There is a certain center of gravity that revolves around the slasher cinematic genre that has always won audiences around the world. Since such narratives first hit the big screen in the 1970s and 1980s, reaching a metalinguistic peak in the 1990s, several titles have entered the catalog of moviegoers and are constantly rediscovered and revisited as a deep celebration of gore and this. which we cannot escape. Of the countless B-movies that emerged around this time, in fact, there are three that best reflect what slasher means: the “Friday the 13th”, “The Nightmare Hour” and “Scream” franchises. Few are unaware of these works – and who, as much as they think the narrative conduct is overkill, have been marked by the illustrious and murderous presence of some of the most famous serial killers of all time.
Now it’s Netflix’s turn to invest in its own saga, this time addressing legendary children’s novelist RL Stine. For those unfamiliar with the name, Stine has had success with many book series including ‘Goosebumps’, ‘Shift Time’, and ‘Fear Street’. All three compilations have received film and TV versions, with the latter being recast for 2021 into a promising trilogy. Months after a long production and some details on the works, the first chapter finally made its debut on the streaming platform: titled “Street of Fear: 1994”, the story centers on the small town of Shadyside, Ohio. , dubbed the “death capital” of the United States for a constant string of murders since its founding.
Fear Street Part 1: 1994 – (Pictured) Skull mask. Creation: Netflix © 2021
It is in this emblematic context that one of the multiple plots of the feature film fits – in this case the main one: mass homicides recur, taking on a frightening dimension after a brutal massacre in the local shopping center run by one of the employees. Apparently, the tragic events are associated with the curse of the city by a witch named Sarah Fier, who swore revenge on the inhabitants and their descendants three centuries ago. And to prevent him from attacking again, our five protagonists appear: Deena (Kiana Madeira), Sam (Olivia Welch), Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.), Kate (Julia Rehwald) and Simon (Fred Hechinger), group of friends who unite to face supernatural forces so that Sarah leaves them in peace and, above all, does not continue her reign of chaos.
From the start, ‘Rua do Medo’ is a love letter to classic slashers and, in general, it keeps its promises. Directing the film is in charge of Leigh Janiak, who has done a remarkably solid job seven years after making her debut with the mystery “Honeymoon” in 2014. Janiak clarifies that she doesn’t want to say more than necessary and that the messages are pretty clear: Deena and Sam are a lesbian couple who, between ups and downs, come together to fight Sarah’s powers and save Shadyside from another chaotic event; Simon appears as the comic escape common to all the stories of the genre; Kate is the determined and outspoken cheerleader; and Josh is the geek culture junkie who ultimately is one of the main keys to beating spirits.
There’s no denying that the film is gaining popularity with audiences accustomed to children’s tales or familiar with Stine’s literary style – and, perhaps for this reason, it lacks some elements for lack of aesthetic and rhythmic tact. The main slippage is in the exacerbated amount of intrigue and subplots taking over: Janiak is aware that each of the arcs featured must be closed, but he doesn’t seem to know how to go about it: the romantic ties. , which emerge from the first minutes, are forgotten in the midst of the conflict between life and death with which the characters are confronted; Sarah Fier’s story is presented in a frenzied and exhausting manner, especially when she is allied with the “goons” who appear without much explanation to track down those who have violated her grave; and, finally, the explanations become confused in a circular crescendo which aims at the splendor of the shock, but abandons itself obviously stereotypical.
Despite an unbalanced structure, Janiak has his own style as he goes through the welcome emulations of one of cinema’s most explosive eras. In the age of streaming, saving the cult is a smart move and works in visual terms, whether through the color scheme or the available camera resources. And while young actors captivate us with their commitment to the roles, it’s impossible to distract from the snowball that forms with so much – and little time to complete it. With the exception of a few inspired sequels, the script is awkward and predictable, heading for an expected conclusion and, for that reason, becoming a frustrating tour de force for teenagers.
Fear Street Part 1: 1994 – BENJAMIN FLORES JR. like JOSH and SKULL MASK. Cr: Netflix @ 2021
Setting the tone for the next two chapters, ‘Rua do Medo: 1994’ is indeed interesting – but we don’t know if for good or bad reasons. For lack of points that could be dealt with more cautiously, the film even manages to leave us intrigued for the sequels, but, in general, it presents itself as a breathless and monotonous adventure.
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