Released: 16th July
Seen: 17th July
In the last two weeks, the Horror community has been treated to the first two parts of the Fear Street series. Both parts have been outstanding, glorious slasher throwbacks that honoured the material they were referencing and didn’t skimp on the gore or lesbianism. They were truly brilliant and have been leading up to this, the final part of the epic story of Sarah Fier and the town of Shadyside. It not only has a lot of questions to answer but it has to live up to the spectacular first two parts… so, how is Fear Street Part Three: 1666? Exactly as good as it needed to be, which is to say, “downright spectacular”
Fear Street Part Three: 1666 moves the action back to the times of the Salem witch trials. Our main character from the last few movies, Deena (Kiana Madeira) is now experiencing the history of Shadyside from the perspective of Sarah Fier. Sarah Fier was a young woman in Salem who was relied on by her community, but also held a secret love affair with Hannah Miller (Olivia Scott Welch), the Pastor’s daughter. One day strange things begin occurring, such as the sow eating her baby pigs or the pastor doing a spot of eye gouging. Things are getting weird and the town only wants to blame Sarah Fier… and believe it or not, that’s not even half the story.
In order for Fear Street Part Three to work it needed to not only properly tell us the rest of Sarah Fier’s backstory (which, up to this point had only been spoken of as background information) and complete the arc that began at the end of part 1 where Deena’s girlfriend Sam was possessed by the evil entity that plagued the town. The first half of the movie handles Sarah Fier’s story wonderfully, a full homage to films like The Witch in terms of visual aesthetic and tone. It takes a little bit to get into the actual scares but the sense of unease is instant and once this half of Fear Street Part Three: 1666 gets going, it goes for the gold.
Everything about the Witch half of Fear Street Part Three: 1666 is just gorgeous, from the detail in the costuming and way everything’s lit to the horrific visuals that’ve been creatively put on display (The church sequence might be one of the most bone chilling images from the entire trilogy). It builds wonderfully, using this era to really hammer home the themes of bigotry having a lasting impact (surprise, that’s been a key theme this whole time!) by showing us that Sarah and Deena had a lot more in common than one might realise.
Honestly, I’ve been kind of slacking on pointing out how queer this series is, considering it’s lesbian lead characters who we’re designed to root for or the weird homoerotic undertones found in some interactions of part two (I’m not gonna be shocked about that since Sleepaway Camp was also an obvious reference there) and Fear Street Part Three: 1666 really ramps it up by providing us a direct comparison between the violence we’ve been witnessing and extreme homophobia. Throw in a whole mess of bisexual lighting throughout the second half (bisexual lighting referring to lighting where the colours match the ones on the bisexual pride flag) and you’ve got one hell of a queer film, and in horror that’s pretty special.
Once the first half is done, Fear Street Part Three: 1666 goes right back to 1992: Part 2 to help complete the full story we’ve been told so far. It’s where the series really takes everything we’ve learned to give us some glorious insanity, including a brutal villain on villain battle that includes axes, stabbings and bats being swung in all directions. It’s the kind of glorious violent insanity one would only get in a weird 90s horror and Fear Street Part Three pulls it off.
Fear Street Part Three: 1666 is the exact film that you want to see after seeing the first two parts, it completes every storyline and ties it all up in such a way that it can be absolutely satisfying… but still leave enough open so maybe they can make more of these (oh god please, I want to see Fear Street’s take on the 2000’s era torture porn). The entire trilogy is something incredible, a killer multi feature story that works either as a three separate films or as one 6 hour epic with no parts that slow down or hold back even a little. All I needed was for this part to stick the landing, and that landing was stuck perfectly… and then it stabbed the judges because, ya know, slasher movie.