'Fear Street Part 3: 1666' Will Give You Goosebumps — but Not Just Because of the Horror Directed by Leigh Janiak

Starring Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Ashley Zukerman, Benjamin Flores Jr., Gillian Jacobs
'Fear Street Part 3: 1666' Will Give You Goosebumps — but Not Just Because of the Horror Directed by Leigh Janiak
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The first two films in the Fear Street Trilogy (1994 and 1978) were blood-soaked retro slashers — but the final chapter of this R.L. Stine adaptation, Fear Street Part 3: 1666, tones down the gore while upping the emotional stakes, making for a slightly flawed but very satisfying end to the series.

This folk horror story flashes back to the colonial settlement where the curse of Sarah Fier began — the twist being that 1994 star Deena (Kiana Madeira) appears in the role of Fier, with various other actors from the series filling out the supporting roles in the village. Even in the 1600s, teens will be teens, and there's drug-taking, partying and a surprisingly intense sex scene.

The actors' pseudo-Irish colonial accents are shaky at best, but Part 3 carries a little more emotional heft than the others. After Sarah Fier and friend Hannah Miller (Olivia Scott Welch) are caught having sex — an encounter featuring the same actors from the first film — there's a literal witch hunt that's far scarier than any of the supernatural stabbings from the earlier films.

The second half of Part 3 takes us, ahem, back to the future, as the 1994 gang get to the bottom of the curse and go about undoing it. The exact mechanics of how to kill (or deprogram) the demonically possessed monsters is a little unclear, but the revelations about the centuries old curse are more clever than expected.

It puts a nice bow on the remarkably consistent trilogy, and the end leaves things open to further sequels. It almost feels like the season finale of a TV show, rather than a traditional movie — and while many shows take a while to find their footing, Fear Street has been a bloody good time. (Netflix)