Fear Street: Part Three – 1666 (2021) Review
“End the Curse”
Synopsis: The origins of Sarah Fier’s curse are finally revealed as history comes full circle on a night that changes the lives of Shadysiders forever.
Fear Street: Part Three – 1666 is much less of a standalone movie in its own right than Part One or Part Two of the trilogy. It would be more accurate to call it a movie and a half; the first hour or so has Deena (Kiana Madeira) reliving the origin of the witch’s curse as Sarah Fier in 1666, while the rest of the movie picks up the action back in 1994 and awkwardly winds toward a conclusion. While you could potentially get away with picking up either Part One or Part Two and watching them on their own, Part Three requires too much context to be taken off the shelf at random.
And that’s not the only challenge Part Three serves up for itself. As Deena experiences 1666, she essentially takes on the part of Sarah, and the faces of people from previous chapters in the story are superimposed over those of the Pilgrims in town. What this means practically is that many of the less-able young actors are now playing a second role in this trilogy – with accents. And since the trilogy is still trying much too hard to be woke, the kids play their second roles very modern as they go to drug-fueled sex parties in the woods, etc. There’s also the same level of inter-neighbor hostility as we see in the earlier parts, but after some of the petty nastiness of the first two movies, witch hysteria seems downright understandable and pedestrian.
Part Three’s twist felt the most R.L. Stine of anything in the trilogy. Unfortunately, it also felt very shoehorned in and required several intuitive leaps on the part of the 1994 crew. But I’ll take it, because it led to the only sequence of the three movies I actually found entertaining: the showdown. Without revealing too much, it takes place in a closed mall, includes a clever use of props, and is SO NEON, GUYS. SO, SO NEON. The showdown didn’t include surprises by any means, but it was cute and kept me occupied and prevented Gillian Jacobs from having to act too much.
After closing out the trilogy, I have more questions than answers – but they’re all questions for the production team. Why set up three movies with no singular rewatch value? Why hire someone to play the “real” Sarah Fier (Elizabeth Scopel) and then not allow her to play the role throughout, even though she’s the better actress? What the hell was up with the soundtrack, and the camerawork?
Netflix tried hard to hype these up, but even if they hadn’t, the trilogy would have been a letdown. There just isn’t enough here, and what is here is too uneven. There are flashes of potential throughout, but overall, this was a big disappointment. If you’re still on the fence about Fear Street, there are better ways to spend your time.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: C-