‘Fear Street Part 3: 1666’ Is A Notably Good Conclusion To A Wicked Horror Trilogy – Review
By Angel Amaral
It’s crazy to think that if someone didn’t like you back in the 1600s and they accused you of being a witch, you were done for! Fear Street Part 3: 1666 runs wild with that concept and infuses it with the best aspect of Part 1: 1994, which is the LGBTQ+ horror romance. I wish I was joking, but America’s past, truthfully, is horrifying and tragic. The Salem Witch Trials took place in colonial Massachusetts in 1692, a nasty time where innocent people were accused of practicing witchcraft and then executed. Fear Street Part 3 is set during that time period, focusing on the origins of the witch’s curse on Shadyside as the audience learns about the truth behind Sarah Fier. I can confidently say the movie is a step up from the previous two because it is the most grotesque, includes an intriguing twist, and hooks you enough to want to unravel this must-see mystery.
In addition, I love how this trilogy explored real fears in different settings that are present dangers in our reality. Evil can be a generational nefarious force that comes in many forms throughout time. In my Fear Street Part 1 review, I highlight how the movie explores the fear of embracing oneself authentically. In my second review for Part 2, I talk about how they examine the terror of imperfection and how that slashes strong relationships. Lastly, Part 3 showcases the evil nature of homophobia and how religion can shape the rejection of homosexuality.
It’s important to realize that while this horror trilogy offers plenty of monsters and gore, the real threat behind it all are the monstrous ideals that hurt people in the real world. For that reason, I identify Fear Street Part 3 as social commentary horror in the same vein as The Purge: Anarchy and Jordan Peele’s Get Out. For example, The Purge: Anarchy is filled with political overtones as it depicts race relations within a system that divides the affluent and disenfranchised. Equally important, Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a social thriller that explores the insidious presence of racism.
Similarly, Fear Street director, Leigh Janiak, utilizes the horror genre’s tropes and archetypes to say something about what’s going on in the world regarding the marginalization of LGBTQ+ people. I appreciate her for presenting an authentic ugly truth of our society through my favorite genre. She also successfully communicates an ideal image of love and how it can prevail against all odds. Therefore, Fear Street Part 3: 1666 is a notably good conclusion to a wicked horror truly.
Again, this last installment got under my skin the most. I previously mentioned how I wanted the franchise to really let loose and go for the dreadful kind of horror that filmmakers like Ari Aster, Jordan Peele, and Robert Eggers do so expertly. There is a church scene in the movie that stunned me. It is so bleak and dark, I wish I could have removed my eyes at that moment. From that point on, ironically, there was no chance that I could look away from the screen. I was fully invested with the story and characters thinking to myself about what’s going to happen next. Also, the music aided with the eerie tension of the atmosphere. The music by Marco Beltrami is excellent which shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. The man composed the music for Scream, Logan, and A Quiet Place, need I say more? One minor gripe I had regarding the acting were the accents. When the cast from 1994 were acting in 1666, their accents kept breaking, so various times it didn’t sound authentic to the time period they were reflecting.
Regarding the plot twist at the end, I loved it because it completely caught me off guard. Once the revelation occurred it made sense in hindsight looking back through the narrative. It emotionally affected me even more so when they implemented previous clips from the past two movies within the edit of the plot twist scene. My attachment to the character involved was genuine. With this in mind, the film’s ability to convert my feelings towards this person in a completely different direction after the turning point is impressive.
Most importantly, 1666 touches on the subject of homophobia and rejection of homosexuality. Sarah Fier’s character and backstory parallels the main protagonist, Deena, from Part One. Fier is queer and not frigid. If they both need to punch toxic masculinity in the face, they will, and good for them! Regarding their intimate love life, they are convinced it is “wrong” because the rest of the community of both time periods claim it is “lying with the devil.” Their romantic behavior is considered “sinful” and the justification for hate is associated with faith. The individuals who oppose their relationship fear everything outside of what they deem as “normal.” You know it’s a scary world we live in when there’s people around that want to see others burn for being “different” or don’t align with their beliefs.
Furthermore, their love is considered wickedness and society demeans them by calling them a “corrupted abomination of a perversion.” This barbaric ideology and strong language is all too familiar. Even more tragic, those being outcast begin to believe that something is wrong with them. Deena confesses that maybe she is “born wicked and strange” and that the devil may be in her. I love the position the film takes, claiming that one “does not summon the devil by chance and even those with the most corruptible soul or weakest heart must make the choice to extend their hand to evil.” This means there’s always hope within freewill. We have the power to be ourselves and make the right choices, choices that shouldn’t hurt anyone else. Choices so powerful, they can actually save others, which is what the Shadyside kids are motivated to do.
Overall, there’s a real connection from the movie to what has been happening in this crazy world for centuries. The terrifying truth is that radical ideals can disguise themselves within faith as a means to dehumanize entire groups of individuals. I’m happy the movie finds a refreshing way to comment on the subject in a humanistic way while dealing with supernatural forces and religion. Serviceable movies offer entertainment, good movies immerse us in stories and expose us to a certain point of view. As a result, we have the opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes, think differently, and start conversations that can lead to a productive result. That is not an easy task to execute, but they pull it off here with 1666 as the story of Sarah Fier comes full circle.
The quality and themes of the Fear Street Trilogy are consistently pure. Preach to yourself that you can’t let anything change you into something that you are not. You know who you are better than anyone else. Evil will always try to bewitch us into the darkness, but we must always combat that by conquering fears with self assurance and goodness, only then can we truly be alive.
Additional lessons I learned from Fear Street Part 1666: Good always conquers evil. The truth shall set you free.