I always preferred Goosebumps to Fear Street.
It was nothing against the Fear Street series in particular, I’ve always been a big R.L. Stine fan. The timing with the series just never lined up for me. I was trying to collect all the Goosebumps books and by the time I had I was already a good 400 pages into Stephen King’s IT. I missed that whole middle section of horror growing up because I went straight from the paddling pool to the deep end. By the time I was graduating high school and going through my creepy nostalgia phase, it was still the Goosebumps series I wanted to revisit, because that was what I got into as a kid.
But watching Netflix’s take on it has me wondering if I’ve been missing out on something awesome.
I want to start by saying that, whatever my preconceptions about the book series may have been, Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is not what I would consider to be family friendly horror. If the R rating didn’t tip you off, hopefully my review will. And don’t worry, the Fear Street reviews from me are all going to be spoiler free.
Without a deep passion for the source material, I may have been easier to please with this title than I am with most things. I don’t know what I was expecting exactly, but I was surprised by their commitment to not spare the audience. There was foul language. There was violence. There was a surprising amount of gore. All the things that make a slasher movie great, in my opinion.
Not that this is a slasher movie, exactly, but it does have the style of a 90’s slasher film in the best way possible. The 90’s were hit or miss for horror, but this evokes the same feelings as some of the better ones while also adding its own twists and turns into the mix.
I will say, the story was not exceptional. There were characters and decisions that I really appreciated, but there was A LOT going on. It did feel like they were setting up a trilogy rather than trying to tell a solid, stand-alone story to build off of in the other two. While they’ve been very clear with their intention that this is just a Part 1, the decision to tease the second part rather than conclude this first chapter left the ending looking very flat in comparison to the epic opening.
That being said, Part 2 is dropping on Netflix in just a few hours. And I (having finally found my screener) am going to be taking a sneak peak at that one as well.
If you haven’t checked out Part 1, I suggest you do that now. But in the meantime, this review, like the story itself, will be continued: