Leigh Janiak’s Horror Street, the new Netflix film, has the delicate mission of setting the tone and pace for what will be a horror trilogy. Much more, that of adapting the whole of RL Stine’s work without emphasizing a particular book.
In between, the film turns out to be an entertaining take on the horror genre with touches of suspense and dark humor. However, he fails to disassociate himself entirely from the fact that his plot is. unintentionally refers to dozens of identical films..
Perhaps this is because the popular stories of RL Stine, which began publication in 1989, are a staple of a pop culture stratum. Or that Janiak has no choice but to use recognizable phrases to tell a topical story.
Experience the first nightmare in a killer trilogy🪓💀🩸
FEAR STREET Part 1: 1994 premieres this Friday, July 2, only on Netflix. pic.twitter.com/c0QheZtj42
– NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) June 28, 2021
Either way, the decision to use twists and storylines very similar to so many other hits isn’t entirely flawed. The combination succeeds in creating a version of the light horror cinema which is interesting in the way it tailors major themes to specific codes. With a certain resemblance to Annabelle: Coming Home (2019) by Gary Dauberman, Janiak creates a cohesive universe.
Like Dauberman, the director plays with the possibility of using classic horror film codes to explore more sensitive themes. She does it with intelligence and a visual section of astonishing solidity. The result is a production which, without great ambitions, analyzes good, evil and terror effectively.
“Terror Street”: those unruly teenagers.
Of course, the first big reference comes straight from the Netflix catalog. This group of teenagers who are investigating a series of violent murders in the city of Shadyside have an obvious resemblance to the Netflix series Stranger Things.
At least the two universes share the same sense of danger and this concentrated view of the world of adolescents. In either case, the adult’s point of view is of little interest and is subtracted in a sort of blurry context. And it’s this need to showcase its young protagonists that makes this film an interesting journey into an almost traditional genre.
Set in 1994, the screenplay takes a considerable amount of time to build the atmosphere. And it does this through proper use of its historical context and making it clear from the first scenes that what is going on is a structured mystery. It will not be resolved immediately and will require considerable effort from its protagonists.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 is one of the most high energy, fast paced, purely entertaining horror movies we’ve gotten in a good long while. Very Stranger Things in that the nostalgia brings the charm but it’s the characters you really fall in love with. 90s slasher FUN. Loved it. pic.twitter.com/w55hEsqTIx
– John Squires (@FreddyInSpace) July 3, 2021
But while the plot establishes difficulty, danger, and threat, the tribute to Stine is also part of its dynamic. The story is very aware of the way the writer tells about danger. So his version of evil– half bad decisions, half scary enigma – is an essential part of La calle del terror as a look at fear.
Granted, Terror Street is a Netflix horror movie, but it’s also another one of those atmospheric dramas that keeps up with its ability to turn up the heat.
With its claustrophobic side, a small town. La calle del terror seeks to create a look at the dreaded that doesn’t need to be shown to support its narrative. The bloody murders, or a murderer hidden among the apparent normalcy, serve as the elements to understand this impeccable mechanism of clues and discoveries.
Wes Craven everywhere
Terror Street (at least that brilliant first part) is directly indebted to all the horror that came out of the 1990s. And it doesn’t disguise it. From the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise to Scream, the film… pays homageto a very specific type of aesthetic and terror.
As if that weren’t enough, Terror Street also analyzes larger universes like Josh Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It does this by harnessing the idea of a disruptive element, which also interconnects with each other into something more elaborate and powerful.
The Netflix film spends its first few minutes narrating the voices of twelve virtually dejected people and the gore of their murders. And it is this indirect and perilous gore that forces the film to take the risk of playing with concrete elements on its ambiguity. Why are these murders taking place and what motivates such acts of violence? What causes completely different people to be victims and perpetrators?
In the town of Shadyside nothing is what it seems to be . With its dilapidated and dilapidated appearance, evil and threat are analogous elements for understanding its essence. People are cursed, and reason is more than mere despair, madness, and bloodlust.
FEAR STREET PART 1: 1994 – (GR) KIANA MADEIRA (DEENA), FRED HECHINGER (SIMON), BENJAMIN FLORES JR. (JOSH), JULIA REHWALD (KATE) and OLIVIA WELCH (SAM). Cr: Netflix © 2021
The plot develops a well-balanced understanding of this search for answers, ranging from the supernatural to a possible criminal act. He also manages to ensure that the question of what is causing the killings and whether it can be ended is not answered immediately. And there is also no indicationto be answered one way or another. The main thing is that the horror lurks in the darkness and can have any face.
Terror Street has no plans to change teen horror cinema. But he makes a considerable attempt to take the best of Stine’s simple and clever plots to… build something with its own identity. And despite its plot flaws (a long and exhausting first half hour), the Netflix film finds the best of its essence for its home stretch.
Curiously subversive and attempting to find space in an overexploited genre, The Street of Terror opens the doors to an ingenious game of visions on terror. Mystery and fear are at the heart of the storyline, but so are its characters. In between, there is even enough room for a few transcendent questions about good and evil. Will this trilogy keep its quality and its good ideas for the second and third parts? One can only hope.