Fear Street Part 3: 1666 (2021)
Directed By: Leigh Janiak
Starring: Kiana Madeira, Ashley Zukerman, Olivia Scott Welch, Gillian Jacobs
Synopsis: In 1666, a colonial town is gripped by a witch hunt that has deadly consequences for centuries to come, while teenagers in 1994 try to put an end to their town’s curse before it is too late.
Before the neon-soaked mall of Fear Street Part One or the gore-slasher fest of 1978, the third and final part takes us all the way back to 1666. The origins of the witches’ curse and the blite on Shadyside is revealed in this twist and turn filled finale. The Fear Street Trilogy comes to an end with Fear Street Part 3: 1666 (2021). Like the other two parts, this acts as both a prequel and direct sequel to Fear Street Part 1: 1994. I feel like a lot was riding on Part 3, which needs to provide a rich backstory for the previous installments but must also wrap the series up in a way that feels satisfying.
Historically, the third film in a trilogy is frankly a gamble on quality, and this is the baggage that some might come into Fear Street with. With a big sigh of relief, I believe that Part 3 not only sticks the landing but sums up the trilogy in a conversive way. The backstory perfectly functions as a neat bottle film, offering up plenty of spooky-Halloween-season thrills and chills but also opens up the worldbuilding established early on in a meaningful way. As for how the film does in wrapping up its story, that’s difficult to say without veering into spoilers. I can say that it ends things on a gratifying note. I was also impressed by how each film has its own style but it very much feels like a part of one singular work.
Having the same writer-director and making these back-to-back give all three films a unified feeling both in terms of narrative and theme. Part 3 hits home how the fear of the unknown, in this case the central characters (who are lesbians), can lead to dangerous and ugly ends. This overarching theme is perfectly set up in Part 1 and woven into the series as a whole. The Fear Street Trilogy is not what I would call a perfect series, and though I adore all three, I can admit they do tend to suffer from some shaggy plotting.
Each movie could have used a tighter overall narrative focus. However, the film is wonderfully directed and shot and contends a timely theme. It first and foremost is fun, spooky-roller-coaster ride. A fantastic summer-horror-event! All three films are now available on Netflix.
Big film nerd and TCM Obsessed. Author of The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema from Schiffer Publishing. Resume includes: AMC’s The Bite, Scream Magazine etc. Love all kinds of movies and television and have interviewed a wide range of actors, writers, producers and directors. I currently am a regular co-host on the podcast The Humanoids from the Deep Dive and have a second book in the works from Bear Manor.