Spoiler-Free Review of “Fear Street Part 1: 1994” on Netflix: 90’s Slasher Nostalgia

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“It began as a prank and ended in murder…”

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is a supernatural slasher film that premiered on July 2nd 2021 on Netflix. It is the first entry to the trilogy which will take place over the next three weeks. The film stars Olivia Welch, Kiana Madeira, Benjamin Flores Jr. and Maya Hawke. It runs for approximately an hour and forty-five minutes.

Inspired by the R.L. Stine book series, the first film follows a group of teens in the town of Shadyside as they face off against a supernatural presence that threatens to wreak havoc on their town.

Here is the trailer:

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 turns back time and reels us in with some iconic 90’s slasher nostalgia along with a killer soundtrack, but does it do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Netflix

Don’t f*** with the original.

The opening of this film was really strong. It helped having Stranger Things fan favorite, Maya Hawke lighting up the screen in a B.Dalton bookstore, which brought back so many memories. This film definitely channeled Scream and even gave me some Blair Witch vibes as well, but it did it in a clever way. It didn’t feel like a cheesy rip-off. It felt like a tribute to some iconic 90’s horror and I hope this also helps introduce a younger audience to some of these great films.

It still pains me to hear things like “oh I didn’t know the Scream show was based on a movie.” (This really happened by the way).

Images courtesy of Netflix

90’s dream.

Remember when people used to actually call one another? I thought this time jump back to the 90’s was a lot of fun. Similar to shows like Little Fire Everywhere and Cruel Summer, Fear Street is jumping on the bandwagon and they delivered in a lot of ways.

I thought the soundtrack was amazing and the throwbacks were a lot of fun, but I thought the fashion could have used some work. Other than the opening scene, I didn’t see any real iconic pieces of 90’s fashion thrown into the mix.

In a lot of ways, this time jumping theme for Fear Street is kind of reminding me of American Horror Story: 1984 and in a good way. Both of these entries understood the time period and the movies they were channeling, but they also did a good job of creating something on their own.

I’m interested to see how they will approach the next era in the second film. Bring it on!

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Netflix

Where’s the chemistry?

This film earned a R rating and stepped away from Goosebumps. I’m all for a group of kids or teens facing off against an unspeakable horror, but I need to actually care about the characters. Fear Street needed to take a lesson from Stranger Things and even the new IT film. The chemistry and humor between the characters was lacking here.

There were a lot of scenes where we witnessed some melodrama that didn’t really translate well. I won’t call it Riverdale-esque because I actually like Riverdale, but it felt empty and uninspiring.

I loved Olivia Welch in Panic and all of the actors put forth a valiant effort, but I needed more. There were some moments sprinkled in, but I think any major character layers were glossed over and as much as I appreciated the LGBTQ relationship at the core, we needed more development to truly care about these characters.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in!

The film had a really strong opening and ending. It did enough at the end of the movie to reel me in for more and I’m anxious to see the other two parts connect with everything. Overall, this was an entertaining watch and I think as long as you manage your expectations and power through the unnecessary teen melodrama, you will enjoy the watch. Besides, you can always just tune them out and focus on the amazing soundtrack!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Fear Street Part 1: 1994 in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

A HALLOWEEN THEY’LL NEVER FORGET…

When former friends, Shay and Adriana team up to participate in a Halloween scavenger hunt with a cash prize, they temporarily put their differences aside to outsmart their opponents. However, they soon start to realize that a dangerous threat is playing their own version of the game, stalking them during each hunt.

Winning is now a necessity as their lives are at stake. As old wounds and memories re-surface, Shay and Adriana attempt to unmask the threat before the night is over, but soon learn that Scream Hunt is not done with them just yet…

My new young adult horror thriller comes out October 7th 2021! I hope you enjoy!

Scream Hunt is available here!

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My performance of the week ending 7/13/19 on TV goes to…

“I make my own rules!”  You ladies absolutely do and that’s why I can’t just narrow it down to one standalone performance this week.  Let’s give it up for the amazing ladies of Stranger Things season 3 on Netflix.  In my favorite season yet, the girls pretty much stole the show.  They had me laughing, crying, and rooting for them against all odds.  These powerful and impressive female characters refused to sit on the sidelines, as they kicked ass and had fun doing it.  Let’s meet these wonderful characters and discuss why they are so fantastic!  **Please note major spoilers have been left out for your convenience so feel free to read on!

Stranger things shopping
Image courtesy of Netflix

Girls just want to have fun and I would absolutely love to go on a shopping spree with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Max (Sadie Sink).  I already liked these two characters and Millie Bobby Brown has impressed me since the beginning of the series, but the adorable friendship between these two made me smile so much!  Maybe the shopping spree montage was a little cheesy and over-the-top, but that’s why it worked for me.  Eleven is growing up and learning what it’s like to be a teenage girl and luckily she has Max to help her out along the way!

Robin 1
Image courtesy of Netflix

There is no question about it, our girl Robin (Maya Hawke) rules!  I absolutely loved the introduction of her character.  Steve could definitely learn a thing or two from her. OK, he probably needs to be completely schooled by her, and he is…on more than one occasion.  Robin is smart, cool, funny, and someone I could really relate to.

Erica 2
Image courtesy of Netflix

We all scream for ice cream and I want more screen time for another new addition, Erica (Priah Ferguson).  She may be Lucas’s little sister, but she is a scene-stealer for sure!  She was a little annoying with wanting to try every flavor of ice cream, but once she became part of the team, she was fantastic and had me laughing out loud constantly!

Joyce stranger things
Image courtesy of Netflix

Joyce (Winona Ryder) continues to remind us why we love her so much.  She’s loyal, intelligent, and she refuses to let anyone stand in her way…even the military!  Better watch out or she will give them a stern talking to, as if it is part of a parent-teacher conference!  But seriously, Joyce is such an amazing character and her quirks just work.  She’s fearless, caring, and hilarious in a subtle way.

nancy wheeler 2
Image courtesy of Netflix

I gotta give it up for my girl Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), who refuses to let being called Nancy Drew turn into an insult.  In season 3, Nancy has to deal with some beyond difficult and frustrating male co-workers, who had me pulling my own hair out in disgust, but she continues to follow her instincts, refusing to take no for an answer.  I have a feeling she will make a fantastic reporter one day, but I love that Nancy is living in a man’s world and shatters it completely.  She even shows off some impressive shooting skills, reminding us that she’s a complete bad-ass too.  Team Nancy Wheeler for life!

What’s next for the Stranger Things ladies?  We’ll have to wait and see, but I would love to see more screen time for all of these characters in season 4.  While I love all of the characters on the show, there has to be something said here for the girl power in season 3.  I hope that trend continues because these women are strong, powerful, intelligent, and beyond capable.  They are the super heroes of the show for me!

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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