Netflix's Underrated Fear Street Franchise is Going Back to Basics

Time to get gussied up.


Netflix has more franchises than you realize. While the streamer is infamous for mercilessly canceling shows, plenty of ongoing stories are hiding in plain sight. One of the most overlooked is Fear Street, a series of three movies based on R.L. Stine’s young adult horror books that premiered over three weeks in 2021. At the time, it seemed like a one-off event, but that changed with the announcement of Fear Street: Prom Queen, a movie based on one of the most beloved Fear Street books.

We now have our first look at the movie, and while it’s a standalone story like all the other Fear Street tales, this one has one big difference.

In a first look released to Twitter to celebrate Fear Street: Prom Queen beginning production, we see the cast on the set of Shadyside High’s 1988 prom. That’s one year before R.L. Stine released The New Girl, the first Fear Street book. Take a look at the full clip below.

Every Fear Street movie so far has been set in a different year: 1994, 1978, and 1966. Prom Queen will add 1988, but just because it’s set between two other Fear Street movies, that doesn’t mean the stories will intersect. While the first three movies tell an interconnected tale, Prom Queen is being treated as a separate adventure in the same universe. Instead of a generation-spanning horror story, Fear Street: Prom Queen will follow high school girls competing for the title of prom queen even as some of them start disappearing.

Maybe there will be a quick reference to the earlier films, or maybe Prom Queen will set up future adaptations. But it looks like Fear Street has abandoned its time-hopping ways and will focus on the original settings of its source material. Will that be enough to ensure Fear Street becomes a Netflix mainstay? Hopefully, Prom Queen isn’t the end, but if it is, at least it’s going out the way it started: in the fabulous, hairspray-fueled era of the 1980s.

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