The final chapter of Netflix’s Fear Street film series was released this past week, reaching a blood-soaked climax that saw queer couple Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Sam (Olivia Scott Welch) as the final girls no one saw coming. Traditionally speaking, LGBT characters in the horror genre tend to range from non-existent to being the first kill to being the deranged killer. Fear Street does everything in it’s power to shake up that narrative, and it’s all the better for it.
Based on the R.L. Stine book series, Fear Street included three separate movies, occurring in three different timelines, but in the same location. Part One: 1994 introduced us to Deena, her brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.), estranged girlfriend Sam, and besties Kate (Julia Rehwald) and Simon (Fred Hechinger). While the overall trilogy borrows heavily from past horror films, the first and second entries provide the best examples of this. The opening scene for 1994 is hauntingly similar to the opening scene in Scream, right down to the chase sequence. And don’t let the R.L. Stine name fool you, this ain’t no Goosebumps. The kills are some of the goriest you will see on Netflix.
Part Two: 1978 borrows heavily from the Friday the 13th and Sleepaway Camp franchises, and primarily focuses on rebellious teen Christine “Ziggy” Berman (Sadie Sink) and her counselor sister, Cindy (Emily Rudd). The second season eases up a bit on the queerness, but doesn’t lose any momentum, it actually contributes a huge chunk to the overall story of the film. Though, it can be a bit uncomfortable watching young children get massacred.
The final entry, Part Three: 1666, is actually split between the year 1666 and the conclusion of the plot line from 1994. This is the film in which we learn why people are being killed every few years in this small town. Deena is the lead protagonist of the trilogy, who doesn’t give up on saving her girlfriend from demonic possession, and tries to keep the rest of her friends and family safe. In an all too rare event, the lesbians come out on top, with Deena defeating the evil Sheriff Goode and saving Sam (and, actually, the entire town).
Overall, Fear Street is an impressive horror trilogy that takes past horror tropes and flips them on their heads. The films are sometimes predictable, but not always, especially where it counts. The survivors use their brains and their brawn to take down the bad guys. The script it chalked full of dry wit and meta commentary, and almost every single actor gives a solid performance. Truly scary, yet innovative, Fear Street is a must-see for queer horror fans.