25 years after 'Scream,' Netflix's 'Fear Street' trilogy reinvents the teen slasher again


The history of the R-rated teen slasher movie is rife with scream queens. Kiana Madeira is not one of them.

The 28-year-old actress didn’t think that her tough and resilient character Deena Johnson would be the type to scream bloody murder – even though bloody murder is what she’s usually encountering – in Netflix’s new “Fear Street” film trilogy.

“It just didn’t feel natural expressing myself in that way when scary things are happening,” Madeira says. “I just kept my head down and kept that intensity to want to fix the problem and chase the killer as opposed to feeling like a scared victim.”

Ready to see a great movie? These are the best yet in 2021, ranked

25 years after 'Scream,' Netflix's 'Fear Street' trilogy reinvents the teen slasher again

She’s not the normal horror-movie persona nor is “Fear Street” (the first film is streaming now) your average nightmarish stroll down Elm Street or machete-filled visit to Camp Crystal Lake.

Based on R.L. Stine’s young-adult book series, “Fear Street” aims to reinvent the teen slasher 25 years after “Scream” by combining the sex, blood, gore, four-letter words and, yes, fun of a throwback era with a queer romance, lead actors of color and a centuries-spanning mythology.

25 years after 'Scream,' Netflix's 'Fear Street' trilogy reinvents the teen slasher again

“Fear Street Part 1: 1994” introduces Deena and her friends in the town of Shadyside, deemed “Killer Capital USA” for its history of serial psychopaths. Shadysiders are mocked and marginalized by the residents of rival Sunnyside, where Deena’s ex Sam (Olivia Scott Welch) moved for a better life. Another Shadyside tragedy brings them back into each other’s orbit, and the heroes investigate connections between a 17th-century witch’s curse and the town’s ghastly body count.

“Part 2: 1978” (streaming July 9) rewinds back a couple of decades and sets the action at Camp Nightwing, where another Shadysider goes on a rampage. And “Part 3: 1666” (July 16) reveals the true history of the witch Sarah Fier and how she connects back to the 1994 storyline.

Fourth of July viewing:Movies to watch, from ‘Fear Street’ to ‘The Tomorrow War’

“At its core, ‘Fear Street’ is weirdly a love story and it’s the love of these two girls and their motivation to figure it out, to save each other, to realize they’re better with each other,” says Leigh Janiak (“Honeymoon”), who co-wrote and directed all three films. “That drives them further into ultimately realizing not only can we be together, we can change things, we can save the town.”

The mythology of Shadyside is that they’re “a group of outsiders told that they are ‘other’ or they’re not good enough and that they’re bad,” adds Janiak, and she wanted to change the narrative about what kind of people are in slasher films. In another time, for example, Sam and Deena might not have lasted very long in a movie: The “bury your gays” trope in film and TV existed for years. “You could have queer people in your movies, but they had to die in like a really horrible way to prove a lesson to the public,” Welch says. “That’s just so messed up.”

25 years after 'Scream,' Netflix's 'Fear Street' trilogy reinvents the teen slasher again

When Janiak was Sam and Deena’s age, she was already a horror fan raised on “Child’s Play,” “Psycho” and Stine’s “Fear Street” books. “There is a certain naughtiness,” the author says about their appeal. Stine’s teenage audience was “reading something that’s maybe a little bit bad for them.”

Janiak saw the original “Scream” when she was 16, and “it was mind-blowing how this movie could be so meta and so cool and then so disturbing at the same time.” With “Fear Street,” she pays proper tribute: The opening scene of the first movie, with “Stranger Things” star Maya Hawke as a mall bookstore clerk chased by a killer in a skull mask, is an homage to the classic Drew Barrymore prologue.

25 years after 'Scream,' Netflix's 'Fear Street' trilogy reinvents the teen slasher again

As for the trilogy’s grander scope, Janiak looked at the Marvel movies to lay “the groundwork for a horror universe” but also the “Back to the Future” films as inspiration for having “characters in different time periods, playing different roles and watching them evolve.”

While “Fear Street” has ambitious cinematic aspects, it also doesn’t skimp on the blood and guts. Stine, for one, gets a kick out of that. “It’s the only R-rated thing I’ve ever had in my life. Even my life isn’t R-rated,” the author quips.

Janiak wants to capture the curiosity of today’s youth the same way her generation begged their parents to rent an R-rated movie at a video store or turned on the TV late at night to watch something they shouldn’t.

“There was so much excitement in pushing the envelope of what was allowed. Hopefully, that exists with these movies, too,” Janiak says. “I don’t know if I should be saying this, but I hope that little 10- and 11-year-olds are like, ‘Oooh, I’m going to really scare myself here, but I’m doing it!’ ”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Arjun Kapoor: I have had some terrific women like Parineeti Chopra and Alia Bhatt as my co-actors

© Provided by Pinkvilla Arjun Kapoor in a recent chat with Men’s Health magazine spoke candidly about the bond he shared with his late mother Mona Shourie. Boney Kapoor and ... Read more »

Eve Announces She's Pregnant With Her First Child With Husband Maximillion Cooper

© Karwai Tang/WireImage Congratulations to Eve! The 42-year-old rapper and former The Talk co-host announced on Friday that she’s pregnant with her first child with her husband, 49-year-old Maximillion Cooper. ... Read more »

Adele's ‘Easy On Me' Dethrones BTS for Most-Streamed Song on Spotify in a Single Day

Adele Adele’s comeback single has been out for less than 24 hours, but she has already broken a major record. “Easy On Me,” the lead single from Adele’s upcoming 30 ... Read more »

Drake Nearly Quit ‘Degrassi' Over Wheelchair Storyline's Effect on His Rap Career, Writer Says

Drake Drake famously started his entertainment career on the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, on which he starred as Jimmy Brooks for seven seasons. And though his character was part ... Read more »

Carly Pearce Reveals Winners for 2021 CMA Broadcast Awards

Carly Pearce Carly Pearce unveiled the honorees for the 2021 CMA Broadcast Awards by calling in to each winning radio station, the Country Music Association (CMA) announced on Friday (Oct. 15). The awards recognize the ... Read more »

Epic says it's ‘open' to blockchain games after Steam bans them

© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Epic tells The Verge that it’s “open to games that support cryptocurrency or blockchain-based assets” on its game store, unlike its competitor ... Read more »

Brown Sugar: Why the Rolling Stones are right to withdraw the song from their set list

The decision by the Rolling Stones to remove their 1971 song Brown Sugar from the set list for their upcoming US tour has drawn both praise and criticism. Read by ... Read more »

The Dark Knight's Michael Caine Reveals Why He's Retiring From Acting

© Provided by CinemaBlend Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth in The Dark Knight Michael Caine has been professionally acting since the early 1950s, and while older generations likely know him ... Read more »

Lancaster's Roots and Blues festival returns after hiatus

If you’re down for live music, the Roots and Blues festival in Lancaster is the place to be.  “Really good music, really great live music,” said Discover Lancaster Joel Cliff. ... Read more »

Knoxville bluegrass legend 'Uncle Phil' Leadbetter dies at 59

East Tennessee has lost a bluegrass music legend. Phil Leadbetter, affectionately known as “Uncle Phil,” has died at the age of 59.  In late September, Leadbetter posted to Facebook that ... Read more »

Miley Cyrus Working on Her Ninth Studio Album, First for Columbia

Miley Cyrus Almost a year after the release of the rock-heavy album Plastic Hearts, Miley Cyrus has been hard at work on her follow-up ninth studio record, according to her new ... Read more »

Slaton St. Joseph to host annual Sausage Festival, Oktoberfest

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – St. Joseph Catholic Church in Slaton is hosting its annual Oktoberfest and Sausage Festival on Oct. 16. © Provided by Lubbock KCBD St Joseph Catholic Church ... Read more »

‘Degrassi' Writer Claims Drake's Team Threatened Legal Action If His Character Wasn't Taken Out Of Wheelchair

© Provided by Your Tango Drake, Jimmy Brooks Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock / Youtube James Hurst, a writer on the hit show ‘Degrassi,’ has made some surprising revelations about ... Read more »

He brought Flock of Seagulls to America 40 years ago. They just performed at his N.J. shop.

For a little while, I was falling in love. (If you were near a radio in the 80s, you’ll get the reference.) © Michael Mancuso/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Wednesday, ... Read more »

Camila Cabello Debuts New Song ‘La Buena Vida' on ‘Tiny Desk Concert'

Camila Cabello Camila Cabello’s performance for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert — timed with Hispanic Heritage Month — premiered Friday (Oct. 15) and included a performance of the new song “La ... Read more »

PAC features Halloween art exhibit

© Provided by North Platte KNOP-CD The Prairie Arts Center Halloween art exhibit will be on display throughout the month of October. NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) – The Prairie Arts ... Read more »

Elton John Scores First U.K. No. 1 Single in 16 Years With ‘Cold Heart' Dua Lipa Duet

Elton John Elton John has returned to the top of the U.K. Singles Chart for the first time in 16 years, with his “Cold Heart” collab with Dua Lipa (remixed by Pnau) ... Read more »

Baby on Board! Darren Criss and Mia Swier Are Expecting Their 1st Child

© Courtesy of Darren Criss/Instagram Ready for daddy duty! Glee alum Darren Criss announced that he and wife Mia Swier are expecting their first child. Singing Showmances! ‘Glee’ Cast’s Dating Histories Through ... Read more »

Warzone anti-cheat system "leak" was reportedly part of planned public testing

© Provided by GamesRadar call of duty Vanguard Update: Today’s apparent “leak” of Call of Duty’s new kernel-level anti-cheat was reportedly seen as an inevitability by Activision, and a relatively ... Read more »

Primary Wave Acquires Income Stake in Gerry Goffin's Catalog

Gerry Goffin Gerry Goffin’s estate has entered a partnership with Primary Wave which will see the company acquiring a portion of his songwriting income. Known for their extensive publishing catalog, ... Read more »

Amnesia Ibiza Announces Back-to-Back Opening & Closing Parties

Amnesia Ibiza After the pandemic forced two fallow seasons in Ibiza in 2020 and 2021, island mega-club Amnesia is closing an unusual era with an unusual pair of parties. The ... Read more »

Executive of the Week: Warner Music South Africa MD/SVP Strategy Sub-Saharan Africa Temi Adeniji

Temi Adeniji For more than two years, Nigerian singer Ckay’s sleeper hit “Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)” has been slowly but steadily making its way around the world, boosted by ... Read more »

Natti Natasha's ‘Noches En Miami' Leads Latin Airplay Chart

Natti Natasha Natti Natasha nabs her ninth No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart as her latest single “Noches en Miami” takes over atop the chart (dated Oct. 16). “Noches” ... Read more »

Sanak Twitter Reviews: Did Vidyut Jammwal starrer impress the audience?

© Provided by Pinkvilla Vidyut Jammwal’s action thriller film Sanak – Hope Under Siege is finally out. The film is directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah and produced by Zee Studios ... Read more »

Zoë Kravitz's Catwoman Looks Pretty Casual in New ‘The Batman' Image (Photo)

© Provided by TheWrap zoe-kravitz Tomorrow a new trailer for “The Batman” will debut during DC Fandome 2021, but that doesn’t mean fans have to spend the next few hours ... Read more »

Dopesick Team Explains the Need to Humanize Its Big Pharma Baddies

© Courtesy of Hulu The most astute actors will tell you the best way to play a villain is not to be the bad guy. This is how Dopesick‘s Will ... Read more »

Fans' Wizarding World Knowledge Tested in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses — First Look

The Harry Potter franchise is expanding its reach with an all-new quiz show! A four-part competition event — titled Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses — is heading to TBS ... Read more »

Jussie Smollett is set for a November trial after Chicago judge won't dismiss the case

Jussie Smollett will face a Chicago trial jury starting in late November, after a judge denied his latest motion to dismiss disorderly conduct charges arising from an alleged hoax hate ... Read more »

Freddie Mercury: The Queen song that was originally about Martin Luther King - WATCH

Back in 1985, Queen performed at Live Aid in their most iconic performance ever and just a few months later they were back in the studio recording a new single. ... Read more »

'He can endure anything': Super-human Cameron Norrie's heart rate would kill most mortals

© GETTY IMAGES ‘He can endure anything’: Super-human Cameron Norrie’s heart-rate would kill most mortals – GETTY IMAGES The X-factor that has carried Cameron Norrie to the Indian Wells semi-final? ... Read more »

What is Torch'd? This 28-minute dance cardio workout brings the burn

Are you ready to get Torch’d? Welcome to the workout created by Isaac Calpito, a celebrity trainer and choreographer. Calpito has drawn upon his experience creating dances for the pop ... Read more »

Recovered cell phones stolen from ACL Fest are being returned to owners, 3 more arrests

© Provided by KEYE Austin Austin Police are investigating an international crime ring that targeted Austin City Limits Music Festival. Authorities believe a half-dozen people worked together to steal approximately ... Read more »

Beware of road closures: Big events mean busy weekend for downtown Orlando

This weekend downtown Orlando will be bursting with excitement for the first time since before the pandemic. © Immerse Immerse Orlando “We are very excited to see these events return. ... Read more »

Kacy Hill Is Independent On Her Own Terms

© Daniel Doperalski/WWD Click here to read the full article. “This is a weird way to put it, but I always felt like they had the wrong person,” says Kacy ... Read more »

Adele's ‘Easy On Me' becomes Spotify's most-streamed song in a single day

Less than 24 hours after releasing her first single in six years, Adele is already hitting milestones. The British superstar singer, 33, released “Easy On Me” on Thursday, and the ... Read more »

Country Rockers Whiskey Myers Team up With Treaty Oak to Launch Red Handed Bourbon

© Provided by Whiskey Raiders Whiskey Myers Treaty Oak Distilling’s Red Handed Bourbon is a collaboration with country rock band Whiskey Myers. (Photo: Treaty Oak Distilling) Texas-based Treaty Oak Distilling ... Read more »

Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test required for Enterprise Center and Stifel Theatre events

Guests will need more than just tickets to go to the Gold Over America Tour Friday night and any event going forward at Enterprise Center and Stifel Theatre.  © Provided ... Read more »

CNN's Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell Channel Their Inner Adele Singing and Crying Happy Tears Along With Artist's First Single in Six Years

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell channeled their inner Adele while celebrating the artist’s first single in six years. Adele released her single “Easy on Me” on Thursday. On CNN ... Read more »

'90 Day Fiancé': Alina Publicly Calls Out Steven for His Hypocrisy When It Comes to Mormonism (Exclusive)

© etonline Alina has had enough when it comes to Steven preaching about Mormonism, given his revelation to her that he’s had sex with women in the past, which is ... Read more »