Remember the time when teen slasher films like “Scream” or “I Know What You Did Last Summer” came out? It has been long ago since something would bring us back to the era when such type of genre would rule small and big screens. Now that we live in the Digital Streaming era, it’s easier to target a wider audience because, well, COVID-19; secondly, nothing can replace the comfort of our home. However, does a film like “Fear Street Part One – 1994″ deserves to be even considered for preview with friends (too bloody to be called family-friendly, unless you have no minors nearby), is the answer you will be able to find below.
Shadyside side is the name of a small city that almost has a stamp put on it as the murder capital of the United States. After another massacre takes place at the Shadyside Mall by Ryan, a seemingly nice young man turned into a murderer, the media rushed to consider it as another unfortunate event that occurs in the city which is sadly too often. But nobody knows that the series of killings will continue at a very disturbing level when an ancient evil returns in the form of deceased murderers who will stop at nothing until they take every life away being marked by a witch.
Directed by Leigh Janiak, scripted by Phil Graziadei and Janiak based on the book series by R. L. Stone, “Fear Street Part One – 1994″ is a love letter from the past with the bloom stain on it. Set in 1994, after a deadly opening sequence that will remind you a bit of “Scream”, a bookstore employee, Heather Watkins is viciously murdered by her friend Ryan, who had shown no signs previously toward his tendency of killing. As the massacre is being labeled again in the poor city of Ohio’s Shadyside, Sunnyvale, on the other hand, is a better place to live and much richer. When students from both cities meet at the vigil for mall victims, a clash between the two groups occurs in which Samantha accidentally touches the grave of the witch Sarah Fire, who is believed to have placed a curse on the town before being executed for witchcraft centuries ago.
When the lead characters, Samantha, Deena Johnson, Josh, Simon and Kate thought they have a good plan to outsmart the witch and stop the killings, things turn drastically when they realize there is no simple answer for survival. No matter what they do brings them closer to an inevitable end they must meet with courage and determination to defeat the evil at any cost. Josh, especially who knows way too well about the past killings, seems to have the perfect solution, but as they all come together for a final act, nothing will longer matter as much as their own survival.
“Fear Street Part One – 1994″ may have lots of issues with the plot, especially in the beginning. Because want it or not, you will question it more as you get to know more towards the middle of the film. It still offers guilty pleasure as you watch it. Good direction, solid acting and a suitable soundtrack make the film watchable and enjoyable at the same time. For those who like to watch gruesome killings with eyes wide open, be prepared – you will have plenty of them. As for the plot, it has an interesting but very familiar narrative whether you want it or not, will never get old. Therefore the film works on every turn, making it appeasable and entertaining. As for the main point of it, what the film proves once again is that evil never goes anywhere and never changes in time. There is always a battle between good and bad: goodness versus evil, in which, unfortunately, the good never stands a chance. But will that trend change for good in Janiak’s film is something I will leave it to you to find out.