Fear Street: Part One - 1994
The 316th review!
Wild day at work yesterday with breaking news and all that, but I just have three more shifts to get through then it's time for some much-needed PTO. After getting home from work late last night, I decided to watch a movie while getting my strong on and based on a recommendation from my friend Larry, I checked out...
Fear Street: Part One - 1994 (2021)
Meh. I didn't care for this movie. I grew up on Goosebumps and R.L. Stine. In fourth grade as part of a class project we had to write a letter (remember those?) to a celebrity. While people got back keychains or autographs, I got a very nice letter from his secretary, which I was still happy about. The movie gets its name from Stine's other big series, Fear Street, but it has nothing to do with the titular street, instead focusing on the town. In fact, the street never even gets mentioned.
Let me start with what took me out of the movie early. Everything is so unbelievable. I'm not talking about the storyline, that's fine, I'm talking about how people react to what's going on around them. In the beginning a high school girl gets brutally murdered. The next day there's some decorations on her locker, but everyone is so nonchalant about it, and the ones who aren't, are making jokes. They have a candlelight vigil for the girl and the principal has to literally make attendance mandatory for groups in order to get people to come. Outside of those groups, no one else attends. There's not even grieving parents there.
Next, at the vigil a massive fight breaks out between two rival high schools because one dude keeps making comments about the girl's death and the town. You see, the one city is known for its murders while the neighboring one is rich and safe so there's a lot of angst between them. Then we get to the bus ride after the riot where it turns to peak silliness. Let's keep in mind that although we don't see them, it's safe to assume the bus is being driven by an adult. The students on the bus start loudly chanting they're going to murder people. Next, people from the rich town start tailgating the bus while throwing bottles at it. The bus driver does nothing, just keeps the same speed and path. Next, while the bus is moving, the students open the emergency door and an alarm goes off. The bus driver still does nothing except keep on driving. The students then cause the car following them to accidentally crash. It's at that point the students tell the driver to stop and they finally do. Really?
I know there's a lot of stupidity in horror movies, it kind of comes with the territory, but some of those bad choices you can shrug it off and acknowledge people don't act rationally when being chased by a murderer. But this was stupidity soley so the plot could happen. They could have had an easy out to explain why the driver doesn't react to anything by showing them with headphones listening to the one of the many 90's songs shoehorned into the movie. I know many will accuse me of nitpicking but there's no way any driver would have let it get that far. Making people do dumb things or act unrealistically just so the plot can happen is lazy.
Now we get to the main reason I didn't like the movie. Outside of the little brother Josh, I didn't care about any of the main characters. They're not likeable and the movie lays the melodrama on so thick you can cut it with a knife. For the longest time, they're not even a fun group to follow around. The main character, Deena, had she been a man, would be called toxic. The drug dealing friends, Kate and Simon are over the top about everything and then there's Sam. She is Deena's ex-girlfriend. Deena broke it off when Sam left the murder town and blames her for it and is furious that Sam got with a butthole from the rich town and is staying in the closet. This movie just expects you to cheer for these people because they're the main characters.
For the longest time I didn't like this movie at all. It does get a bit better later on when they're being chased by three killers. The baddies aren't the most original, one of them pretty much screams Jason from Friday the 13th Part II, the others just seem kind of generic. But to be fair, I liked how the baddies had a single objective and would ignore everyone else unless they got in the way. I appreciated they were unique in that sense because there wasn't much else to them.
The final showdown was pretty fun and the only time the movie shines. It wasn't scary, but it was the only point I actually felt dread. I don't want to go into too many details, because if you made it to this point in the movie you shouldn't have the only good part ruined. It managed to surprise me with one awesomely gruesome death and then a telegraphed one that still managed to make it seem like it came out of nowhere. Which is a shame because these two were the ones I was finally starting to warm up to.
Fear Street does manage to sneak in one more surprise at the end that I really liked temporarily, but it gets wrapped up (literally) in a really unsatisfying way. There are two other movies in this series and my original plan was to review one of these movies for the first three weeks, but now, I'm not sure. I didn't like this movie and wasn't intrigued by the dangling plot threads. If how the characters were written in this movie is any indication of what the others hold, I may skip two and three and just read the Wikipedia synopsis unless enough people tell me they're worth watching.
4 Dr. Chainsaws!
Fear Street: Part One - 1994
2021 | R | 1h 47m
After a series of brutal slayings, a teen and her friends take on an evil force that's plagued their notorious town for centuries. Welcome to Shadyside.
Starring: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr.