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Rated 3.03 stars
by 181 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Horror in Shadyside
by Betty Jo Tucker

As mentioned in the title Fear Street Part 1: 1994, the time is 1994. The location? Shadyside, a place where terrible things happen. And like all horror films, viewers are supposed to be frightened Ė and entertained -- as the story unfolds. But this one is only the beginning. Two more Fear Street movies will be released soon, so we can expect to learn a lot more about Shadysideís murders and history by watching the entire trilogy based on the works of R. L. Stine. But donít think you will be watching anything like his amusing Goosebumps stories. This Fear Street project is meant to curdle your blood.      

Filmmakers seem to have worked overtime capitalizing on our fear of the dark, so if you have trouble with your eyes, consider yourself warned. They also made sure to include several scary jump shots as well as an atmosphere of dread plus more than ample bloodshed.

Directed by Leigh Janiak, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Phil Graziadei, Part 1 introduces us to some interesting teen agers including: Deena and Samantha (Kiana Madiera and Olivia Scott Welch), an estranged lesbian couple; Deenaís brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) who spends most of his time on AOL (remember itís 1994); Kate (Julia Rehwald), a drug pushing valedictorian; and sometimes funny friend Simon (Fred Hechinger). We also see a skull-masked killer and images of Sarah Fier (Elizabeth Scopel), a witch murdered in Shadyside way back in 1666.

ďThere was a time when things were good in Shadyside, but today thatís all gone,Ē Deena explains.      

A dead witch seeks revenge on town.

She wants to bring Shadyside down.

A group of teens try to stop her

but face all kinds of evil lure.


Blood and gore seen everywhere.

So watch this movie if you dare.

Most horror fans may be quite thrilled.

Lots of characters end up killed.


Too many scenes too dark to see.

Decoding them is misery.

ďFear Street Part OneĒ sets scary stage

for two more movies filled with rage.    

I always enjoy a mysterious horror offering, but this one didnít work for me. No matter what weird things are happening on screen, if they make me feel like itís real Iíll accept them. Unfortunately, this movie failed in that regard. Also, Part 1 didnít seem entertaining to me. Adding more humor might have helped. Although I havenít read the source material, perhaps the next two Fear Street films (about 1978 and 1666) will be different. I do hope so!

We make up horrors to help us cope with the real thing. --- Stephen King

Horror films donít create fear. They release it. --- Wes Craven

(Released by Netflix and rated "R" by MPAA.)  

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