Maya Hawke in Fear Street Part 1 1994

Fear Street review: RL Stine’s iconic teen horror books have been given a very adult makeover for Netflix

Posted by for Film

Netflix’s nightmarish adaptations of RL Stine’s teen horror books will be released as an epic summer movie event this July, with the first chapter – set in 1994 – out today. And, yes, you better believe it’s a must-watch.

Updated on 2 July: “Reader beware, you’re in for a scare…”

Every Goosebumps fan worth their salt will remember the iconic strapline of RL Stine’s classic horror books. But, now we’re all grown up, those tales of possessed ventriloquist dummies, killer Polaroid cameras, and haunted masks just… well, they just don’t rattle our bones like they used to.

Of course, Stine didn’t just make his name freaking out pre-teens; he also released the Fear Street books, an incredibly popular series of books aimed at older teens, in 1989. And now, in a bid to keep us awake all night, Netflix has dropped the must-watch first chapter of its Fear Street trilogy, aptly titled Fear Street Part 1: 1994.

The beautifully self-aware slasher we’ve all been waiting for, this horror film for horror fans hurls us headfirst into Shadyside – aka the murder capital of the USA. 

There, a group of seriously angsty teens are being stalked by a mysterious and seemingly unstoppable foe. But just what does a long-dead witch have to do with it all?

Well, to say too much would be a massive spoiler. However, what we can tell you is this; hitting all the right gory notes, Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is a ridiculously fun ride from start to finish. And we predict that, ramping up the nostalgia factor (landlines! Portishead! AOL!) and paying homage to classics such as Scream, it will do for the 90s what Stranger Things did for the 80s. 

However, there’s much more to this slasher than blood-spattered throwback vibes, thanks to the talented cast of unknown actors. Their chemistry is palpable, their fear and bewilderment even more so – and the rollercoaster ride that is Deena (Kiana Madeira)’s relationship with her ex Sam (Olivia Welch) is more than reason enough to keep watching.”

Fear Street production still
Fear Street is a beautiful 90s monster of a horror film.

Intrigued? We’re unsurprised. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s the plot of Fear Street?

As reported on 19 May: Fear Street – set in the fictionalised city of Shadyside – feels like the original template for Netflix’s Stranger Things. Why? Well, because it revolves almost entirely around teenagers who face down malevolent (and often paranormal) adversaries.

As Netflix puts it: “In 1994, a group of teenagers discovers that the terrifying events that have haunted their town for generations ​may all be connected… and that they may be the next targets.”

Cue one chilling story told over three films across 300 years. Ooh!

Is there a trailer for Fear Street?

You can watch the first teaser for Fear Street below:

As one YouTube commenter puts it: “Omg! These were my favourite books growing up… I could read them repeatedly! 

“I can’t wait to see what they do with these!”

Who stars in Fear Street?

Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink has joined the cast of this movie trilogy, the first instalment of which revolves around a sinister murder mystery.

She joins Kiana Madeira, Maya Hawke, Olivia Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Ashley Zukerman, Fred Hechinger, Gillian Jacobs, Jordana Spiro, Julia Rehwald, Jeremy Ford, and more.

What are people saying about Fear Street?

“We filmed all three Fear Street movies over one crazy, bloody summer,” says director Leigh Janiak. “It’s a dream that audiences now get to experience the story in the same way – back to back to back, with only a week of waiting in between.

“I can’t wait to welcome everyone into the world of Fear Street in 1994, 1978 and 1666!”

Stine, aka the master of the horror twist, adds promisingly: “Fear Street fans are in for a treat – and some major surprises.

“Readers know that the book series is rated PG. But the movies are rated R. That means a lot more thrills, and a lot more terror! I have seen Leigh Janiak’s epic trilogy releasing on Netflix in July and I can tell you the scares and the SCREAMS are more than I ever expected. What fun to see the horrors of Shadyside come to life!”

When will Fear Street hit Netflix?

As mentioned already, the Fear Street trilogy will be released as an epic summer movie event over three consecutive weeks this July. The first, set in 1994, will become available for streaming on 2 July. The second, set in 1978, will arrive on the 9 July – and the third and final chapter, which will take us rocketing back in time to 1666, will hit our TV and laptop screens on 16 July.

Anyone else ridiculously excited?

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Netflix

Share this article

Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

Recommended by Kayleigh Dray