#REVIEW: “FEAR STREET PART ONE: 1994”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
The problem with Anthologies is that sometimes stories don’t feel complete. Fear Street Part 1: 1994 certainly doesn’t suffer from this, successfully building on an arc that will be fulfilled through two following installments. From the extraordinary mind who haunted your dreams as a child, R. L. Stine, comes his most gruesome, gory, and exciting collection of stories yet. Strap yourselves in for some of the most brutal kill scenes ever seen. This is not meant for the faint of heart.
The city of Shadyside has an unfortunate history of being ‘the wrong side of the tracks’. Specifically, its death toll is high. Gruesome, grotesque massacres keep happening and nobody knows why. There are theories that float around, like the Witch known as Sarah Frye. Of course, being a Stine adaptation, this wouldn’t be unusual, but audiences will have to watch to find out. With a school rivalry exploding on the court on their way back to Shadyside, Deena (Kiana Madeira), Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) and Kate (Julia Rehwald) get tailgated. This is all instigated by Sam (Olivia Scott Welch) and her boyfriend, triggering a series of murders.
Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is adapted by Kyle Killen and Phil Graziadei and they give just enough to keep audiences at the edge of their seats the entire time, really making them wait for the payoff. The performances early on, within the first twenty or so minutes of the Film, feel at times a bit uninspired and like any other Teen Horror with little new at stake. However once things get moving along, the Film takes flight as do the performances and we get a clearer focus where we are heading. We then realize this Film is actually intended for a more mature audience than it seems initially. Madeira arguably delivers the Film’s standout performance, but it is the chemistry shared between the entire Cast however, that brings everything together into a cohesive experience.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 is a bloody good time. A strong, suspenseful Script and inspired performances that break the mould of the genre make this unique. With two more movies in the Anthology to come, I for one – pardon the pun – cannot wait to fear!
Netflix release FEAR STREET PART ONE: 1994 Friday, July 2, 2021.