Review: FEAR STREET PART 3: 1666, Real World Horror Leads Final Chapter Towards Redemption
When we last left the kids of Shadyside in Part Two: 1978 Deena and Josh thought that they would lift the curse of Sarah Fier if they buried her severed hand with her body. But as we saw in the cliffhanger ending when Deena makes contact with the body she is transported back to 1666, to the founding village of Union, seeing it all through the eyes of Sarah Fier herself. Deena is about to learn the origins of the Sarah Fier curse and could put an end to it all, if she gets out alive.
Not content to be seen as an average slasher film series, the ambitious horror project transports us back in time to colonial America. Though context is probably not necessary I’m a bit of a nerd for it so if you will indulge me for a moment here. This is around the time when Europeans started settling America in the 17th century, a little bit before the Salem witch trials. Though the epicentre of witch hunting was in continental Europe, Ireland and England could not escape the fervor. I say that because these characters speak with a very, very soft Irish lilt, and the little island nations definitely did their share of hunting back then. We are going to witness real world horror on top of the supernatural horror we’ve been watching so far.
Of course there's the year, 1666. The year of Satan. The year of the Devil. The year of Beelzebub. The year of Abbadon. The year... well, you get it.
No sooner has Deena ‘arrived’ in Union than horrible events start taking place. After a night of youthful exuberance and swigs of applejack she wakes up and discovers things have begun to go horribly bad. The villagers don’t know it but the curse has overtaken the village of Union and 'The Pastor' Cyrus Miller is about to go on his killing spree, which we already know from the other chapters. It’s one of a handful of gorey moments in the film. Not unlike the second part from 1978 we are only privy to the aftermath of his violence because of who he kills. Likewise, other gross out moments feature more than a fair share of viscera left in their wake, but not a whole lot of direct action.
Further to that, a couple of bruised egos and dark secrets take over any sense of reason in the villagers; they need someone to blame for these sudden troubles. For sure it’s Satan at work here, but who is in league with the Devil? All that embarrassment and shame, all that deflection of the truth will point to Sarah Fier and Hannah Miller - previously Samantha Fraser in 1994. They will become the targets of the village’s rage, incited by some of the men in the village. Deena is going to experience Sarah Fier’s final days in Union first hand.
What director Leigh Janiak and her co-writers, Kate Trefry and Phil Graziadei, have done in this final part is combine the real world horror of the witch hunts and trials with the otherworldly and supernatural horror of the curse. These supernatural elements, combined with superstitions and the fragility of the matriarchy when facing strong and noncompliant women. are the thrust of this part of the story.
The goal of the series of films has always been to end the curse. The immediate need is to stop the curse and save Samantha. If Deena and the gang can put a stop to the curse then perhaps they can save Shadyside from further loss and tragedy. Armed with the truth about the village of Union and Sarah Fier, Deena can put an end to it all.
Here the third chapter will switch gears and pick up very quickly, moving from its somber tone back to the thrills of the supernatural slasher genre. Janiak throws her final chapter into glowing overdrive with her sights on the redemption of Shadyside. We don’t want to tell you how they do it but it’s a proper turnaround from the first part of this final chapter so that the trilogy ends on a high note. Pick yourself up, the hard part is over, at least for the audience. Deena still has to save the girl and put an end to the curse on Shadyside.
All you have to do now is enjoy the home stretch.
Fear Street 3
- Leigh Janiak
- Phil Graziadei
- Leigh Janiak
- Kate Trefry
- Kiana Madeira
- Ashley Zukerman
- Gillian Jacobs