FEAR STREET Part 1: 1994 on Netflix is the first movie in the new horror trilogy. We’re off to a great start with this 90’s gem that serves almost as a tribute to Scream. Also, there’s a great soundtrack and lots of gore for slasher fans. Read our full Fear Street Part 1: 1994 movie review here!
FEAR STREET Part 1: 1994 is the new Netflix horror movie that opens the trilogy that will continue the next two Fridays. With this first movie being set in 1994, we’re in Scream territory in terms of style and I love it! Also, there’s a great soundtrack which has obviously been very purposefully curated.
As someone who was a teenager in the mid-90s, I felt very much at home in this setting. Also, I am again reminded of how much I love it when cellphones and the internet are taken out of context. Nothing was as simple back then and it works wonders for storytelling and intensity.
Continue reading our Fear Street Part 1: 1994 movie review below and find it on Netflix now.
A tribute to Scream
When I state that Fear Street Part 1: 1994 has a distinct Scream vibe, it’s something I knew ahead of time. Both from watching the trailer and from reading press material. Director Leigh Janiak has stated that this was her inspiration for the 1994 movie. And understandably so, since Scream did reboot the entire horror genre when it came out.
Also, the entire opening scene of Fear Street 1994 is an homage to the opening scene from Scream. I still remember watching Scream at an early screening before any spoilers had come out. Never before or since have I been so shocked by an opening. After all, the only thing I thought I knew was the fact that Drew Barrymore had to b the final girl since she was on the poster.
However, I don’t mean in any way to say that Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is a reboot or copy of Scream. It isn’t at all. The story is totally different and the characters are new. As a horror fan, you’ll get to enjoy so many references which means you will also be able to guess or predict some things. Not in a spoiler way, but in a way that makes you feel “in on it”. I loved it!
Also, get ready for several killers in this horror anthology. In this opening movie, there’s Skullmask (a tribute to Ghostface from Scream) and you’ll meet many more. Including the Jason-like killer that the second movie Fear Street Part 2: 1978 will focus on when we go to “Camp Nightwing”.
Familiar and fresh faces
Even there we get to see a lot of new faces – another classic horror movie move – you should recognize quite a few if you’ve been watching genre TV series on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. First up there’s Maya Hawke in the opening scene. She was in the latest season of Stranger Things. As the child of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, she’s the ideal Hollywood royalty for this parallel.
The main character is Deena, portrayed by the charismatic Kiana Madeira (Netflix series Trinkets). She’s smart and proud, but also quite dark and moody. Also, she’s a lesbian and has no need to hide it. In 1994, this was not an everyday occurrence. For good reason. Olivia Scott Welch (star of the Amazon Prime Video series Panic) is Samantha, another key character. No spoilers here!
The rest of the main characters includes the younger, but very charming, nerd Josh, played by Benjamin Flores Jr. (Rim of the World), the younger brother of Deena. Also, we get the wonderful and quirky, Simon, played wonderfully by Fred Hechinger (The Woman in the Window) with his best friend, the extremely smart and business-minded, Kate, played by newcomer Julia Rehwald.
Last, but not least, I should mention the location. Our characters live with the fact that people are regularly murdered in bulk in their hometown of “Shadyside”. Yeah, that’s the name of the town. Their neighboring town is Sunnyvale (sounding a lot like the classic horror town “Sunnydale” from Buffy). The two towns really live up to their names – the best people are in Shadyside, though.
Watch Fear Street Part 1: 1994 on Netflix now!
All three movies in the Fear Street horror trilogy are directed by Leigh Janiak just as the movies are based on the “Fear Street” books by R.L. Stine. Usually, R.L. Stine is known as an author of horror stories for kids and younger people – i.e. the Goosebumps books that have also been adapted. However, this Netflix horror anthology definitely isn’t for kids.
In fact, the Netflix recommendation is 18+ which might be a bit steep. However, with the amount of blood and creative death scenes, I can understand why.
Leigh Janiak debuted in 2014 with the horror drama Honeymoon. Since then she’s worked on Scream: The TV Series, which certainly feels very appropriate now. Also, she recently directed the pilot of the new Amazon Prime Video series Panic, which also has several members of the Fear Street cast on board.
I was so excited about watching the opening movie in this Fear Street horror trilogy and I was in no way disappointed. Right now, I’m just hoping that the next two movies will be just as good. Both in terms of hitting the style of the era used and the storyline evolution. Till then, enjoy this one… I know I did!
Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is out on Netflix from July 2, 2021. Part 2: 1978 will be out next Friday, July 9, and the final movie in the trilogy, Part 8: 1666, is out from Friday, July 16.
Director: Leigh Janiak
Screenplay: Phil Graziadei & Leigh Janiak
Story: Kyle Killen, Phil Graziadei & Leigh Janiak
Stars: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Fred Hechinger, Ashley Zukerman, Maya Hawke, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Jordana Spiro, Jordyn DiNatale
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.