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Movie Review- Fear Street Part 3: 1666 (2021)

The Fear Street film trilogy reaches an epic climax with the final instalment, Fear Street Part 3: 1666, that plumbs the origins of the life-destroying curse that affects Shadyside, entwining both past and present.

Following her attempts to end the carnage in the second film, Deena (Madeira) finds herself hurled back in time to puritanical Shadyside, and in the body of young Sarah Fier herself. The film explores the misfortunes dealt out to the town via the relationship between Sarah, who is persecuted for daring to be different in an enclosed community and unjustly accused of witchcraft and Solomon Goode (also played by Ashley Zukerman), Nick Goode’s ancient ancestor.

This chapter is uniquely unsettling, far removed from the prior comforts of modernity in the harsh, agrarian landscape of early America, recalling Robert Eggers’ modern horror classic The Witch (2016). Yet it is also vaguely familiar, recasting actors from the previous two films, such as Sadie Sink, Olivia Scott Welsh, Benjamin Flores and Fred Hechinger in new roles, a la Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story. The first half of the film is grim, terse and atmospheric. However, it does this too well, as the complete tonal shift of the second half back to Deena and co. is enough to cause viewers whiplash. The second half, with the main characters evading the undead killers with Home Alone-style shenanigans, including water pistols and hooked-up buckets, is glib and childish. It also does a good job at sympathizing the dreaded Sarah Fier, showing her to be as much a victim of the curse as the killers and their victims. Ashley Zukerman in particular shines in his dual role as Nick Goode and his ancestor, playing them both as completely unique individuals, united by a familial malevolence. Darrel Britt-Gibson offers some levity to the grimness through his minor role as Martin, serving as an avatar for the audience in his disbelieving reactions to the horrors around him. It also continues to be one of the most diverse horror films, completely dismantling tiresome cliches through Deena and Sam’s relationship.

Overall, Fear Street Part 3: 1666 maintains the high quality established by its predecessors, serving as a satisfying and chilling grand finale to the the trilogy.

9/10

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