I had almost no expectations whatsoever heading into Part Three; as One had really surprised me with its quality, while Two was far more what I had originally expected from the trilogy. Three making the leap back over three centuries to document the origins of the Shadyside curse seemed like something of a gamble, and honestly, to begin with, I couldn’t entirely decide whether or not it had paid off.
Part Three begins on an incredibly different tone to both One and Two, forced to forgo the gentle highlight of nostalgia and instead establish a new set of characters to serve as the ancestors of the series’ protagonists. Despite a slow start, 1666 builds momentum rapidly, and after an hour it’s managed to morph into something that you can’t take your eyes off – all to reveal a delightful twist that I kicked myself for not seeing sooner, then to hop back to 1994 to tie off loose ends.
The film’s final half (set once again in the mid ’90s), returns to the brilliantly neon-soaked location of Part One‘s mall massacre, having our modern-day heroes face off against the evil forces (both supernatural and mundane) that have plagued their town. Sure, it’s suspenseful, but its also tremendous fun, and it all feels organic enough to ward off the disappointment I’d braced myself for – yes, there were aspects of the film that I found to be horrendous clichés, but they were carried off with such confidence that it simply felt right.
I’ve already mentioned that the film suffers a little in its pacing to begin with, although it more than makes up for it later on, but it’s not without its other shortcomings.
While the use of the same actors makes it easier to understand who’s who and where they fit into the 1666 narrative, having a predominantly American cast ALL speak in an Irish brogue was both unwise and historically implausible. I couldn’t stop thinking about the implications of it – did the entire town come from Ireland together? Were they put there as a form of segregation? Or was it simply that the production hired a single dialect coach that instructed the entire cast to speak the same way? I guess we’ll never know.
Not only did the Irish accents spoil part of the film’s immersion, but there were numerous times in which they slipped or failed entirely, which only pushed reality farther away. It might have been easier to simply have the cast maintain their native accents – although the effort is more than commendable, and in fact, several of the actors actually carry the accent quite well.
All in all, despite a few minor flaws, Part Three made for an excellent end to the trilogy. It resolved the overall plot in a way that was both satisfying and plausible, and it all made for a singularly exciting watch.
To put it simply, the Fear Street trilogy is a must-watch for fans of the horror or slasher genres, or for any fans of YA fiction that don’t mind a little gore.
Summary: A pitch perfect conclusion to the trilogy that perfectly delivers on Stine’s signature tone – wacky, scary and fun in equal measure. It’s not without its problems, but its a good watch nonetheless.
Highlight: The slow dawning of act one’s twist was masterful, and the all-out action of the film’s second half was something like Goonies meets Home Alone meets Halloween. Also, all it lazy if you will, but the film’s ending also works brilliantly. It neatly ties up the plots of all three films in a deeply enjoyable and conclusive way, then offers a momentary hint that there might just be more Fear Street on the horizon.