Clarisse Loughrey’s review published on Letterboxd:
Netflix’s weaponised nostalgia, so shrewdly deployed in its hit series Stranger Things, has mutated into a fiercer, altogether more daring beast in Leigh Janiak’s Fear Street trilogy. Its first instalment, set in 1994, takes the familiar comforts of RL Stine’s source material from the era and steeps them in blood, bones, and viscera. It’s a horror film lovingly tailored to the tastes of those who grew up on Stine’s work, including his famous Goosebumps books, and have since uncovered all that the genre has to offer those with a feral imagination and a strong stomach.
Part Two, set in 1978, continues that mission with equal, maniacal drive. Janiak revisits the slashers of the late Seventies and early Eighties through a distinctly Nineties lens, making it giddy, gory, and thoroughly self-aware. A rusted axe is struck right through the centre of the old binaries – the sexually active aren’t punished for the deeds, while the virginal aren’t rewarded for their purity. At the end of Part One, Deena (Kiana Madeira) and her brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr), had successfully tracked down Constance Berman (Gillian Jacobs), the sole survivor of the Camp Nightwing massacre (which took place over a decade and a half before) – just one in a long, cruel history of slayings committed by ordinary people touched by a witch’s curse.