Netflix’s Fear Street (Part 3) 1666 Review
Netflix’s Fear Street delves into to the origins of its central curse with its final installment, 1666, to deliver some blood-soaked puritan horrors and bring its story full circle.
The second Deena (Kiana Madeira) was transported back to 1666 to see what really happened to Sarah Fier (Elizabeth Scopel) through her eyes, I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on where things were going. This is mostly because The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope has a very similar premise of people interacting with their puritan ancestors to uncover and stop a curse that’s affecting the present. Now Little Hope doesn’t have awesome slashers like Fear Street does, but 1666 shares a lot of similarities to Little Hope in its reveals about the real story behind this curse.
First and foremost, as pretty much anyone could’ve predicted, the whole story of Sarah being a witch and placing this curse on Shadyside is far from true. Sarah was not some witch, but rather a common girl in the settlement of Union, before the Shadyside and Sunnyvale split, who had a secretive relationship with the local pastor’s daughter Hannah Miller (Olivia Scott Welch). However, after Hannah’s father Cyrus (Michael Chandler) becomes the horrific “Pastor” killer we’ve been hearing about and kills twelve children in their church by gouging their eyes out, the town suspects they are cursed. As rumors and maddening panic consumes the town, many point the finger at Sarah and Hannah because of their relationship, keeping the truth behind the evil in Union secret.
Although the initial trek back to 1666 might not be the most surprising, it is a lot of fun, and the series continues nailing horror fitting to its time period. The familiar faces we see throughout Union are a pleasant and subtly sad reminder of those who’ve bit the dust throughout the series. Their roles and personalities have some great connections to their future doppelgangers. Mad Thomas (McCabe Slye) feels like a foreboding precursor to Tommy’s fate as the Nightwing Killer. Lizzie (Julia Rehwald) and Isaac (Fred Hechinger) share the same kind of troublemaking, drug-adoring fun that Kate and Simon did. Sarah and Hannah even face the same scrutiny in their relationship like Deena and Sam do. Things definitely feel like they’re coming full circle with these characters and it’s a big part to why 1666 feels like a cohesive part of this series even though its time period is so different.
Then things get a little darker as the curse begins to envelope the town and Cyrus becomes the Pastor. Although we don’t get much of him, the Pastor fits perfectly with the other Shadyside slashers. The entire sequence inside of the church with the Pastor and his eyeless victims evokes this incredibly dark presence that’s made only more tense with each tapping of his eye-gouger. It’s a shame that we do get so little of him here and that he doesn’t even make a return when all the killers come out to play, but his appearance doesn’t disappoint. Even the depiction of the curse consuming the town doesn’t disappoint and those who were turned off by the slow-burning pace and lack of seeing an entire town turn on a supposed witch in Robert Eggers’ The Witch will find everything they wanted here. All the fruit turning black, the water being poisoned by a dead dog, and even Sarah’s pig eating its piglets perfectly showcases the horrors of the settlement’s luck being drained.
Things quickly turn into a huge witch hunt with Sarah being the main focal point for the town’s anger and desperation. It’s ripped right from The Crucible and writer/director Leigh Janiak really should be applauded for her efforts with Fear Street. She’s expertly evoked the feel, visuals, and horrors of multiple eras, sub-genres, and intricacies of horror with each film and showcases a real vision for storytelling with how she implements details, connections, and secrets within the characters and environments. Not to mention, she’s does such a great job teasing twists and dishing out some real surprises – which thankfully doesn’t stop here. For me, it’s been pretty apparent that the Goodes have definitely had more involvement in this curse than anyone thought, and the reappearance of their name basically make that belief solider. However, I never expected that sheriff Nick Goode (Ashley Zuckerman) would be the one behind it all.
Throughout the whole series, Nick has always seemed trustworthy and kind of heroic, so seeing Zuckerman play his past equivalent Solomon makes you think that Solomon is the same – especially with how he helps Sarah hide. However, as Sarah puts the pieces together of Solomon being the one who summons the curse, you quickly begin to realize that Nick must also be the one behind everything. Solomon’s reasoning for beckoning Satan to simply turn his family’s luck around is excellently built with the gravestones of his family outside his isolated living. There’s this sense of desperation that drives him stemming from him benefitting off those he’s essentially left for dead with this curse. That sense of privilege is perpetuated for multiple generations leading up to Nick that continue this curse and it’s a very strong depiction of rich lineages using their privilege to continually benefit while others suffer. It’s an excellent reveal that perfectly transitions the story back to 1994 for a thrilling conclusion.
That title transition to turn the story into a “1994: Part II” is just *chef’s kiss* and kicks off a really strong finale. The whole “Part: II” of this film is a true culmination of everything that’s made Fear Street awesome. Deena really comes into her own as a leader and becomes fearless in facing Nick and his horde of slashers. The moments between certain characters can come off a little dumb, like Deena and Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) bonding over the Konami Code, but still have their charm mainly because the performances are so lovable. Madeira is easily the most impressive throughout with her making Deena such a lovable and capable protagonist and she proves herself as a great lead.
All the killers come back for some final fun and there’s even a moment where the group gets them to turn on each other and it’s a bloody good time. Honestly, I hope Netflix sees the value in Fear Street’s lore and its killers to do something special with them down the road because they’re just so much fun and well-designed. The second you see them; you just want to know their stories. As for Deena’s story and the curse of Shadyside, it all comes to a fitting and satisfying close with how it ends this series on a small, darkly hilarious note with how the Goode’s fortune suddenly comes to an end and heartwarming with how Deena and Sam’s relationship is cemented, and Ziggy (Gillian Jacobs) is able to find closure.
Fear Street might have finally reached its conclusion but leaves a lasting impact with its final installment. Fear Street: 1666 delivers some strong puritan horrors that put the final pieces together for a shocking reveal that leads into a fulfilling final fight against evil. It signifies that Fear Street has lived up to the hype and solidifies itself as one of the innovative horror experiences to date.