The hardest part of any trilogy is sticking the landing. Fear Street: Part Three – 1666 doesn’t quite pull it off by comparison to the first two films. The first half of this film made the old-timey community and witch hunt very compelling, but when the film returns to 1994, it feels more like a Home Alone rip-off that doesn’t quite work. Still, this film mini-series on Netflix was mostly all win, so it’s easy enough to overlook its shortcomings.
For the third entry, all of the actors from the first two return, each taking on roles in a different time period. This is an interesting choice, as they didn’t use any of the same actors from 1994 and 1978 (at least not in the time change scenes), but I suppose the extreme difference in time made sense to repurpose the talent. Here, we get to see the events that lead to Sarah Fier’s (played by Elizabeth Scopel and Kiana Madeira who is seeing the events through Sarah’s eyes) curse. A lot of stuff happens that ultimately leads to revealing the truth.
The small village that we are introduced to feels very lived in, and works to set the atmosphere for the mythology of Sarah Fiers. I’m not always into witch stories, but I found this section to be quite compelling. I was heavily invested in this story going in, as I loved the first and second parts. Kiana Madeira and Ashley Zukerman really stood out in this section of the story. I thought Zukerman nailed his role as Solomon. The devastation with ‘The Pastor’ Cyrus Miller (Michael Chandler) is quite intense.
When it jumps back into 1994 and the ultimate resolution of the story, it loses some of its steam. The characters we left in part 2 – before jumping back to 1978 – set up an elaborate trap for the killers. It feels like something out of Home Alone, and felt tonally inconsistent with the rest of the films. There has been an air of comedy, but everything seemed very grounded. This heightened element of traps and super soakers never felt like it belonged in this franchise.
Fortunately, there was enough investment in the outcomes of these characters that it didn’t totally lose me. I wish it had maintained the energy of the first two films, but it is hard to end a horror movie…much less a horror trilogy. The brutality and inventive sequences are still in this film, and the trilogy as a whole does work. Fear Street: Part Three – 1666 gets the Decent Watch rating and the trilogy earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.