Movies & TV

Fear Street (Part 1) : 1994

My wife says that I am obsessive over the 90s. Aren’t most of us? What a time to be alive. It’s hard not to feel the hit of nostalgia when watching films that are set in my favourite decade.

Fear Street hit me twice as hard because it was based on the novels of the same name, by my favourite childhood author, R.L. Stine. It wasn’t until this movie that I found that “R.L.” stands for Robert Lawrence. That sounds so fancy.

Interestingly enough, I’ve never actually read a single word of the Fear Street books. I’ve definitely read the Goosebumps books. I think it would be safe to say that I have read them all, most of them multiple times. Never Fear Street though. Not from a lack of interest, just a lack of availability I think. I never came across them and it wasn’t as easy to track things down back then as it is now.

No matter, I can go back and read them all now. We aren’t here to discuss books though! We are to talk about the recent Netflix adaptation. It is the first part of a trilogy, with Part 2 dropping on the 9th and the final chapter on the 16th. So, without further ado, here are 15 thoughts I had about Fear Street, Part One : 1994.

Obviously, spoilers lie ahead.

The Soundtrack

The soundtrack was jam-packed with your favourite 90’s bands and songs. Literally too many to list. Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Garbage were some of the many bands that had their songs feature in the film.

I loved basically every song in the film, but it felt like there where way too many songs crammed in. On more than once occasion, it would cut from one song to the next, to the next without so much as a pause.

I’m not exaggerating. You would literally hear 3 different songs in the span of 45 seconds or so. This happened more than once during the film as well.

I love 90’s music as much as the next guy, but let’s not force them into the film as if they were sardines in a can.

Also, “I’m only happy when it rains” wasn’t released until September of 1995, almost a year after this movie was set.

Misrepresentation of Headphones

On the topic of music, let’s talk about the misrepresentation of headphones in this movie. Not just this movie, but movies in general. We have some pretty amazing headphones nowadays. Headphones that are capable of blocking out any sound or person in your vicinity. It’s awesome.

We weren’t always so lucky though. Most of the headphones back then literally just sat on your ear, not in it or over it. Blocking out ambient noise wasn’t a thing. No matter how loud your music was. It just ended up sounding tinny and hurt the heck out of your ear drum.

In this movie, whenever someone put on a pair of headphones, the outside world stopped existing. Deena managed to block out the sound of a bus filled with football players, band members and cheerleaders. Not likely!

Deena also managed to sneak up on her brother when he was hearing headphones. Again, not likely. I won’t criticise them too much for pretending 90’s headphones were the bee’s knees at blocking out sound. It’s not like they are the only film to pretend that’s the way it is!

The Konami Code

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A. I recognised the Konami Code instantly. I am a massive dweeb after all. I know a lot of geeks and nerds, having spent my life around like minded people.

I’ve never known a basement dwelling nerd to be so disconnected from society to the point when they actually verbally recite the code to themselves as a means of gaining courage. It’s nice to know that I’m not the biggest loser in the world.

American Football

I love American Football. Or, as I call it, Football. You can make the argument that soccer is the real football. That’s fine. I can accept that. But I call soccer soccer and football football.

I watch a lot of football. I read lots of articles, listen to podcasts and watch different sports shows about football. I’ve never heard an American refer to it as “American Football” before, let alone the mayor of a town. Especially not when he is speaking to two football teams at a pep rally.

Sunnyvale and Shadyside

I’m not sure of the relationship between these two towns. I mean, obviously, they don’t get along. They share a border and that seems to be the extent of their relationship and similarities.

Shadyside is known as the “Killer Capital of the U.S.A.” whereas Sunnyvale has been crime free for almost 30 years. That seems ridiculously impossible, but whatever.

The reason I’m confused is because Sheriff Goode, the sheriff of Sunnyvale seems to always be the responding officer to any crimes in Shadyside.

We know that the two cities are a half hour drive apart, which isn’t huge, but definitely enough to warrant having your own police station. Apparently not though.

Kate’s Babysitting

Kate was probably my favourite character in the movie, so I was devastated when she met her untimely end a little later on. We will get to that later though. I wan’t to talk about her babysitting skills. Mainly the fact that she could get work as a babysitter.

First of all, she gets the children she is watching to sort her drugs for her. I’m not talking prescription medication either. It seems very irresponsible and dangerous to have children sorting the pills you are planning on selling. Although, to be fair, she did warn them not to eat them.

Secondly, she had her friend over, who was wearing a blood soaked t-shirt and had him sort laundry. I mean, she gets bonus points for doing the laundry, I didn’t know that was part of the service. Maybe that’s why she keeps getting hired.

Finally, she dumps the kids at a neighbours house so she can “take care of some business”. Again, I applaud her responsibility for not taking the kids to hunt down a killer or leaving them home alone. I guess this is more of a criticism of the neighbour for not being more suspicious of the man on her lawn, wearing a blood soaked tee.

The Shadyside Hospital

Ok. I get it. We are in Shadyside and Shadyside is bad. Surely the hospital has some standards though?

I mean the receptionist was insanely rude. My customer service is bad, but damn. I’m not sure if the killer slit her throat or if it was a dissatisfied client.

Nurse Beddy really raises some eyebrows though. I’m not one to judge, but that was very obviously a man pretending to be a woman and no one seemed to care. He reminded me of Steve Buscemi’s character in Billy Madison. Also, his name was clearly Eddy, and he had just drawn a “B” in front of it.

It also seemed obvious that he was providing drugs to Kate for her to sell, He mentioned having his keys revoked, but that seems to be a fairly small punishment for providing drugs to a minor. Was she a minor? Hold that thought actually, I’ll do that as the next paragraph.

My final question on the hospital is on the security, or lack thereof. Sam and Deena had a really heated argument in one of the rooms. They were yelling back and forth, not bothering to be quiet at all. No one came to ask them to calm down or kick the unruly guest out. They just let them go at it.

How old was everyone?

It’s hard to tell in these kind of movies. Everyone is always in their 20s or 30s and playing a teenager. This wasn’t as bad as in Scarecrow (seriously, I swear that actor was 40 and he was playing a minor) but I was still confused.

I figure that Sam, Deena, Kate and Simon were all the same age. I’m guessing about 17? Which would make Josh, Deena’s younger brother 14 or 15? Which is weird because Kate hooked up with him.

Sam’s boyfriend, Peter looked older than I do. Surely if Kate and Peter survived, they would be on trial for pedophilia charges.

Fier’s Grave

If you ask me, they wanted her grave to be dug up. She wasn’t even in a coffin! She was buried barely a foot beneath the surface of the earth, just off to the side of the road.

I’m not surprised it was disturbed. I’m only surprised it took this long for it to happen. Maybe it happens fairly frequently, which would explain all of the murders in Shadyside.

In the sink? Really?

In the school scene, when Josh declares that they need to put on fresh clothes (from the lost and found) and wash themselves, to remove any traces of Sam, why didn’t they use the school showers? Shadyside has a football team, so they would obviously have a locker room, equipped with showers. Yet, everyone just goes to the toilet and scrubs themselves in the sink. That’s not the worst thing that happened to that poor sink.

I understand (to an extent) why Deena and Sam decided to “get busy”. They used to date and clearly still have a thing for one another. If I ignore the legality of Kate and Josh hooking up, I can understand why they did.

Which leaves Simon. All alone. So Simon decides to strip down to his underwear, dance to himself a bit and jerk off, into the sink! Presumably, that is. We didn’t have to watch, but he was certainly getting started at the sink and it’s hard to imagine him moving halfway through. What the hell, Simon. It’s a school, man. There was a toilet right there.

How much blood can Sam’s hand give?

After everyone went to “pound town”, they got back to work. Josh had the idea of luring the murderers into a trap, using Sam’s blood as bait. His plan was to literally paint tracks of blood around the school, eventually all leading to the bathroom (the scene of Simon’s crime) so they could lock them in and blow them up. Along with any evidence of Simon’s indecency. Solid plan. Except for the amount of blood required.

Sam slit her hand open and dropped a bit of blood into a bucket, which Josh then watered down. It wasn’t diluted enough to change the blood from a nice thick red, which was then spread all over the damn school. How much does this woman bleed?

Can I have a glass of water please?

For Sam’s suicide attempt, they decided that pills were the safest way to go. Kate was a dealer after all, and had caused someone to OD before. After Sam OD’d and died, the plan was to revive her with an epipen, essentially tricking the witch into believing that Sam was dead. Cool. It’s the best plan we have. I’m not criticising that.

Am I criticising Deena though and her inability to provide a glass of water for Sam. Sure, I could swallow a pill or two without any water. It’s not pleasant though and it’s much easier with water. Deena shoved a whole handful of pills in Sam’s mouth and demanded that she swallow.

Unless, Deena felt that the overdose was taking too long and tried to choke Sam to death instead? If that’s the case, I’m sorry Deena. She made up for it later anyway, when she drowned Sam in the lobster tank. Drink up, bitch.

Sliced Bread

Oh Kate, we barely knew thee. She put up a good fight, but ultimately sacrificed herself to buy time for Sam. The masked killer could have had that decency to just stab her, like he did with everyone else.

Nope, that won’t do. Not only did poor Kate get stabbed, she had her head forced through the electronic bread slicer. She can take comfort in the fact that her head was sliced nice and evenly. Does anyone else feel like a sandwich? Just me? Ok.

The Janitor

The poor man seemed to spend a lot of time in the holding cell of the Shadyside/Sunnyvale police station. If that’s not racial profiling, I don’t know what is. There is definitely more than meets the eye with him though.

In his final scene, he was once again in handcuffs and asked Josh for some assistance in escaping. Josh slipped in a paper clip on his way. The Janitor thanked him and slipped him a business card.

I paused the TV and made out the name Martin P. Franklin on the card, but everything else was too blurry. I guess we will find out more about him in the next chapter.

The Phone Call

Just when it all wrapped up nicely and Sam was safe, the phone rings. It’s C. Berman, the only known survivor of the previous witch attack. She warns Deena that it is never over and the witch never quits. Again, I assume we will find out more in the next part. That’s not why I wanted to talk about the phone call.

Sam interrupts Deena, by stabbing her in the stomach. This lead to a fight between the two of them, which Josh couldn’t hear because of his top quality headphones.

Deena emerged victorious from the fight, after wrapping Sam’s entire body up, using only the cord from the phone. I have so many questions about that. Just wow. Literally from her shoulders to her ankles.

I’m pretty sure that’s 15! I’ve watched this movie twice now. The first time, I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. Overall, I did, but I there was something about it that I didn’t enjoy.

On my second watch, I figured out what it was. I think I hate Deena. Otherwise though, I really enjoyed this film. I loved the 90’s vibe (I really do miss the 90’s) and I was into the whole story.

The next part is set in 1978 and the final part is in 1666. That’s a bit on the nose, isn’t it? Honestly though, I feel like they could have gone for more than 3 films. Usually I’m a less is more guy, and I’ll reserve my final judgement for the end of the trilogy, but there are a lot of interesting characters that where mentioned and are probably strong enough to have their own movie. Or at least an episode. I guess we will see. I’m going to go make that sandwich. I’ll be thinking of you, Kate.

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