Fear Street Part 3: 1666 (2021) Review

THE FINAL ACT DOES NOT DISAPPOINT

Fear Street Part 3: 1666 the final chapter of the Fear Street Trilogy launched on July 16, 2021 on Netflix. The final entry is upon us. Will we learn about Sarah Fier and the reason behind the curse? Spoilers ahead because frankly we can’t talk about part three without significant ones.

It’s 1666 and we get to see where the curse began. Kiana Madeira who portrays Deena in the previous two films, brings Sarah Fier to life in part three. Olivia Scott Welch who portrays Sam in the previous two entries, brings Hannah Miller to life. It’s a perfect way to ensure the audience knows the relationship between these two characters without the need to develop it with two new actresses. We know Sam and Deena love one another. Is it centuries old love? One could argue the film lays this out but in a more sub-textual way.

During the course of the film, the water supply is poisoned, the pastor commits heinous crimes and the town’s peacefulness is destroyed by evil. Due to the time and the fact that women were to be blamed for a ton of things mankind couldn’t control, women are being hung for bringing this darkness to them all. Sarah and Hannah are strung up, but Sarah begs to save Hannah. She lies about being a witch and takes on the full responsibility. Hannah is saved, but Sarah Fier pays with her life.

The twist here: witchcraft is real and one who wields it lives outside of town. She has books of satanic spells and if one of her books got into the wrong hands… it would be very dangerous. Once Sarah dies, we’re thrust forward to 1994 and Deena knows what she has to do to save Sam.

The final battle reveals the big bad was Nick Goode and his family the entire time. His ancestors stole the book and cast a spell. Every generations eldest would need to select names of Shadysiders. Those individuals would go on a rampage and feed the curse. In return, Sunnyvale would be peaceful and the Goode family line would prosper.

While we were a little, ehh, about how the final battle ensues, the final installment is good. The ending was strong and very 90’s horror with the possibility for a sequel. It was an enjoyable series with the difficulties one expects from three films released within the same year. It’s not easy, but this was executed well.

One final thought. From part one, Kimberly kept saying Nick Goode can’t be good. He has to be the villain. His name, for her, was too on the nose. 


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Fear Street Part 2: 1978 (2021) Review

BRUTAL, HONEST & GORY

Fear Street Part Two: 1978 came to Netflix on July 9, 2021. The second film in the Fear Street Trilogy continues building the suspense and terror of the Sarah Fier story. While the first film laid down the foundation with less visual bloodshed than we’ve seen in straight up horror films. The second entry into the series is darker, bloodier and leaves us with the feeling of helplessness.

At the end of part one, Deena receives a call from Cindy Berman, the only living survivor of the Camp Nightwing Massacre. Cindy meets with Deena, her brother, and a possessed Sam, at her house. We then crash back into the past and to Cindy’s nightmare.

Now that we’ve said that… welcome to Camp Nightwing in 1978! Once again, we’re shown that Shadyside houses deplorable teenagers, do-gooders who think they can get away from the stink of their hometown and the troublemaker tweens who don’t care anymore. On the other side of the tracks, this installment reinforces Sunnyvale as the good kids with bright futures. But death doesn’t discriminate… or does it?

Ziggy, Cindy’s baby sister, is a tormented camper. She’s bullied by other campers and almost strung up by Sunnyvale campers. She befriends Nick Goode, the future sheriff of Sunnyvale, and it’s revealed they have feelings for one another. He wants to protect her and maybe get a bit of revenge on those bullies.

During the course of the film, a counselor named Tommy becomes possessed and goes on a killing spree through the camp. Nick Goode gets the campers out of town, but not before Cindy and her sister Ziggy are attacked at the base of Sarah Fier’s hanging tree. When Nick finds them after the bloodshed has stopped, he revives Ziggy and tells police her name is Cindy. In a twist, Cindy Berman never survived. Ziggy did.

We are then left with a really excellent cliffhanger involving Deena.

That’s the short and sweet of the film. While many believed the first to be the weakest installment of all three, we think this film is. That said, it’s a good film and does what a second installment should, it gives us more information about what would be going on before passing us to the final one. It’s brutal, it’s harsh, and it works.


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FF 042: Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) Review

Airdate: September 8, 2021

Gunpowder Milkshake brings an all-star cast to the screen in a gritty, dark film about female assassins. After Scarlet (Lena Headey) leaves her daughter Sam (Karen Gillan) in the hands of the librarians (Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Cugino). Years have passed and Sam faces the same fate her mother did years before. Can they all work together for the greater good? Does the film fly high or fall flat? Forever Fangirls reviews the Netflix feature.

**Spoiler Warning**   


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Fear Street Part 1: 1994 (2021) Review

A REASON TO LIKE HORROR AGAIN

Fear Street Part One: 1994 launched on Netflix on July 2, 2021. A three-part film story, 1994 delivers the groundwork of a classic horror trilogy. Although not a direct adaptation of R.L. Stein’s books, he praised Netflix’s creative team as they “captured the essence of them.”

We’re introduced to Shadyside, where life is hard and murder sprees are just another day at the office. Just a few minutes away, Sunnyvale brings out the best in people. There’s no crime and murder isn’t a concern. The students, like any rival public school system, do not get along. That’s putting it mildly.

It’s here that we meet Deena and her ex-girlfriend Sam, who moved to Sunnyside, complete with new boyfriend on her arm. After Shadyside and Sunnyside have a brawl over a memorial ceremony over Shadyside’s latest victims, Deena and her friends head back home on the school bus. 

But like any horror film, something needs to go wrong. Sam’s boyfriend taunts the bus from his car. Deena and her friends cause them to wreck. Sam crawls out of the broken car and touches a set of bones. Sam’s vision fills with memories of a witch named Sarah Fier.

Thus begins the witch’s pursuit of Sam. Meanwhile, Deena desperately tries to keep Sam and her friends alive.

Production spares no expense for the blood, guts and gore within the film. The violence is grotesque, but if you’re watching a slasher film, this is to be expected. The story in the first film might feel thin. It might seem as if the characters are one-sided, but remember, it is a trilogy. Writers, producers, cast, etc, all must save points to get us through all three. 1994 is the foundation and it felt solid to us.

Overall, the first film was enjoyable. It was campy, scary, funny, and nostalgic. Sure, they might have gone overboard with the music, but if they were aiming to replicate horrors films of this decade – they were spot on. 

PS: Having worked in a mall… Kimberly can truly agree, closing was the worst shift.


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The Clovehitch Killer (2018) Review

A THRILLER WITH PROMISE THAT LOSES ITS WAY

The Clovehitch Killer (2021), released in November 2018, is now available on Netflix. The thriller tells the story of Tyler Burnside (Charlie Plummer) discovering his idyllic Christian family is anything but. After coming across a cache of disturbing information in his father’s possession, Charlie enlists school pariah Kassi (Madisen Beaty) to decipher what it all means. The premise leads us down a twisted road with an ending that doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the film.

As we’ve alluded to in past reviews, it isn’t just how a film or a television series begins. It’s how they hold our interest and finish with a bang.

Serial killers hiding in plain sight are nothing new. BTK was a father. Ted Bundy was one too. They had jobs, lived two lives. In Clovehitch, Don Burnside (Dylan McDermott) is no different. He’s a troop leader, donates his time to helping the food pantry and attends church regularly. The community respects him. His son reveres him until a revelation happens that threatens to unravel Burnside’s image and reputation.

It’s here that the film loses its way. Characters thrust together to confirm suspicions. They left several tendrils of plot open open without explanation or closure. The film switches from a slow-paced thriller to one that felt it needed to finish under a certain runtime. 

Clovehitch starts off with an interesting premise. It reels you in and makes you want to stay for a bit. Then, for some inexplicable reason, it lets the line go as they rush to the finish line. While McDermott and Plummer do their best with the material, their interactions at the end feel forced and almost lost. It’s sad, as the beginning had so much promise.


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Oxygen (2021) Review

A NEW TWIST ON BEING BURIED ALIVE

Oxygen (2021), released on Netflix in May 2021, is a nightmare of a film for those scared of small or tight spaces. Truthfully, that made this film a difficult one to watch and write a spoiler free review.

A woman wakes up from cryogenic sleep locked in a pod. Worst yet, she’s running out of oxygen and does not know who she is, where she is or how to fix the situation. All of this plays out in the box. She can’t sit up. She can’t open the pod. The tight fitting space, the emotions of actress Mélanie Laurent, and the AI in her pod are all we really get to see. They are also the only two sources of actual information for the first half.

This is where Oxygen succeeds as a film. The direction and acting are on point. You can feel the desperation, the fear of impending oxygen depletion, and understand how irrational the characters responses are. There is no shying away or hiding from what Liz, played by Laurent, is facing. Time is not on your side and you feel as if it’s passing faster than normal.

The second half of the film felt slower and slightly disconnected from the first half. We learn more detailed information fully fleshed out before us. Yet, the immediacy doesn’t feel quite the same as when we first meet Liz. Maybe it was a deliberate change for creative reasons. We’ll never know.

The ambiguity of the ending gave us pause. Not because it was outrageous or unfathomable… but because at that point – the emotional connection was weak. No matter which way we viewed it, any of the options felt okay. There was nothing that made us so attached that we could only see one outcome happening. 

Overall, the film is a very interesting take with tremendous acting. While the film might not have pushed us to the four-star mark – it is worth an evening watch. 


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Army of the Dead (2021) Review

SHUT OFF YOUR MIND & JUST LET THE ZOMBIES HAVE FUN

Army of the Dead (2021) dropped on Netflix on May 21, 2021. With Zack Snyder being not only the director but also part of the writing staff, given that his “Synder Cut” of Justice League received great reviews from fans, Army of the Dead should be winner… right?

Well, that depends. If you are looking for a heist film in the vein of The Italian Job or Oceans 8, 11, 12, 13, it’s not that. If you are looking for a 24 Days Later, or a Resident Evil-esque fun Zombie film, it’s not quite that either. It feels like the film smashed two things together and tried to make them blend. Sadly, neither one is fully developed to be truly successful.

The rundown of the film seems simple enough. The military envoy is transporting a secret package. After an accident the package, an alpha zombie, breaks free, slaughters everyone and walks over a hill to see the bright lights of Las Vegas. The city becomes overrun and the government seals it off with shipping containers. Scott Ward (Dave Bautistsa) creates a team to go into Vegas, empty a casino vault and split the money with the owner and his party. 

But we all know it isn’t that simple. There’s a lot of betrayal, lies, and senseless death. It’s a zombie film but we’ve all seen this before. The characters are thin; the story has plot holes that looks like Swiss cheese. Zombie bites affect different people in different ways with no explanation. 

Basically, the film is fun if you just don’t think about it. Sit back on your couch, have a bowl of popcorn and just laugh at the absurdity of it all. There’s no genuine connection to any of the characters. When one dies, it more about the fantastic slow motion or the blood splatter. If that was the whole point, then Snyder and his team score much higher than our rating.

After watching the trailer, marketing once again led us astray. We wanted… we expected more from this film. There were so many excellent plot points the film could have explored further, but seemed to just let the opportunity slip away. If there is a sequel, maybe they will circle back to all of that.

In the end, the film is okay even if it is a bit too long for what they’re presenting. Like we said earlier, if you want a mindless film to laugh at while stuffing popcorn in your mouth, go for it. Otherwise, skip it.


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Things Heard & Seen (2021) Review

THINGS HEARD & SEEN HAS SO MUCH POTENTIAL, BUT FALLS FLAT

Things Heard & Seen, based on the best-selling novel by Elizabeth Brundage, is a 2021 film released on Netflix. According to the summary on IMDB: “An artist relocates to the Hudson Valley and begins to suspect that her marriage has a sinister darkness, one that rivals her new home’s history.” It seemed like the basis for a classic scary movie.

The film starts like most in this genre do: a seemingly happy couple moves to a small town into a house that just needs some TLC. Neighbors watch the new owners from a distance. It’s a good setup that sort of keeps the charade of a haunting ghost story for a little while. Somewhere along the line though, it stops being about the ghosts and becomes something more akin to a bad drama about greed, desire, and philandering.

While one could have attributed these behaviors to the ghostly inhabitants of the house, the film isn’t clear about it at all. There are still supernatural moments, but less of the scary variety and more of a cool roommates kind of way. 

After the first half of the film, the fear of the supernatural is gone and replaced with the disdain for a character you suspected from the beginning. The script falters and loses sight of what worked in the first half to leave you feeling cheated in the second. The cliches, predictable actions of characters, and an ending that made no logical sense… all combine to make this film fall flat and leave you wanting your time back. 

In this case, we will say we watched it so you don’t have to. 


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FF 025: Warrior Nun (S1 – 2020) Review

#025. WARRIOR NUN (S1 – 2020) REVIEW

Airdate: February 24, 2021

Forever Fangirls delves into the world of demon fighting nuns on this week’s episode. The Netflix series, Warrior Nun, tells of a Halo Bearer and the secret order working in the shadows to prevent hell from walking on Earth. What happens when they choose a new bearer… and she doesn’t even know it. Tune in to hear what was Good, Bad and the Cute of season 1. 

**Spoiler Warning**


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FF 023: The Old Guard (2020) Review

#023. THE OLD GUARD (2020) REVIEW

Airdate: January 27, 2020

They might be a team of immortal mercenaries, but does The Old Guard expose them to poor reviews from the Forever Fangirls? This week, the podcast covers the Netflix original film based on the graphic novels by Greg Rucka of the same name. Does the film starring Charlize Theron live up to the hype and warrant the possibility of a sequel? Tune in to hear what Forever Fangirls think.

**Spoiler Warning**


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