Dir. Leigh Janiak
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
If there's an award for shortest wait for a trilogy then FEAR STREET takes the winner. In just 3 weeks, the arc of the Fier witch has come full circle spanning over 300 years and a curse that lasted this long. Picking up after the end of 1978 Deena awakes in the life of the witch, Sarah Fier to break the curse that has stained the town of Shadyside ever since her death.
Each film has taken the tone of the era and suited it pretty well and comparisons to Robert Eggers' THE WITCH are inevitable however 1666 is much more. The climax to the truth is an interesting blend of character closure and religious truth that was so prevalent in small settlements at the time and never strays too far away from the series while embedding itself into a period piece.
Unlike other big trilogies that have hot the teen audience, there's no part 3 part 1 and instead, Part 3 comes full circle and closes these character arcs in a very satisfying climax. Tonally the film is split into two extremes, gritty drama and violence that is gut churning at its best and then returning to the current timeframe of events (1994) which despite the truth coming to light, brings back the fun that made the opening chapter so indulgent.
What comes to light in this closure is how great the cast have been throughout this trilogy. Story flaws in the previous films have suddenly been there on purpose all along. Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr and Ashley Zuckerman create a great ensemble and the addition of Gillian Jacobs and Darrell Britt-Gibson to close the series is just an absolute blast. While the film asks for youth, naivety and a believable range of emotions, the use of the shared cast between time periods really shows off the range of these young players and there's hope for brighter lights yet for each of them.
The one thing I have learnt with the series is depending open which era of horror you were bought up on, is the one you will select as a favourite. 60's will be at home with the witchcraft era of BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW and WITCHFINDER GENERAL, 80's kids have the summer camp slasher in 1978 and 90's kids who loved URBAN LEGEND and SCREAM have 1994 to quench that thirst. There really is something for everyone and in ding so hasn't just paid homage but cleverly remained original enough to keep it's own legacy to tell.
There's horror, there's fun, there's drama and there's hope, 1666 does not work as a standalone film but is a perfect closure to a great trilogy that shares many homages to the genre but also carves a very deep scar with it's own name. Never has a trilogy of horror films felt so complete and consistent and as a result, this closing chapter is perfection for any gore hound and horror fan, heck if a R.L. Stine adaptation can be this good for a grown adult, we want more.