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‘Fear Street’ Trailer: Films Based on RL Stine Books Show a Town Cursed for Centuries (Video)

Leigh Janiak directs the Netflix trilogy dropping in July

Horror doesn’t stop in Netflix’s “Fear Street,” based on “Goosebumps” author R.L. Stine’s book series. That’s because in the town of Shadyside, the people living there have been cursed for centuries.

Director Leigh Janiak went all out with “Fear Street,” directing three films back to back that share a unified story all inspired by Stine’s books and all set within the same town. But each film is set in a different time period — the trilogy begins with “Fear Street Part One: 1994,” and the subsequent films jump back in time, first to 1978 and then all the way back to 1666.

This first trailer for “Fear Street” — which is set to the tune of “I Will Survive” and which dropped during Netflix’s ongoing Geeked Week — teases clips from all three movies and shows how, even though they work as standalone films, they all manage to blend together.

The first film in the franchise establishes the community of Shadyside, billed as “Killer Capital U.S.A.,” and the neighboring, crime-free town of Sunnyvale, considered the safest place to live in America. A violent string of murders in Shadyside’s mall appears to be another case of a normal person who snapped, but a group of friends begins to suspect the attacks were caused by a witch’s curse dating back to the 17th century.

“The thing that ties ‘Fear Street’ to people all over the world is that we all have the same fears,” author R.L. Stine said. “It doesn’t matter what country you’re in, everyone is afraid of the dark, or afraid somebody’s lurking in the closet, or afraid of being in some strange new place they’ve never been before. We all have the same fears.” 

Stine’s dozens of “Fear Street” books were targeted toward a more mature, middle-grade crowd than his equally popular “Goosebumps” series, and Janiak’s movies match the stories in tone. The films feel similar in style to Netflix’s own “Stranger Things” — in fact, you may recognize cast members like Sadie Sink and Maya Hawke pop up in the movies — and to the ’90s classic “Scream,” in terms of how it plays with horror genre tropes.

“As a filmmaker making ‘Fear Street,’ but also just as a movie lover, I was so excited to pay homage to some of the great eras of horror movies,” Janiak said in a statement. “For 1994, ‘Scream’ stood above all rest — it’s peak ’90s horror and, I think, one of the most brilliant movies ever made, period. Then for 1978, I got to look at the heyday of slasher films — ‘Friday the 13th,’ ‘Halloween,’ ‘Nightmare on Elm Street.’ For 1666… I found the best inspiration for me lay in the beautiful world made rotten of Terence Malick’s ‘The New World.'”  

Janiak directed all three films in the “Fear Street” trilogy and co-wrote each screenplay. Netflix will drop “Part One: 1994” on July 2, and the subsequent films will debut on July 9 and July 16. Check out the trailer here and above.