Illustration from the article titled Fear Street Has the Warm Fuzzies for Teens Getting Hacked Up

Photo: Netflix

Forward by Leigh Janiak Street of Fear Part 1: 1994 (which debuts Friday on Netflix), stop by any random scene, and you’ll inevitably find a reference if you have even a rudimentary knowledge of recent horror movie history. Sometimes you don’t even need them, the characters tend to call them out for you. Stumble upon the old grave bones of a deranged spirit? Classic Fighting spirit move. Spilled blood that turned one into monster bait? This is Jaws, baby. There are echoes of Halloweenthe beleaguered babysitters, Halloween 2in a hospital environment, and Friday 13the chaos that kills the camp (although this one will play out more explicitly in Street of Fear Part 2: 1978, which falls next week).

Reminding Scream, there is a similar thrill running through the Fear street characters about their closeness to the murders (“This guy was wearing a Halloween skull mask. How is that not fun?” asks a Fear street character of a murder). And over and over again in a movie that’s more inclined to contextualize itself alongside genre favorites rather than altering form or enhancing the classics it references. He lays down a few lines in order to make the vintage relevant (the neon store signs in a dark mall that is the site of the film’s first murder give the picture the kind of neon teenage aesthetic as seen in spring breakers, Euphoria, etc.). But none of this is particularly elaborate. I have the impression of watching Street of Fear Part 1: 1994 that he’s just happy to be here. His joy is contagious.

Street of Fear Part 1: 1994 ‘Protagonist Deena (Kiana Madeira) is gay with no pathos – she’s heartbroken following a breakup with Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), but she and the various racial peers she interacts with are optimistic about her sexuality. . This is not a problem; Fear street is not interested in complying with progressive Twitter. It would be extraordinary and worthy of commentary back in 1994 when the movie was shot, but it plays out well from a contemporary viewer’s point of view, a makeup scene and everything in between. The plot contains light comments about the prison system, as well as the idea that drug trafficking doesn’t make someone mean (Deena’s friend Kate, played by Julia Rehwald, is a promotion major. , club president, cheerleader, pill pusher, and decidedly not one of the movie monsters).

Street of Fear Part 1: 1994The most notable social concern of s is the class struggle – the town of Shadyside, as it emerged from the RL Stine young adult book series this film adapts, is economically depressed and – worse yet – a capital city. of murder. “It’s not a tragedy when this happens every week. It’s a joke, ”says a bully from the pretty neighboring town of Sunnyvale. But this joke is no longer fun for the ailing residents of Shadyside. “It happens to Shadyside over and over again. People keep becoming psychopaths, ”says one character. It turns out the reason is the curse of an old witch named Sarah Fier (pronounced “scared”), who has effectively summoned a legion of unkillable killers to avenge her blaze. The characters of Street of Fear Part 1: 1994 face not a single central monster, but several. The film evokes the idea that the classroom can be a curse.

Our heroes are lively without being obnoxious. They are particularly adept at uncovering the inexplicable supernatural phenomena that plague them, primarily through knowledge of the local history of Deena’s “wizarding” brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.). As their phantom antagonists multiply, their strategy intensifies and they rush from the grave to the empty high school to the after-hours grocery store. This latter location allows for the most innovative and bloodthirsty death scene in the film. I have never seen a bread slicer do this before.

The violence is brutal, but the shots do not linger. Sex is implied. The dialogues don’t back down from the “fucks”, but they don’t dominate the script either. All together, Street of Fear Part 1: 1994 has a soft-R nature. He doesn’t fire any punches, but he doesn’t pull a brass knuckle either.

Things move at such a rate that the athletic pace seems as vital to the fun as the story itself, which is ultimately another way of putting teens at risk, this time told via sensory bombardment. In the heart, Street of Fear Part 1: 1994 is just a slasher movie. The acting is more natural than you might expect in the genre, the jokes are often drier, and the monsters are more plentiful, but it is all ornamental. The movie doesn’t try to be something it’s not, it just tries to wrap as much as it can to do what it’s genuinely appealing. It’s not a radical idea, and yet what a breath of fresh air.

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