I will admit that I was a little bit concerned when I first heard about the upcoming Fear Street trilogy, just because the whole thing sounded a bit like American Horror Story and I was worried that the end result would be more Ryan Murphy-like than R.L. Stine-like. Even though Murphy wasn’t actually involved in the production of the film, American Horror Story, with its heavy-handed approach and it’s somewhat condescending attitude towards the genre, has influenced several recent horror films and series and very rarely has that influence been for the better.
However, I just watched the trailer for the Fear Street Trilogy and it looks pretty good. It looks like they captured the feel of Stine’s books while also thematically updating them a bit for the present age. It also looks like they avoided most of the overly cutesy stuff that often makes American Horror Story such a struggle to slog through. The trailer features plenty of scenes that will warm the heart of any regular reader of R.L. Stine’s. There’s Sunnyvale! There’s Shadyside! There’s a witch! There’s a dark and haunted night! There’s mayhem on a school bus! There’s a mall massacre! There’s a haunted camp! There’s a bloody murder! There’s teenagers in danger! There’s a man with an axe! There’s a landline phone!
Anyway, Fear Street is actually three connected films. Much like the Red Riding Trilogy, each film takes place in a different year but they share certain characters in common and they all add up to tell one big story. They were originally scheduled to come out last year but, like so many films, they were delayed by the pandemic lockdowns. (Ironically, they were delayed because they were originally meant for a theatrical release. However, the delay was so long that 20th Century Fox’s deal to distribute the films expired and they were then picked up by Netflix. So, even with the pandemic ending, the Fear Street Trilogy will still mostly be seen by people sitting in their living rooms. Seriously, just think about how much fun your lockdown would have been last year if you had three new R.L. Stine movies to watch. Sometimes, life is unfair.)
The three films will be released during the first three weeks of July, on Netflix! Here’s the trailer: