Cert – 18, Run-time – 1 hour 53 minutes, Director – Leigh Janiak
Deena (Kiana Madeira) finds herself transported back to 1666, witnessing the birth of the witch’s curse that haunts her town, in order to bring it to an end in 1994.
The finale to Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy ticks many of the boxes that were otherwise left blank by the previous two entries in the narrative. By throwing central character Deena (Kiana Madeira) back to 1666, the time of believed witch Sarah Fier (Madeira, with a brief turn from Elizabeth Scopel) a sense of darkness truly comes into play. Because of this the gore that’s present actually has an effect, helped by the fact that it doesn’t feel too in-your-face either. Religious fervour is strong within the settlement of Union, meaning that if discovered Sarah’s relationship with pastor’s daughter Hannah (Olivia Scott Welch) would likely lead to severe consequences for the pair. Mix that in with rapidly spread rumours of witchcraft and things soon spiral into chaos for the central figure within this particular setting in the narrative.
While Part 2 in the trilogy felt somewhat like a lengthy flashback there’s a fair deal of 1666 that feels largely relevant to the story and proves itself thanks to the reveals that it offers. While some elements could be cut down, and placed as a flashback in a shorter, largely 1994 based story, these are largely in the latter section of this part of the story. When things begin to loose steam, becoming something more rambling and slightly generic. Diluting the sense of darkness as things shift back to life in Shadyside, with Deena, brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) and curse survivor Ziggy (Gillian Jacobs) all trying to end the curse and bring Deena’s girlfriend Sam (Welch) back to normality.
The 90’s course that this final instalment takes offers what was missing from the first film; a conclusion. It finally allows for a complete feeling and ending. While the idea that this could easily be set in the modern day and doesn’t quite feel like the 90’s is once again present this doesn’t get in the way as much due to the nature in which the events pan out. There’s enough going on to carry things through and engage you that there’s never really any time to stop and think about the actual setting, especially during an extended shopping mall showdown. The second third act to the events of the first film finally arrives and thanks to the interesting reveal towards the end of the historical vision there’s a further sense of engagement. Something clearer with a more visible goal forms and allows the film to move fairly quickly, making for something more satisfying and engaging.
It’s a fine conclusion to the incomplete feeling that’s been present throughout much of the trilogy. One that makes the most of the supernatural forces that are at play – particularly when it comes to the antagonistic presence of the possessed killers who are used well in the key set-piece that culminates the plot strands that have been building up to this point. There’s plenty of amusement, and the horror elements, while different to the darker nature of the first half of the film, are used well enough, and feel less like a standard teen drama. It might have been a bumpy ride to get here – and one that could have certainly been made a fair deal shorter – but at least there’s finally a satisfying supernatural slasher conclusion to this slightly experimental horror trilogy.
Even if it gets quite rambling, the historical nature of Fear Street’s trilogy-closer finally warrants the gore thanks to its darker tone, before jumping back to the completing 1994 setting with some engaging action and a target to work towards, it’s an enjoyable finale to a generally uneven trilogy.