Fear Street: Part One - 1994 (2021)
107 min|Drama, Horror, Mystery|02 Jul 2021
6.2Rating: 6.2 / 10 from 93,434 usersMetascore: 67
A circle of teenage friends accidentally encounter the ancient evil responsible for a series of brutal murders that have plagued their town for over 300 years. Welcome to Shadyside.

Fear Street Part One: 1994 is the film that started the horror trilogy Fear Street, released in the next few weeks by the Netflix platform. Debutant filmmaker Leigh Janiak directed this trilogy adapted from the novel series of the same title. This film is played by young stars, such as Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., and Julia Rehwald. The filmmaker tried to revive the 1990s-style teen slasher, then how did it achieve it?

The series begins by taking place in 1994 in the small town of Shadyside. A series of mass murders occurred in a mall with the perpetrator, a high school teenager. This small town does have a dark history of mass murder that arose from time to time, which is believed to be the curse of a witch named Sarah Fier. Deena and her three friends, Sam, Kate, and Simon, are suddenly caught in this situation, with the killer lurking for their lives. With Deena’s brother, Josh, who is obsessed and has complete information about the murder case in Shadyside, they try to uncover the truth and try to remove this curse.

For connoisseurs of slashers in the 1990s, you must be familiar with the Scream series, I Know What You Did Last Summer and dozens of other popular films. The film’s opens with a typical “teen slasher” scene, a young girl being chased by a masked killer. In general, there is nothing new in the plot other than combining several iconic slasher film elements into one film, namely Scream, Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Craft, and maybe others. I certainly appreciate all these tributes plus the outstanding choice of settings, but what can’t be understood is the silliness and neglect of logic in the film’s plot.

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One thing is that the characters are too calm in dealing with this critical issue and think it’s just a game. After such brutal incidents in malls and hospitals, how could the authorities act this calmly? Crazy! In Scream, for example, once a murder occurs, one campus is locked down! The focus of the storytelling on teenagers is understandable, but the situation is too ridiculous and unreasonable. The person who was killed was not just one, but dozens of people! Our protagonists are also not precisely intelligent; they all seem ridiculous by assuming this and that, about something they don’t understand. Not only cops and silly teenagers, but also the slaves of the wizard with “T-1000” style (read: can’t die). What’s so tricky about killing their prey and having cats and dogs to entertain us. The mystery and suspense side is too weak; why? This is because the script is too far from common logic.

Fear Street Part One: 1994 brings tribute & nostalgia sensation with the horror setting of the 1990s era but has script achievements, characters, dialogues, and logic that are too stupid for its genre. I find it a little ridiculous that the script incorporates LGBTQ plus interracial elements in the film forcefully. Was this (message) intentional? They are all hunted and toyed with by the antagonist, a witch murdered more than 300 years ago for being considered a deviant sect. Now, who is wrong and who is right? Maybe the answer is in the sequel, which will be released next week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clZK2PqLWpI

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Overall
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His hobby has been watching films since childhood, and he studied film theory and history autodidactically after graduating from architectural studies. He started writing articles and reviewing films in 2006. Due to his experience, the author was drawn to become a teaching staff at the private Television and Film Academy in Yogyakarta, where he taught Film History, Introduction to Film Art, and Film Theory from 2003 to 2019. His debut film book, "Understanding Film," was published in 2008, which divides film art into narrative and cinematic elements. The second edition of the book, "Understanding Film," was published in 2018. This book has become a favorite reference for film and communication academics throughout Indonesia. He was also involved in writing the Montase Film Bulletin Compilation Book Vol. 1-3 and "30 Best Selling Indonesian Films 2012-2018." Additionally, he authored the "Horror Film Book: From Caligari to Hereditary" (2023) and "Indonesian Horror Film: Rising from the Grave" (2023). Until now, he continues to write reviews of the latest films at montasefilm.com and is actively involved in all film productions at the Montase Film Community. His short films have received high appreciation at many festivals, both local and international. Recently, his writing was included in the shortlist (top 15) of Best Film Criticism at the 2022 Indonesian Film Festival. From 2022 until now, he has also been a practitioner-lecturer for the Film Criticism and Film Theory courses at the Yogyakarta Indonesian Institute of the Arts in the Independent Practitioner Program.

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