If you and your friends enjoy regular fright nights together, and savor a good scary movie as part of the fun, 2021 is the gift that promises to keep on giving.
At the top of your list should be a new, genre-twisting trilogy called Fear Street, available on Netflix.
You may have heard about the movie because the romance at the heart of it is not a traditional heterosexual relationship. Instead the protagonist and her lover are lesbians.
But that is not what sets the horror movie genre on its ear and rewards the viewer.
Instead there is a shocking twist on one of the most important and oldest horror movie tropes.
The helpless heroine is dead
When the director chose to center a homosexual relationship in the Fear Street world, it was unusual. But the most important decision was to give the heroine strength and efficacy in this world. She is not entirely a victim of circumstances around her, waiting to be rescued by – or fall in love with – the “real” hero of the movie. Some guy.
With that change, a lot of what can be expected in a traditional horror movie becomes slippery.
And the unexpected is what we need most from a fright night movie!
Follow along as the Fear Street trilogy takes you back through three centuries, with each movie featuring the same core leads and characters. It is the location and the time that help set up the mystery and the big jumps you and your friends will get while watching this.
How did Sunnyvale come to be, well, sunny and verdant? And how did Shadyside come to be plagued by murders and shocking crimes for 300 years?
Deena and Samantha put their relationship and their lives on the line to find the answer to this question. We slowly learn their role in the problem, and what they must do to resolve it forever.
So call your friends, set up the living room, pop a bag of popcorn, get out the fright night drinks, and take in Fear Street some chilly evening this fall. And then, when the credits roll, head on over to the Haunted Scream.
A Fear Street trilogy screen grab from Netflix.