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Friday, July 16, 2021

[Review] ‘Fear Street Part 3: 1666’ Closes Out the Netflix Trilogy With a Whimper

The first two-thirds of Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy delivered solid love letters to the slashers of yesteryear, connected by an overarching supernatural curse that’s plagued Shadyside since 1666. Director Leigh Janiak demonstrated a much-appreciated mean streak when killing off characters that audiences actively rooted for; she injected her slashers with emotional stakes. For its conclusion, Fear Street jumps even further back in time to unveil how it all started to set up the final confrontation. It leaves the slasher subgenre behind in favor of period Satanic panic, resulting in a predictable and rushed finale.

Part 3 picks up immediately where Part 2 ended, with Deena (Kiana Madeira) learning from Ziggy’s (Gillian Jacobs) 1978 brush with the curse and reuniting Sarah Fier’s hand with her body. Instead of putting Sarah Fier at rest, however, it transports Deena to 1666 to relive the events that created the curse in the first place. Deena becomes Sarah Fier and experiences the fateful night that changed everything and the subsequent witch hunt. Learning the harrowing truth may give Deena the power to end the curse once and for all.

Nearly all of the actors from the previous entries appear, playing descendants of their more modern counterparts. Like Deena, Sarah Fier is protective of a younger brother (Benajmin Flores Jr.). Sarah Fier’s relationship with Sam doppelganger Hannah (Olivia Scott Welch) even draws parallels, though Shadysiders were far less accepting in 1666. Their forbidden love provides a significant sticking point for the mob frenzy that occurs. Look for Sadie SinkEmily RuddMcCabe SlyeFred HechingerJulia Rehwald, and Ashley Zukerman to pop up in 1666 as early Shadyside settlers. The latter closely resembles his modern Sheriff Goode character in temperament yet is a colony outlier as Solomon Goode.

The idea to use familiar faces sounds like a solid plan in theory but winds up an ill-conceived misfire. Part 3 hopes to cash in on previously established rooting interest rather than flesh out these new characters. But outside of the central pairing, none of the 1666 characters resemble the personalities of the previous films. Nor does Part 3 have time for them. With so much ground left to cover to wrap up this trilogy, many of the actors are wasted with nothing to do in their brief appearances. Whereas Part 1 and Part 2 used character development to make their deaths impactful, the deaths fail to resonate in Part 3.

Setting the bulk of the story in the past doesn’t help; it’s hard to raise stakes or suspense when we know Sarah Fier’s fate. The only real question going in was who wronged her and how does that tie to Shadyside’s rivaling neighbor, Sunnyvale. The more the overly familiar witch trial plot unfolds, the more predictable it becomes. The pacing sags as Sarah Fier/Deena increasingly falls further behind the viewer. Janiak attempts to inject much-needed energy for the climax, but it comes so late that it’s overly rushed and none of the emotional beats get room to breathe.

An upside to the 1666 setting is the lack of heavy-handed soundtrack use. And Janiak still finds ways to push the envelope even without the slasher formula. Aside from some gruesome horror imagery, animal deaths and implied sexual assault get tossed in for good measure to strange and hollow effect. The weight of it never explored due to the rushed nature of Part 3, of course.

The conclusion to the Fear Street trilogy closes out Netflix’s summer event with a lackluster whimper. There’s a noticeable drop in quality and energy from the previous two entries and its concluding feature. Character development doesn’t exist, plot points get retread, and the slasher element is sorely missed as it barrels too fast toward an unsatisfying finish. The first two instilled enough goodwill and stand up well on their own. As a whole, all three offer a more mature, R-rated take on gateway horror for teens, pleading a solid case for more.

Netflix releases Fear Street Part 3: 1666 on July 16.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/reviews/3673670/review-netflixs-fear-street-part-3-1666-closes-trilogy-whimper/

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