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Fear Street Director Wants To Create A Horror Universe

Following the release of the final installment of Netflix's Fear Street trilogy, director Leigh Janiak hopes to continue the franchise with an interconnected horror universe in the style of the MCU. Janiak helmed all three Fear Street entries with each film being heavily connected to the next. Various characters appear in each movie with an overarching story that requires all three movies to appreciate truly. The movies are based on R.L. Stine's Fear Street book series, and while Stine is mainly known for the YA-skewing Goosebumps books, the Fear Street films are geared toward more mature audiences.

The Fear Street trilogy was released over the course of three weeks on Netflix, starting with Fear Street Part One: 1994, followed by Fear Street Part Two: 1978, and concluding with Fear Street Part Three: 1666. Part Three sees Deena and her group of friends learn the truth of their town's curse before they dispatch the person responsible and free the town from its oppression. While the film ends on a generally upbeat note, it gives a simple nod to the fact that things may not be over. As the credits roll, audiences watch as an unidentified pair of hands snag the evil book from which the town's curse originated. Horror movies have the unique ability to deliver final moments that tease the fact that things may not be as resolved as the protagonists may have hoped, and Fear Street is no different.


Speaking with IndieWire, Janiak discussed her plans to hopefully continue with other installments of the Fear Street series. Janiak said she had plans for an interconnected universe of films, much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even before she was hired for the trilogy. With the films already working as a small series of interconnected stories, Janiak called them "a new hybrid thing" before discussing her excitement about what else could happen within the universe. Check out what Janiak had to say below:

“One of the exciting things about Fear Street is the fact that the universe is big and allows for a lot of space. One of the things that I talked about before I was hired was that we have a potential here to create a horror Marvel [Cinematic Universe], where you can have slasher killers from lots of different eras. You have the canon of our main mythology that’s built around the fact that the devil lives in Shadyside, so there’s also room for everything else.” “I think that my hope is that audiences like it enough that we can start building out [more], we can think about what another trilogy would be, what stand-alones would be, what TV would be. I don’t even think about it like TV or movies exactly anymore. That’s the great thing about Netflix and about what Fear Street is, which is kind of a hybrid new thing. I’m excited about the possibility of what else can happen.”

Janiak even commented on the era she would love to tackle in another installment of the series, saying, “I really started getting excited about a ’50s slasher movie, which I haven’t really seen." Given the scope of her plans from the start and her eye toward the franchise's continuation, Fear Street could have a bright future if Netflix deems it successful enough. Stine's Fear Street series contains 17 books, and while the new trilogy works as being inspired by the books rather than being direct adaptations, there is still plenty of material from which to pull. However, Universal's Dark Universe, which was intended to be an interconnected universe of horror icons like The Invisible Man and The Wolfman, crashed and burned with a single film released, 2017's The Mummy.


Given that such a high-profile horror universe has already failed, Netflix may be wary of such an endeavor. At this juncture, Netflix has not yet announced any plans for the future of Fear Street. However, if it pulls in good streaming numbers, Netflix would likely want the series to continue with a Fear Street Part Four or even several more films that were connected like the current trilogy, which is what Janiak would love to see.


Download the Fear Street Trilogy:

Fear Street Part One: 1994

Fear Street Part 2: 1978 and

Fear Street Part Three: 1666


Fear Street trilogy on Netflix: Ending and post-credits scene explained

It's been a tough, wild ride, but finally, we know the truth behind the Shadyside Killers in Netflix's Fear Street. The trilogy of films took us from 1994, back to 1978, and finally 1666, exploring why possessed serial killers were brutally murdering the residents of Shadyside, Ohio. It all had something to do with Sarah Fier, a witch who cursed the town to centuries of misfortune, while on the other side of the tracks, the town of Sunnyvale thrived.



Is Sarah Fier evil?

When Deena reunites Sarah Fier's hand with the rest of her skeleton, she flashes back in time to 1666, where she witnesses the truth behind the Shadyside curse.


Deena sees that Sarah Fier was innocent, that she was framed for witchcraft by Solomon Goode, Sheriff Nick Goode's Pilgrim ancestor. Using "A Simple Exchange" incantation from a book of the Devil (discovered in Widow Mary's house, a woman rumored to be immortal after striking a deal with the Devil), Solomon summons the Devil and makes a deal to turn his misfortunes around. He wants "power, prosperity, and legacy" and is willing to pay the price of a single soul every few years.


He writes the sacrifice's name on the stone wall in the secret passage beneath his house and the Devil possesses them. Sarah points out this sees the murders of even more people, as the Devil heads out on a killing spree.


To stop her from telling everyone, Solomon frames Sarah for the deaths of multiple children in the village (he'd initially tried to frame Pastor Miller). This is an easy task when the villagers already believe Sarah's soul to be damned after she was discovered kissing and falling in love with Hannah Miller, the pastor's daughter.


The villagers hang Sarah, but not before she promises to reveal the truth about the Goodes. "The truth shall be your curse," she tells Solomon. "I will shadow you for eternity. And everything you take and everyone you harm, you will feel the grip of my hand. I will follow you forever. I will never let you go."


This is why when Deena completes Sarah's skeleton, she sees exactly what happened in 1666. However, there's a consequence: Anyone who touches Sarah's bones becomes a target of the Shadyside Killers.


What does the feud between Sunnyvale and Shadyside mean?

One of the first things established in Part One: 1994 is the feud between Ohio's (fictional) rich and poor rival towns. Shadyside is known as the murder capital of the United States, while Sunnyvale is considered one of the richest and safest cities in the country. "Bad things always happen to Shadysiders," Sadie Sink's Ziggy says.


What's the connection? Why is one better than the other?

In their deal with the Devil, Sunnyvale family the Goodes trade the people of Shadyside for prosperity and wealth. Sheriff Nick Goode gives a name to the Devil, who then possesses that person and goes on a murder rampage, killing Shadysiders and feeding on their blood.


In return, Sheriff Goode gets whatever he wants. He becomes sheriff, his brother Will Goode becomes mayor and all of Sunnyvale becomes better and better, at Shadyside's expense. It carries on through generations, one Goode taking on the evil mantle.


Are Sunnyvale and Shadyside real cities?

A real Shadyside, Ohio exists, but thankfully the violent history depicted in the films is fictional (the movies are based on R.L. Stine's popular Fear Street book series after all). Several Sunnyvale's exist as well, but they're scattered across the US and don't border Shadyside.


What are the names written on the stone wall?

In Part Two: 1978, Alice (Cindy's former friend) and Cindy (Ziggy's sister) find a wall carved with the names of all the Shadyside Killers underneath Sarah Fier's house. Alice realizes that anyone whose name is written on the rock becomes possessed. Nurse Lane's daughter Ruby Lane is one of the possessed and attacks Simon in 1994. This is why Nurse Lane tries to kill Tommy Slater, knowing he too will turn into a killer, after she sees his name written on the wall.


The names written on the wall include Cyrus Miller (the pastor), William "Billy" Barker, Ruby Lane (Nurse Lane's daughter), Isaac Milton, and Harry Rooker (The Milkman).


Deena's little brother Josh collects newspaper clippings of the Shadyside Killers. They reveal a memorable list of slasher monikers, although the film series doesn't delve deep into the backstories. Here's what we know from the short snippets.


Ruby Lane: Nurse Lane's daughter, a 16-year-old Shadyside high schooler who murdered her boyfriend and six more with a razor in 1965. You can tell she's coming when you hear her singing You always hurt the one you love, by the Mills Brothers. Ruby's wrists are slashed -- a sign of her attempt at killing herself and (unsuccessfully) ending the curse.


Humpty Dumpty Killer: A newspaper clipping reveals that in 1935, the Humpty Dumpty Killer "strikes again." According to director Leigh Janiak in an interview with Collider, the Humpty Dumpty killer was in the original script for 1994. "I had this really interesting backstory... about a guy that was killing people and taking their body parts and making new people out of them. Like sewing things together -- of like Humpty Dumpty putting things back together again." However, Janiak wasn't sure which era to have him run amok in and decided, in the end, to leave the killer for another movie (yay to future movies!).


Farmer of Death: A note on Josh's detective wall says "Farmer of Death -- 1890." We don't learn more than that.


Billy Barker: Aka the creepy mask-wearing child. Barker bludgeons his sleeping brother in bed with a baseball bat in 1922. According to another newspaper clipping, Barker died in unknown circumstances following the murder. Like Ruby Lane, he too probably tried to (unsuccessfully) end the curse by killing himself.


The Milkman: In the 1950s, Harry Rooker was a milkman before he became one of the Shadyside Killers. The Milkman went on a murder rampage, killing his customers with a switchblade.


The Grifter: In 1904, The Grifter is shown in a quick flashback to being drowning a girl in a lake. Although, a newspaper clipping indicates The Grifter's favored murder method has something to do with the alliteration: "Grifter Guts Girls."


Camp Nightwing Killer: This is Tommy Slater, whose ax-wielding origins we see in Part Two: 1978. "Group of campers, brutal massacre. There was one Shadyside survivor, C. Berman," his newspaper clipping reads.


That post-credits scene and future movies

After Sarah kills Sheriff Nick Goode by stabbing him in the eye and the Shadyside Killers disappear (along with what appears to be gruesome Devil's spawn underneath Shadyside Mall), a news reporter reveals "information continues to surface implicating Union County Sheriff Nicholas Goode, the Sunnyvale serial killer."


The reporter goes on to say that the Goode family "maintains they had no knowledge of Sheriff Goode's horrifying secret."


We then see a short scene during the end credits. Underneath the mall, behind the sheriff do not cross police tape, the charred book of the Devil is swiped by an unknown person.


This is great news for fans who want more from the Fear Street world, including a look at the backstories of different killers. In an interview with Collider, Janiak confirmed "we have ideas" about future movies.


Download the Fear Street Trilogy:

Fear Street Part One: 1994

Fear Street Part 2: 1978 and

Fear Street Part Three: 1666