An R.L. Stine Enthusiast’s Recap of the Fear Street Trilogy

Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy ended with Fear Street Part Three: 1666, and it has been a fun ride, where we watched Deena (Kiana Madeira) and her brother, Josh (Benjamin Flores) try hard to find out the mystery behind the Shadyside killers. The trilogy covers three timelines; 1994, 1978 and 1666. In our review of Fear Street: 1994, two things that standout are the alluring opening scene and the horrifying killings that fill the first entry, which should definitely attract fans of R.L. Stine or horror movies. Fear Street: 1994 wasn’t a spectacular watch and if you aren’t interested in the gory scenes or 90’s, knowing whatever anger Sarah Fier has against this small town is enough reason to watch. So, with the series of misfortune that terrorized the town in the first part, the two sequels give answers to questions like; what caused the bitter rivalry between Shadyside and Sunnyvale? Is it all part of Sarah Fier’s curse? And why inflict so much suffering on people who had nothing to do with whatever feud happened three hundred years ago? 

Camp Nightwing entrance. Via Netflix

The second entry, Fear Street: 1978, takes a trip back in time to a macabre summer at Camp Nightwing–– a new abode for the Shadyside killers that permeates the first part. In this part, the story is seen through the eyes of a lady that survived the Sarah Fier curse, as Deena and her brother rushed over to her when they realized that their ordeal was far from over. As Deena struggles to save her girlfriend, Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), from the grips of possession, 1978 takes us back to Camp Nightwing, where the storyteller herself, Ziggy (Sadie Sink) and her sister, Cindy (Emily Rudd), fight against the killers that originated from the grudge of Sarah Fier. However, the two sisters come close to solving the puzzle but never crack the case. In Fear Street: 1978, we only see more victims of the curse but not the root of the century’s old curse. 

The final installment of the Netflix horror series, Fear Street: 1666, takes us back to an earlier period, to the village of the Shadyside witch, Sarah Fier. In this third entry, most of the characters from the previous two series are present, which denotes that some of these characters from the first and second part are reincarnations from 1666. Deena plays the role of Sarah Fier and her girlfriend, Sam is once again her lover in 1666; Deena’s brother, Josh reprises the same role and Ashley Zuckerman who played the role of Sheriff Goode is back in 1666 as Solomon, a man struggling to make a life for himself. The final installment reveals the true origin of the curse and how Sarah, like many other witches depicted in most movies are wrongfully accused. As Deena catches a glimpse of the past life of Sarah Fier, the true culprit is revealed to her and the movie jumps back to the beginning, 1994. The rest of the movie revolves around how Deena, her brother and the survival of Camp Nightwing, Ziggy, hope to put an end to the Shadyside curse.  

Streaming on Netflix:

The Fear Street trilogy is not a direct adaptation of any of R.L. Stine books, but it takes its inspiration from the many young adult horror stories written by the author. I am a fan of R.L. Stine, so I couldn’t help but watch this movie, having in mind the sort of books that the author writes. It is like the director, Leigh Janiak, reinvented a new movie right from the crumbs that R.L. Stine left. She used some of the common names used in Fear Street books, like ‘Shadyside’ and ‘Fier’. Also, she conveyed the author’s style and mood in the smartest way possible. Even while using the common terms and style, she embedded new terms (like ‘sunnyvale’) and twists to make it fresh and unique. In this way, there are some similarities in the trilogy that coincide with R.L. Stine books while some are just new additions to give the movie a darker direction. 

Trilogy poster. Via Netflix.

What is Similar in the Fear Street Trilogy and R.L. Stine Books

  • The gory and violent scenes in the trilogy are a close call to the grisly murders depicted in R.L. Stine Fear Street books.
  • The use of Shadyside town: In all Fear Street books written by the young adult horror writer, the fictional town is used in all of the author’s books. Just like it is depicted in Netflix’s horror trilogy, Shadyside town is home to a series of murders in the book.
  • The Goode Family: The members of the family are one of the main characters in a trilogy written by R.L. Stine; “The Betrayal”, “The Secret” and “The Burning”. The Goodes  are depicted as a family that has a score to settle with the Fier family.
  • Sarah Fier: The Fier name is a common name in the Fear Street books written by R.L. Stine. As depicted in these books, the Fier name is cursed and the execration transcends over many generations. This is a curse that made the family change their name from ‘Fier’ to ‘Fear’, not knowing a curse goes beyond bearing another name. One thing is similar enough in the Fear Street books and the movie— wherever there is a Fier family, carnage is sure to grow. 
  • Twisted Endings: The reveal and the shock that comes with knowing the culprits in R.L. Stine books are one of the reasons why many adult readers are attracted to the young adult writer’s books. This is a similar precedent used in the Fear Street trilogy.

What is Different in the Fear Street Trilogy and R.L. Stine Books?

  • Sunnyvale Town: This fictional town and archrival of Shadyside town is not present in any of R.L. Stine books. 
  • The Goode family is presented as devious characters in the latter part of the Fear Street trilogy. 
  • A Fier is presented as a character that fights against all odds to reveal the villain in the movie adaptation. While the Fiers are not really depicted in that sense in the Fear Street books, the director takes a more shocking turn to awe viewers with the villain’s identity.

These are just the few similarities and differences I noticed while watching the Fear Street trilogy. For fans of R.L. Stine books, there might just be more that I missed and it would be nice if you add yours to the comment section.

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