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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Review: Fear Street: 1994

Director: Leigh Janiak

Screenplay: Kyle Killen and Phil Graziadei

Year: 2021

The town of Shadyside has been the host of countless misfortunes in which many people have died. These misfortunes seem to be tied to an ancient evil that has remained in place for hundreds of years. A group of teenagers finds themselves in the middle of the new wave of deaths in the town, and they are determined to discover its source.

"Fear Street: 1994" begins in a shopping mall, an emblem of the youth of the 1990s. The neon lights of the stores create an atmosphere reminiscent of the decade, and the slasher style that follows is a gift for fans of the slasher of the time. 

One of the first things I did when I started watching this movie was to check a music streaming service to see if there was a soundtrack or playlist for it. The music selection is excellent with popular artists of the time such as Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie (White Zombie), Radiohead, and Bush. However impressive their song selection is, their use is forced, and they don't always blend in well with the scenes.

This first part of the Netflix trilogy based on the books by RL Stine of the same name, a famous writer for the “Goosebumps” books, shares the same youthful style geared towards a teenage or young adult audience. Although this is very in tune with the writer's work, "Fear Street: 1994" suffers from the same problem as "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark", where focusing on a young audience limits their potential. When the film’s tone called for a lot darker, they are forced to change course and maintain a more casual air, although it still offers some memorable moments of gore. This problem will surely affect the next two movies in the series.

While "Fear Street: 1994" does a good job with the musical selection and visual effects, the script comes across as a problem. From countless holes in the story to pointless situations and weak dialogue, the script by Kyle Killen ("The Beaver") and Phil Graziadei ("Honeymoon") has all sorts of weaknesses. Hopefully, the rest of the trilogy does a better job in this department.

"Fear Street: 1994" is based on the books of the same title by writer RL Stine and they share the same youthful style. This style attracts a younger audience that is undoubtedly unfamiliar with the writer's work, but it also has a limitation in not crossing that line into a more raw style. The holes in the story and the poorly crafted script affect its enjoyment too much, and horror or book fans were left wanting more.

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