FILM REVIEW | Fear Street Part One: 1994

Fear Street Part One: 1994 desperately wants to be as cool as Scream.

The new Netflix horror, the first of a trilogy of slashers to be released this month, is quite clearly inspired by the seminal 90s meta horror comedy.

Sadly, though, it fails to possess the spark and deftness of hand in its creation to truly live up to Scream.

Based on books by Goosebumps scribe R.L Stine, Fear Street is set in the fictional town of Shadyside, which is one town over from Sunnyvale. The title sequence informs viewers that Shadyside has been a hotbed of murder and crime for decades, possibly centuries, while Sunnyvale is full of prosperity, wealth and opportunity.

All the misfortune seems to stem from the murder of a witch in 1666 (something which will be explored in the third entry in the series).

The film kicks off promisingly, with apathetic retail worker Heather (Maya Hawke, Stranger Things) closing up the mall bookshop at the end of the day.

Slasher: Netflix has launched its horror trilogy with Maya Hawke in Fear Street Part One: 1994, rated MA15+, streaming now. Picture: Netflix

Slasher: Netflix has launched its horror trilogy with Maya Hawke in Fear Street Part One: 1994, rated MA15+, streaming now. Picture: Netflix

Wearing her 90s outfit - which would be completely acceptable fashion today - and chatting to her fellow mall worker buddy Ryan on the landline, the start is immediately reminiscent of Scream's unforgettable Drew Barrymore opening.

Soon enough a crazed killer dressed in a skeleton costume is on the loose, and more murders are recorded in Shadyside - barely affecting the townsfolk.

It's only after this great opening that we meet our main characters - Deena, Josh, Kate, Simon and Sam - and find that a crew of undead Shadyside murderers is after them.

What typically makes slashers great and thoroughly enjoyable viewing is the introduction of the core group, followed by their periodic and gory deaths.

It's true of Scream, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street - all the good ones. But that's not the case here. Yes, some people are murdered as the story progresses, but they're not our core group, so we don't care about them. Most of our main characters stay alive at least until the big climactic showdown, which is a bit of a disappointment.

Sadly, the first Fear Street fails to live up to its engaging opening.

You can catch the next instalment, 1978, this Friday.

Rating: 5.5/10