Fear Street Part Three: 1666
|Fear Street: Part Three: 1666|
|Directed by||Leigh Janiak|
|Based on||Fear Street|
by R. L. Stine
|Edited by||Rachel Goodlett Katz|
Fear Street Part Three: 1666 is a 2021 American teen supernatural horror film directed by Leigh Janiak, who co-wrote the screenplay with Phil Graziadei and Kate Trefry. Based on the book series of the same name by R. L. Stine, it is the final installment of the Fear Street trilogy after Part One: 1994 and Part Two: 1978 and stars Kiana Madeira, Ashley Zukerman, Gillian Jacobs, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., and Darrell Britt-Gibson. The film follows the origins of Shadyside's curse in the mid-17th century and the survivors in 1994 who try to put an end to it.
Produced by Chernin Entertainment, a film adaptation of Fear Street began development at 20th Century Fox in 2015, with Janiak hired in 2017. Filming for the trilogy took place back-to-back from March to September 2019 in Georgia, with the intention of a theatrical release in June 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney, Chernin Entertainment ended their distribution deal with 20th Century Studios and sold rights to Netflix in August 2020.
Fear Street Part Three: 1666 premiered at the Los Angeles State Historic Park on July 14, 2021 and was released by Netflix on July 16, 2021. It received generally positive reviews from critics, who described the film as an effective conclusion to the trilogy.
After reuniting the severed hand of Sarah Fier with the rest of her corpse, Deena has a vision showing the events of 1666 from the perspective of Sarah Fier herself. She lives with her father George and brother Henry in Union, the original settlement before it was divided into Sunnyvale and Shadyside. The community also includes Pastor Cyrus Miller, his daughter Hannah, Abigail and her sister Constance, Mad Thomas, Caleb, Sarah's friends Lizzie and Isaac, Solomon Goode, and Solomon's brother Elijah.
One night, Sarah, Lizzie, and Hannah meet a reclusive widow to gather potent berries for a party, where Sarah stumbles on a book of black magic. After fleeing, the group arrives at the party where Sarah and Hannah are harassed by Caleb as they reject his advances. The two run off and get intimate, unknowingly seen by Mad Thomas. The next day, Pastor Miller begins to act strange, as the town's food and water supply are destroyed. Sarah confides in Solomon and wonders if she is responsible for the town's bad luck. The two discover Pastor Miller has murdered a dozen children in the chapel, including Henry and Constance. Sarah is nearly murdered by Pastor Miller before he is killed by Solomon. That night, a town meeting is held at which the townspeople decide that witchcraft is the cause of the events, and Caleb claims that Sarah and Hannah are the witches responsible. The two attempt to flee, but Hannah is captured while Sarah escapes, as the town declares that Hannah will be executed at dawn.
Sarah sneaks into the chapel where Hannah is confined and the two profess their love. Sarah decides to retrieve the widow's book and use it to make a deal with the devil and save Hannah, but she finds the book gone and the widow murdered. She flees to Solomon's house for help and hides in the backroom after he is ambushed by men hunting Sarah. While hiding, she finds tunnels under his house, discovering a ritual as well as the widow's book. Solomon reveals he took the book to make a deal with the devil, offering Pastor Miller to be possessed to kill others in exchange for power and wealth. He offers to share it with her, but Sarah rejects his offer and flees into the tunnels. He catches her and the two fight, with her hand cut off in the ensuing struggle. She escapes to the chapel but is found by the townspeople and arrested. At Sarah and Hannah's execution, Sarah convinces the town to spare Hannah's life by saying that she made a deal with the devil and bewitched Hannah into loving her and swears vengeance to Solomon before she is hanged. Later, Lizzie, Issac, Hannah, and Abigail grieve Sarah and properly bury her body.
1994: Part 2
As Deena's vision ends, she realizes that the Goode family is responsible for the Shadyside curse, as the firstborn of each generation repeat the ritual begun by their ancestor Solomon. She and Josh are found by Sheriff Nick Goode, but the two manage to escape in Nick's car and arrive at Ziggy's house, where Ziggy is still watching a possessed Sam. The trio deduces they must kill Nick in order to stop the Shadyside curse. After they recruit the help of Martin, the mall janitor, the group concocts a plan to lure Nick to the mall and set traps to have the Shadyside murderers kill him.
The group manages to temporarily trap the killers and Ziggy lures Nick to the center of the mall, where she pours a bucket of Deena's blood over him, causing the killers to attack him. However, Nick manages to escape into the tunnels. Deena and a possessed Sam to follow him while the others fight off the killers. Sam attacks Deena, but she is able to break Sam out of her possession temporarily before incapacitating her. Nick pins Deena down and nearly kills her, but Deena is able to expose Nick to the pile of beating organs, which gives him a vision of all of his killers' victims. Deena kills him by stabbing him in the eye, causing the killers to disappear and the curse to be broken. Later, the Mayor denies involvement with his brother's action to cover his track. Martin finds a career selling technology, Josh meets his online friend in person, Ziggy reunites with Mrs. Lane, and Deena and Sam resume their relationship, having a picnic date at Sarah Fier's grave.
In the mid-credits scene, an unknown person takes the widow's satanic book from the tunnels to redo what the Goode has done for selfish reasons, starting the Simple Exchange ritual all over again.
- Kiana Madeira as Sarah Fier / Deena
- Elizabeth Scopel as "Real" Sarah Fier
- Ashley Zukerman as Solomon Goode / Nick Goode
- Ted Sutherland as Young Nick Goode
- Gillian Jacobs as Adult Ziggy / C. Berman
- Sadie Sink as Constance / Ziggy Berman
- Olivia Scott Welch as Hannah Miller / Samantha Fraser
- Benjamin Flores Jr. as Henry / Josh
- Darrell Britt-Gibson as Martin
- Fred Hechinger as Isaac / Simon
- Julia Rehwald as Lizzie / Kate
- Emily Rudd as Abigail / Cindy Berman
- McCabe Slye as Mad Thomas / Tommy Slater
- Jordana Spiro as The Widow / Mrs. Lane
- Jordyn DiNatale as Ruby Lane
- Jeremy Ford as Caleb / Peter
- Randy Havens as George Fier
- Matthew Zuk as Elijah Goode / Mayor Will Goode
- Lacey Camp as Grace Miller / Mrs. Fraser
- Charlene Amoia as Beth Kimball / Rachel Thompson
- Mark Ashworth as Jakob Berman
- Ryan Simpkins as Alice
- Emily Brobst as Billy Barker
On October 9, 2015, it was announced a film adaptation based on Stine's Fear Street book series was being developed by 20th Century Studios (then known as 20th Century Fox before its acquisition by Disney) and Chernin Entertainment. On February 13, 2017, Kyle Killen was hired to write the script for the film. In July, the project was announced as a trilogy, with Janiak set to direct and rewrite the scripts with her partner Phil Graziadei. The films would be set in different time periods and shot back-to-back, with the intention of releasing them one month apart.
In March 2019, filming began on the first film in Atlanta and East Point, Georgia. Production also took place at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge in August 2019. Filming on the trilogy wrapped in September 2019.
The first film of the trilogy was scheduled to be released theatrically in June 2020, but was pulled from the schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, Chernin Entertainment ended their distribution deal with 20th Century Studios and made a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix. By August 2020, Netflix had acquired the distribution rights to the Fear Street Trilogy with a mid-2021 release date strategy for all three movies.
Fear Street Part Three: 1666 premiered at the Los Angeles State Historic Park on July 14, 2021. The first two films were released on July 2 and July 9, respectively, with the third film following on July 16, 2021.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 90% based on 93 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The website's critics consensus states, "Fear Street Part Three: 1666 sends the slasher series back in time for a trilogy-concluding installment that caps things off on a screaming high note." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 68 out of 100 based on 15 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Natalia Winkelman, in her review of the Fear Street trilogy for The New York Times, wrote, "Here, there is less to propel the action, and lacking in pop artifacts, lingo or fashion trends, Janiak struggles to recreate the fizzy and fun tone she achieved in the earlier movies," but added: "by Part Three, you feel safe following these survivors wherever they go." Clarisse Loughrey of The Independent gave the film a score of 3 out of five stars, writing that "even though Part Three is the weakest of the trilogy, director Leigh Janiak still manages to end on a high," and described it as "a thrilling finale that Janiak doses once more in old-school gore and deliciously garish neon." Donald Clarke, in his review of the Fear Street trilogy for The Irish Times, wrote that the film "owes more to The Crucible than it does to any American shocker", and stated: "Though the decision to have the puritan settlers speak in largely terrible Irish accents defies all reason, the closing section ties up some ends in a satisfactory whirl of implausibly well-scrubbed colonial paranoia."
Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com gave the film a score of 3 stars out of 4, describing it as a "triumphant finale" and writing, "Executed with the confidence of a victory lap, the last hour of 1666 is a series highlight, especially as it captures the brand of out-and-out fun that has made Janiak a newly minted crowd-pleaser in horror." Benjamin Lee of The Guardian gave the film a score of 4 stars out of 5, describing it as "The Crucible meets The Witch meets It meets It Follows meets the trilogy's ultimate overarching influence Scooby-Doo," and called it "a rousing finale to a winning new franchise." He concluded, "Janiak has found a way to add new life to old material, gifting us with the rare horror franchise that makes us want more rather than less, the prospect of an expanded universe seeming less like a curse and more of a blessing."
Lovia Gyarkye of The Hollywood Reporter described the film as "bloated" and stated that it "perfunctorily ties up the narrative loose ends with little finesse or energy — a shame because the earlier two entries, chock-full of pop culture references and subversive thematic underpinnings, had immense potential." She concluded, "by the end of Fear Street Part 3, when the mystery had been solved and justice ostensibly served, I was more relieved than anything else." Barry Hertz of The Globe and Mail wrote, "In Part Three, [Leigh Janiak] falls prey to the same problem as Part Two: her well-funded take on the work of folk-horror icons like Ken Russell, Piers Haggard and Mario Bava (with a big tip of the hat to contemporaries like Robert Eggers) is too safe, too slick, too far from gonzo." Inkoo Kang, in her review of the Fear Street trilogy for The Washington Post, wrote: "the trilogy’s final scenes, which bring the action back to 1994, feel more like an iteration of Home Alone, with mindless stabbers taking the place of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. Those two might not have had any brains, either, but at least they had some personality."
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