I never got into R.L. Stine or Christopher Pike, so I never read the countless Goosebumps and Fear Street or The Last Vampire novels. I would look at them and they seemed such short paperback novels, I wondered what could be there.
I was reading Bunnicula books in elementary school and jumped to Stephen King when I purchased The Eyes of the Dragon at a Scholastic Book Fair.
That being said, I’m pretty sure aside from the title and some settings, there’s very little related to the books in the first adaptation. Maybe I’m wrong. But with all the “fucks” being dropped like punctuation and the gruesome grisley gorno deaths, I think a lot of liberties are taken.
The first in a trilogy set for Netflix this month is set in 1994 and like the novels, it’s in name only.
I was in high school in 1994. I got my driver’s license. I went to my first major concert Aerosmith with Collective Soul opening at the Lakewood Amphitheater in Atlanta. It was the first time I smelt cannabis and it was rampant, I’m sure I got a contact high.
Nothing in this movie indicates that it’s set in 1994, except for the music that seems to play so much that it makes me laugh. Whoever selected this movie definitely didn’t have a subscription to BMG or Columbia House.
The fashion is very, very wrong. Where’s all the grunge? Kurt Cobain had just fatally shot himself. Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were popular among people. Where’s “Hunger Strike” by Temple of the Dog?
If they were trying to make a Stranger Things version for the 1990s nostalgia crowds, they failed.
The plot is simple and generic of slasher movies. A killer torments a young woman at a mall and then is shot dead. This is a great set up.
Then, we’re introduced to the main character, Deena (Kiana Maderia) who spends every scene she’s in griping, complaining, whining, bitching, moaning, berating, condescending, etc. She fines fault with everything, from her brother, Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) who spends all his spare time on the Internet to her ex-girlfriend, Samantha (Olivia Welch), who committed the cardinal sin of having to move to another school about half an hour away.
Oh, my God! The horror!
First off, it’s 1994. Does anyone remember how slow the Internet on basic dial-up was back then? Second, doesn’t anyone drive a car? I knew people who dated people who went to other schools in other towns.
This leads to a pointless rivalry between Shadyside and Sunnyvale. I saw it’s pointless because it sets up a character as the potential killer and then kills him 10 minutes later. After that, we’re subjected to a lot of running around and screaming in poorly lit buildings.
This concludes with a climax that is too gory and unbelievable, it’s offensive. Some critics of slasher movies used to point out women were treated worse in these movies. And this is one that surely lives up to that stereotype as a young man takes an axe to the face, as a young woman is stabbed repeatedly and her head is pushed through a bread slicer.
Slasher movies from the 1980s and 1990s weren’t this gory. And there was some suspense. There’s nothing here but watching people being introduced only to be killed minutes or seconds later. There’s a male nurse who wears pink and calls himself Beddy. He dies shortly after in gruesome fashion.
This isn’t even an ode to 1980s slasher movies but Scream, which itself was an homage. This isn’t an homage. It looks like fanfiction and we have too much fanfiction as it is.
I was almost expecting a twist with the Deena character but up until the end, she becomes the “final girl” until it leaves us on a cliffhanger. You, see there are two other movies set to stream this month.
I was not surprised to hear that Netflix had acquired these movies, which were filmed in 2019 as Chernin Entertainment had a deal with 20th Century Fox but ended that after Fox was acquired by Disney.
Netflix is becoming a dumping ground for movies over the past few years. I just hope the set movie set in 1978 has the feel of a slasher movie or whatever from that area.
Hopefully they got the fashion right, but I feel they’ll still blast music like a greatest hits double CD they used to advertise late at night in the 1990s.