few classic horror movies are even name-dropped, like Night of the Living Dead and Poltergeist. It’s Poltergeist that gives them one of their initial ideas of how to stop the witch, even. And to be fair, I honestly thought “un-disturbing” the grave of the witch had a good chance at working. But what I loved the most was the fact that Deena stole the police officer’s gun and actively tried to kill one of the killers that were relentlessly stalking them. Stealing the ambulance from the hospital was also one of the smartest moves I’ve seen in a while. 

Subverting Expectations 

Fear Street subverted my expectations in ways both I appreciated and didn’t. I was pleasantly surprised when the “Sam” Deena had just gone through a breakup with was the teenage cheerleader we saw with the football player Deena was staring at, rather than our expectation of it being the football player. It also thankfully broke from the formula of having the promiscuous characters or characters of color killed off first, as they all get to live till almost the very end; and even then, they kill off the drug dealer cheerleader first in an absolutely brutal way that they actually show. Seriously, it’s very bloody and I was expecting them to cut away from it, but they don’t. 

Even the ending subverts expectations, as when the possessed Sam stabs Deena, I fully expected her to die, and for that to be the end of the first film. But having Deena survive, and bind Sam to try and find a way to help her? That is DEFINITELY something I didn’t expect from a horror film, thus subverting my ingrained expectation of either “final girl” or “no survivors”. 

Final Thoughts 

I’m glad I watched it in the end, because it wasn’t scary. Gory, yes, but it didn’t scare me (which is incredibly easy to do, it’s a low bar over here). But I fully recognize that this was the setup to the next 2 parts, and the second one looks much more like a traditional slasher in the vein of Friday the 13th (axe-wielding maniac who covers his face and kills campers/counselors). I’m interested in the story as a whole, but I finished the movie feeling dissatisfied. It felt obvious there was something shady going on with the Sunnydale mayor and police chief, but we’ll have to wait till the next film to find out. We didn’t get the satisfaction of knowing who Josh was chatting with on AOL who knew so much about the curse of the witch. 

As I said, I get that these are likely going to be addressed in the second installment, I just hate when movies leave things unresolved so you HAVE to watch the next one in order to find out. If they had addressed everything else and just left us with the ending of Sam bound and possessed, I would have accepted that and been more excited for the next one- but as it stands there was too much left unresolved for me to feel good about part 1. 

Have you seen Fear Street Part 1? Let me know your thoughts by sending me a message on Instagram @glamgeekguru! 

By Hannah

Lover of all things geeky.

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