From The Villages to Friday the 13th: Films that inspired the hit slasher trilogy, Fear Street
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From The Village to Friday the 13th: Films that inspired the hit slasher trilogy, Fear Street
Ryan Gomez
Aug 06, 2021

The Netflix summer hit, the Fear Street trilogy, is a fantastic addition to the new wave of well-made horror films and television shows from Hollywood. Each film of the trilogy was released weekly in the previous month, starting from July 2. The films, based on R L Stine’s young adult horror series of the same name, has paid homage to several slasher-horror classics like Scream, which is unfortunately not available to stream in India at the moment. The following is a list of horror films director Leigh Janiak took inspiration from to a great extent for the Fear Street trilogy.

The Village
6.6OTTplay Rating
M Night Shyamalan’s The Village is a cult classic, it received mixed reviews because of its twist ending. However, the film has managed to capture the imagination with its surreal set design, story, and outstanding performances by a star-studded ensemble, featuring Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard, Andrien Broody, William Hurt, and Brendan Glesson. The movie’s period aesthetic and the dark mystery surrounding the village in the film resembles Fear Street Part 3: 1666.
7.8OTTplay Rating
It is widely regarded as the film that set the tone for the slasher genre in the 80s and 90s. While technically not the first-of-its-kind, it certainly was the one that redefined the genre. The neighborhood slasher also propelled Jamie Lee Curtis to stardom. The iconic film has since spawned an entire franchise of its own, including a rebooted sequel in 2018, with Michael Myers terrorising neighbourhoods, as well inspiring other slasher franchises like the Fear Street trilogy.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
5.9OTTplay Rating
This 90s slasher is definitely not the most critically acclaimed title on this list, but it's certainly one of the most popular ones. The film, which had an ensemble cast, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Philippe, Jennifer Love Hewiit, and Freddie Prinze Jr, became a pop culture icon with the image of the hook wielding killer. The film has since gained cult status across the globe and has even inspired certain themes in the Fear Street trilogy.
Friday the 13th
7.9OTTplay Rating
Fear Street Part 2: 1978 has paid homage to Friday the 13th in several ways from the axe-wielding masked killer like Jason Voorhees, to the story being set in a summer camp for teenagers. Friday the 13th is often considered in the same bracket as Halloween and Scream franchises as one of the most well-known horror/slasher franchises which broke new ground in the genre and inspired countless media adaptations. The film also introduced the subgenre called summer-camp slasher.
7.7OTTplay Rating
The similarities between Stephen King’s It and R L Stine’s Fear Street series stops at the genre both stories belong to. However, the reimagined Fear Street movies take several cues from King’s classic. For instance, the mythos of Pennywise the clown and the curse of the town is very similar to Sarah Fier’s curse in the town of Shadyside. The Andy Muschietti film is regarded as one of the best horror films of the decade - a decade which has seen the revival of the horror genre.
The Goonies
8.2OTTplay Rating
The Goonies is the only film on this list that does not belong to neither the slasher nor the horror genre. This 90s classic, directed by Richard Donner and produced by Steven Speilberg, is an adventure comedy about kids. What inspired Leigh Janiak for Fear Street was the underground caves and its mysteries the children in the Goonies stumbled upon, just like how the camp counsellors in Fear Street Part 2: 1978 discovered more secrets about Sarah Fier’s curse.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
7.8OTTplay Rating
The first Fear Street film in the trilogy paid homage to the 80s classic,titled A Nightmare on Elm Street, which starred a young Johnny Depp. The story about a group of children being terrorised in the neighbourhood by a supernatural entity is identical to Fear Street Part 1: 1994 and its core theme. Of course, A Nightmare on Elm Street had the evil Fred Krueger travelling between dreams and reality to kill and spread fear, as opposed to the curse of the witch Sarah Fier in the Fear Street trilogy.

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