Fear Street Part 1: 1994 Movie Review & Summary – An Incredible Beginning to the Fear Street Trilogy

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Video Source – Netflix (Netflix YouTube Channel)

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is the first movie in the Fear Street Trilogy. It is based on the works of R.L. Stine and the entire trilogy is directed by the insanely talented, Leigh Janiak.

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 Movie Cast

  • Kiana Madeira as Deena
  • Olivia Scott Welch as Samantha
  • Benjamin Flores Jr. as Josh 
  • Julia Rehwald as Kate
  • Maya Hawke as Heather

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 Movie Plot

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is based in the little, shady town of Shadyside. This town is inhabited by killers and they are onto the one who disturbed The Witches grave. And so this group of friends make it their mission to stop them from killing her, by bringing them to her. 

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 Movie Review

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is everything I ever wanted from an R-Rated, blood and guts filled, movie adaption based on the works of R.L Stine. It has gore, red and blue hues of a good slasher thriller, some amazing soundtrack choices and it is packed to the brim with fun and sheer unpredictability.

It makes you scream at the wildest of scenes and it even excels in the parts I never expected it would, like the romantic relationships and a really inspired take on queer romance during a difficult time. The thing is, going deep into the film will probably force me to come face to face with the fact that Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is not without its idiosyncrasies. But it delivers what it sells and I am thrilled that it finally came to life in this form. 

So this is part one of the Fear Street trilogy and the plot here is quite simple really. Shadyside is home to maniac killers. It all starts in the Shadyside mall when Heather (Played by Maya Hawke) gets brutally stabbed and killed by Ryan Torres (Played by David W. Thompson). This Ryan Torres chases her through the mall in a spooky skeleton outfit with a long ass knife in his hands, and the entire beginning lays the terrifying groundwork for what we see next.

Sunnyvale and Shadyside are two adjacent and both these towns have students who are willing to go at war with each other. The killings in Shadyside have become a regular occurrence and every now and then, there’s a different memorial for a different victim and nothing really changes.

The myths are all over the place with the most prominent one being that The Witch possesses people into doing her biddings. They are incredibly exciting and intriguing to hear, but they are mere stories, nothing more than that. Deena (Played by Kiana Madeira) is yet another resident of the hellhole that is Shadyside, and her biggest despair in her life is her brutal breakup with Samantha (Played by Olivia Scott Welch).

Through a series of events followed by a car crash, Deena and Samantha cross paths again, and this time, it’s against The Witch whose grave they have disturbed. With Kate (Played by Julia Rehwald), Josh (Played by Benjamin Flores Jr.) and Simon (Played by Fred Hechinger), they embark on this bloody journey of running away from the psycho killers, and then luring those psycho killers back to them. 

'Fear Street Part 1: 1994' Movie Review and Summary

‘Fear Street Part 1: 1994’ Movie: A Breath-Taking Style Which Induces Nostalgia

Fear Street Part 1: 1994, has all the nostalgia and subtle noir going for it. In its first five minutes itself, it makes the tone and the direction of the story crystal clear. And it’s anything but light. When I first came to know about the making of this Trilogy, the one thing I expected them to deliver on was the brutality that is present in the work of R.L. Stine and I had a sadistic grin on my face throughout the runtime, so they more than delivered on that. It really brings out the atmosphere of Shadyside, with it’s incredibly eerie cinematography, vivid use of colours, clichéd but engaging character arcs and the lore behind the killings.

The decision to make this a trilogy is really a great move on their part, as they get to flesh out the lore in the most bitch black manner, and rushing that story would have only made it devoid of character. The killings in Fear Street Part 1: 1994 are nothing out of the world, like eyeballs popping out or some weird Final Destination thing. What makes it feel brutal is how realistic it is.

One moment you see a character who has almost gotten away from the clutches of death, you sense a plot Armor coming and in your heart you feel that the movie is not going to take the extreme direction and kill her right there. Yet in the next frame, it does exactly that, and you just sit there without a voice left to express your emotions. I adored how it aspires to make Slasher movies unpredictable again. Consequential characters really do die and it just heightened my investment so much more. 

‘Fear Street Part 1: 1994’ Movie: New Killer, New Personality

This reinvention of slasher thrillers has some varied range of antagonists, all controlled by that one Witch. These killers have personality to them and each one has a different lore, which surely is going to be explained in the further movies. But to begin with, Ruby Lane and her backstory is brought up a lot and it’s just so fascinating how these killers differ in their personality.

Ruby is all the more laid back and sinister whereas someone like Ryan Torres is fast and, well, sinister too. And each of these killers steal the show according to me, but my favorite has to be the Man with the axe, The shots where he chases Samantha through the dark and empty hallways and how he tries to bash the door with his axe felt very reminiscent of The Shining. Not in a copied way, but in a more inspired way.

The song choices somehow bring back the nostalgia as well as fit the scenes perfectly which is rare. Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is self-aware, and it also uses its narrative to bring out the issues of queer love in a backward town in the 90s. It reminds us of the fact that even with dead killers on the loose, these people are still human and their feelings towards each other are explored in an organic manner.

Although I didn’t quite get the relationship of Kate and Josh, maybe that was just to break another stereotype but it felt sudden. Apart from that, the performances in this instalment are really great too. And the dialogues frequently play off of the situations that these characters are in. 

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is truly an experience which transports one back to the time where slasher films were the peak of horror and this first movie in the trilogy not only aspires to reach those levels, but on some level it does. If you were to consider this as a three-episode miniseries, which I guess it technically is considering how it is releasing in a weekly manner, this pilot will scare your guts, make you giggle and then soon wipe off that smile again. 

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is the beginning of this incredible, brutal franchise which sets up all the pieces in a glorious manner. Each shot is beautiful to look at, whether it’s a girl with neon lights washing her face or whether it’s that same girl getting killed by a skeleton outfit killer.

It has a sense of unpredictability to it and it also packs a deep lore which makes me all the more optimistic about Fear Street Part Two: 1978 and Fear Street Part Three: 1666. Fear Street Part 1: 1994 will premiere on Netflix on 2nd of July 2021.