While Sunnyvale is a very peaceful place where people are happy and content, murders are not really uncommon in neighboring Shadyside. The surprise is therefore limited when, of all places, a previously inconspicuous young man staged a massacre in a shopping center. When young people from both cities come together at a mourning event for the victims, this leads to a heated argument. Much worse, however, are other events that occur a short time later. Again and again Deena (Kiana Madeira) and their friends haunted by strange people who are obviously after their lives. Whether it has something to do with the witch from the legends, which Deena’s ex-girlfriend Sam (Olivia Scott Welch) want to see?
The business of nostalgia
More than 400 million books sold, you have to manage that first. It is all the more surprising that R. L. Stine so little has been considered in film and television. While the similarly successful Stephen King provided the template for countless works, the yield from Stine, who specializes in a younger audience, is quite low. In the cinema area there was with goose bumps (2015) and the sequel just made a noteworthy attempt to profit from its popularity. Well undertakes Netflix your own attempt to use this loophole for yourself. No less than three films, which are based on the book series launched in 1989 Fear Street based, should scare the audience and bring the video-on-demand provider huge audience numbers.
And so that it works, the decision was made at Fear Street – Part 1: 1994to rely heavily on a nostalgic factor. This is not unusual at first, in recent years many have recognized that references to the good old days can make a lot of money. Title like Stranger Things or It is did it, many others followed suit. But here you go a whole step further. When a new old song is played every few seconds at the beginning of the film in order to conjure us back almost 30 years into the past, then that’s pretty clumsy, downright annoyingly intrusive. It’s also sloppily researched when it includes titles like Only Happy When it Rains or Killing Me Softly that appeared after 1994. If you are ingratiated yourself, then that should be consistent in itself.
Problems with balance
General is doing Fear Street – Part 1: 1994 a little difficult at first to actually get going. While the prelude to the murderer who sneaks through the department store has become quite atmospheric, the stories about the young protagonists are boring. The contrast between Sunnyvale and Shadyside is more promising, but is rarely used. We only owe him the scene in which the two sides throw everything at each other’s heads. It’s exhausting, just like many of the characters here are exhausting. Where other of these nostalgic youth trips add value to the story with a nice group dynamic, your own sympathy is limited here.
It gets interesting when the director and co-writer Leigh Janiak brings the conversation back to the witch and the initially quite ordinary slasher gets a supernatural touch. The history of Fear Street – Part 1: 1994 hits several hooks. Even a genre-savvy audience will not be able to predict all developments here. At the same time, this can look forward to numerous references to or bows to the horror story. Even without the intrusive music at the beginning, the film means a trip back in time. If you count yourself to the target group, the chances are not bad that a smile or two will creep on your face from time to time.
Despite a good story, not a highlight
But it wasn’t enough for a real genre highlight. Even if the story has its charm and even becomes unexpectedly malicious towards the end, there is already too much idle in between. Fear Street – Part 1: 1994 will never be as exciting as you would expect from a horror film. That’s enough for a solid film, you can pass your time with it. The idea of a trilogy – the second part 1978 starts a week later – is also attractive and makes you curious about what could come next. One can only hope that the strengths of the first film will find more attention there than the various weaknesses and that there will be more focus on the story as such.
OT: „Fear Street Part One: 1994“
Director: Leigh Janiak
Script: Leigh Janiak, Phil Graziadei
Template: R. L. Stine
Music: Marco Beltrami, Marcus Trumpp
Camera: Caleb Heymann
Occupation: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Fred Hechinger, Ashley Zukerman, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Maya Hawke, Jordana Spiro, Jordyn DiNatale
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