Fear Street Trilogy: A Detailed Review

Viewer Discretion is Advised!

Before anything is said about this trilogy I want to address and warn before watching these movies that in these films there are scenes and dialogue that may be triggering to some viewers. These films include trauma in characters, talk and attempted suicide as well as self harm, including deaths of children or people under the age of 18, not to mention the extreme gore. It goes under their R rating, but be advised if such activities listed above are triggers for you, these films may cause harm please tread carefully when watching.

If you or a loved one suffer from self harm or suicidal tendencies please reach out, you may call the hotline for suicide prevention at 800-273-8255.

Fear Street: It’s NOTHING Like Elm… It’s Better!

If you grew up watching or reading R.L Stine’s Goosebumps then you are familiar with the kiddy horror that we love. Classics like Night of the Living Dummy, The Haunted Mask, The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, and so much more are fan favorite, but what if I told you that R.L Stine’s first horror series of books were oriented more for a young adult reader?

Now, what if I said these books were mixed with cult classic horror films like Jason, Scream, and others? Well Netflix’s newest addition to their originals exclusives is the Fear Street Trilogy.

These films are not of the normal trilogy making though, normally when we think of trilogy movies we think and expect to find these movies a few years apart in their release date. This isn’t the case for these three films, in fact, they were released one after the other in the same month, July to be precise, during 2021. It’s an unexpected move from major companies to pull especially if we are talking about creating demand for more, causing more potential financial benefit. Well Netflix was confident enough that these movies were going to gain fans and decided to released them as I mentioned, and with all honesty they were CORRECT! Now I DON’T want to spoil the films so I’ll keep the reviews as spoiler free as possible.


As an overview, these films are great for what they are marketing, having Fear Street: Part 1 1994 build an amazing start to the series and honestly left me wanting to finish all 3 by the end of the first one. To be completely honest I watch all three in one night and having each be 15 minutes short of 2 hours in runtime, that goes to show how good they were at keeping one’s attention for a total of nearly 6 hours of one’s day.The only problem I have was these movies were the extremely low light shots and sometimes I couldn’t tell if my tv was on or off. Yet these films are a mix of society’s favorite pop culture horror villains while having it’s originality in their origins. They are a great weekend watch if you want to have a watch along with friends, or if you need something to binge Saturday night because you’re not prone to going out, like myself, they’re also great. I’d say they are currently on my top 3 in the horror genre and without spoiling, the twist endings will give you chills. But with all 3 out now, I HIGHLY recommend watching them or atleast check out the trailer below.


Part 1: 1994

The story begins in 1994 as the title suggests, with a town ironically named Shadyside, in which we have one of our major characters we’ll be following named Deena played by Kiana Madeira and Josh, played by Benjamin Flores Jr, her brother. Shadyside lives in infamy as mass murders seem to be a recurring thing, happening every couple of years, with the first recorded event being in 1666 which is rounded to about 300 years worth of killings.

Deena has had troubles after recently breaking up with her closeted girlfriend Sam, played by Olivia Scott Welch and Josh is a shy introvert deeply knowledgeable on murderers, conspiracies and the town’s “lure”. Now after a recent mourn from a recent mass murder the town and their neighboring town, called Sunnydale, certain events led to an escalated situation and then to Sam finding the bones of Sarah Fier a witch from the 1600’s who placed a curse before she was hanged for witchcraft. This curse is speculated by a few to being the cause for the murder sprees that have happened over the years, while others simply blaming the poor providence turning junkies and going psycho. This statement coming from Sunnydale’s Sheriff Goode played by Ashley Zukerman.

So far everyone in town believed it to be just that people having breakdowns and going on murder sprees. Things get intense as Deena, Sam and their other friends fighting to survive the night. When they figure out who and what the killer is, they figure out how to temporarily stop them or at least how to stop it from killing them, in addition to finding out there’s only ever been one survivor setting up for the second film.

All in all, the first part of this trilogy really sold how the other movies were going to be. It’s a thrilling horror movie that really sells the use of practical effects, as at times I was a bit sick at looking at the gore which normally doesn’t happen. There are twist all while technically being the first act out of three total and by that I mean part 2 and part 3 not the structure for a film. Netflix and the films’ director Leigh Janiak really made three films feel like one whole, not time skips just in the way plot and story telling were used here.

Part 2: 1978

We move forward to Part 2 of the trilogy, which sets up after Deena and Sam find out that a survivor exists, being Ziggy Verman played by Sadie Sink as the younger version in 1978 and Gillian Jacobs as the older 1994 version. Although during the first film, Ziggy never actually helped to figure out how to stop the killers, instead she warns the girls at the end saying it will never stop. Deena goes on to find her and ask her to explain and to help them, which Deena finds out that she was actually a survivor from the 1978 camp massacre.

Clearly taking a crack from the original Friday the 13th, it was fun to see that films plot mixed in with the story of the towns curse not to mention the double action in all the gore and violence that takes place in these films. Now I do need to mention that here is where most of the advised triggers happen and although they were rough to see and hear, it added more depth to characters and their stories.

Now seeing as this film is majority the retelling of Ziggy’s memories of that night, we see Sadie’s version as the main character. Sadie and all the other actors like Ted Sutherland who plays a younger version of Sunnydale’s sheriff, were incredible in their roles. She and the others play off of each other in a sense that seemed like we actually got to project someone’s memories onto our screens and I don’t mean like a first person perspective more so that Sadie actually had these events happen to her and used that trauma to play the role. Not to mention the work of McCabe Slye who plays Tommy Slater and the killer in this film, who kept the same monotonic rhythm like I’ve seen Robert Patrick play in T2 as the T-1000.

After we finish the story of that night Ziggy reveals that there might actually be a way to stop the curse of the town which brings us to part 3.

Part 3: 1666

In part 3, as it is titled 1666 it places us in the 1600’s were we see the town’s first establishment. This part really takes a turn and reveals so much on the history and origin of what the town calls a curse. Up until this point we’ve acknowledged that the curse can’t be easily stopped unless we bring an object to where Sam first came in contact with it. When Deena goes on to find the object, upon returning it to the first contact spot she unlocks the truth through obtaining the memories of Sarah Fier, the supposed witch who placed the curse. These memories taking place as if Deena was the witch, and all the towns’ folk being her friends, bringing back the original cast from the first and second part as well now all together.

With that, the first and third act we find out the truth of who and what the curse is, leading to a very climactic third act in the film, and not just for the film but of the trilogy’s entirety. WHEN I SAY YOU ARE NOT READY FOR THE TRUTH YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME.

As I mentioned the revelations that come out of 1666 are so unexpected but they also make sense if you went Sherlock Holmes while viewing at the very beginning. While I was watching, the end of the second act gave me chills and left me with goosebumps on my skin until the end. I also have to mention the person that stole the show for me was McCabe Slye as Mad Thomas who without a doubt gave a performance like Robert Pattinson as the old preacher in The Devil All The Time. All I could think about was the similarities between the two and how McCabe’s performance sold for a mad preacher that would blame anyone as heathens and even prosecute innocents as witches and other. But nonetheless Kiana Madeira does an amazing job at playing her part as Sarah Fier.

Final Thoughts

Overall, as I tried keeping it spoiler free, I want to just say that these films were great to watch and a fun time. Kiana, Olivia, McCabe, Sadie Sink, Benjamin Flores Jr, and everyone else really did an outstanding job.

There was ever only one problem that was out of their hands and left in the production crew which was lighting, as many of the night and dark scenes were literally too dark to tell what was going on. It thankfully wasn’t enough to take me out of it but seeing as I watched in complete darkness with no glare on the glass, it was still a problem.

From that being my only take away, I really hope that people who enjoy horror and overall good films go and watch these on Netflix, even if you don’t have one ask a friend, ask your parents, borrow a neighbors account, you have to watch. But as I always say don’t take my word for it, go go go and watch for yourself and let me know what you think, till next time, peace.

‘I’m No Longer Here’: A Masterpiece of Identity From Mexico

Fernando Frías directs an incredible film full of emotional depth and nuance that exceeds all expectations.

CREDIT: Netflix

The last time I wrote to you all I was stuck inside a home because the world outside was falling apart, and not much has changed since. I am still very active on the podcast and starting season two of The Cinema Condition soon. This year in film has been filled with a lot of movies but a lot of them were not available to the public, so my year in film has been slow for the most part. Throughout the year I have watched some great films like Bacurau (2020), I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020), Sound of Metal (2020), and of course Tenet (2020). I was convinced for the most part that nothing would top my then favorite film of the year, Bacurau (2020). I was incredibly wrong.

I’m No Longer Here (2020) or Ya no estoy aquí (2020) looks at the life of Ulises a 17 year old boy who is part of a gang named “Los Terkos” (“The Stubborn”) as he is exiled from his community after a misunderstanding. Ulises then goes to New York City as he lives in Queens and begins to navigate his new life as a foreigner in a new world. This journey is met with discrimination, self doubt, and an identity crisis. It all blends to create my favorite film of the year.

It is so hard to not approach these films as a Latino but especially a Latino who is a son of immigrants. It is also so hard to not approach this film as someone who very much understands the eternal struggle of a Latino who at times does not really understand their identity. At one point I thought I understood the concept of Latinidad but since then I have lost much grasp of it. Ulises is like a lot of the people I grew up around, we were into different music, from some of the worst neighborhoods you did not want to step in, wore different clothes, did our hair differently from what was expected from us, and because of that we were easy targets to be bullied. When we were not bullied we were used as symbols and for others to use for their own gain. We did not fit a mold and we were never supposed to fit that mold.

I did not have the life that Ulises had completely but I knew a lot of people in México who were living there especially in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon in 2010-2013. They were too exiled from their land but instead of street gangs it was their government who pleaded them to come over to the United States because of the government’s incompetency to handle the situation at hand. Life became harder and the land of opportunity they thought they would be introduced to was just not there for them. Once again they were discriminated in this other part of the world for being them.

What Fernando Frías does with all these aspects is create a beautiful but heartbreaking story that is often too real for others. The cinematography is fluid and beautiful especially with its naturalistic lighting. The Kolombiano music included works so well to create the atmosphere and ambiance of what makes Ulises unique and a free spirit. The sense of community is felt throughout the whole film. The dread of being seen as weird and “the other” is heartbreaking. The pain of coming back to your land but seeing that the landscape of its people has been changed forever and it is not the land you were exiled from. Juan Daniel Garcia Treviño gives us a truly nuanced and beautiful performance as Ulises. The non linear aspect of the film works well with the structure especially if you think about it as Ulises remembering his life back then while in Queens. Everything works and it all creates such a beauty that speaks on so many levels.

Ya no estoy aquí (2020) is the official selection from México for the Best International Film category at next year’s Oscars. Watch Ya no estoy aquí (2020) on Netflix.

Start With Seconds…


Creator/Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

I question when I will hit the superhero movie fatigue that is always brought up in conversation when the likes of Marvel and DC throw out their beloved titles that the studios recognize as cash cows or when fanboys in a homicidal rage scream to the interwebz “Release *insert name”‘s Cut!”. All I have to say is, “Not Yet”. Also, I need to recognize the thought and effort put into television shows of the less well-known comic book entities. Of course one must mention “The Walking Dead” (even though that show should have ended around 4 seasons ago), HBO’s “Watchmen”, Amazon’s dark and entertaining superhero show “The Boys”, and of course Netflix and My Chemical Roman….I mean Gerard Way’s “The Umbrella Academy”. (Not to forget the now defunct and gone-too-soon shows of Netflix’s “Daredevil”, “Jessica Jones”, “Iron Fist”, “The Punisher”, and “Luke Cage”). I plan to keep this review as spoiler free as I can, but it is technically “Season 2”, so there will be mentioning of sh*t that occurred in “Season 1”.

Let me first start off by saying that I feel like it’s been ages since we met “The Umbrella Academy” (even though the show premiered in February of 2019) and the Hargreeves children who make the X-Men look like model citizens in comparison. If you don’t want to know the ending of season 1, please stop reading HERE.

Vanya f*cked sh*t up.

To give more detail in an eloquent manner, Vanya murdered the moon in season 1 which caused a giant piece of it to careen into the earth; killing all life as we know it. Luckily for our heroes, Number 5 (does…does he even have a name?) managed to transport them out of there and back to 1960s Texas, which turned out to be not so bad for most of the group (Klaus even got his own cult)…except for Allison, whose vocal chords had been sliced and has now been deposited in a time where racists denied African Americans their rights, including even the right to sit and be served at a diner.

And this is where I think the second season really one-ups the first season.

As the first season was our introduction to this new comic book world with a new family of enhanced beings with abilities, the second season goes full tilt into showing how they are able to cope being stranded in an era that did not take kindly to what was seen as different, be it Luther’s size, Klaus and Vanya’s sexuality, or Allison’s race. Really, the main plot of this season is just like the entire premise of “Quantum Leap” (another fantastic sci-fi show). Just like Dr. Samuel Beckett, they’re hoping their next leap will be the leap home.

In 10 episodes, Netflix is able to make us feel and empathize with what is going on with each and every one of the main characters (including even Ben, whose character arc was one of the best this season) while weaving an intricate narrative that climaxes into quite the spectacle. I wish I could go into quite more detail on the on-goings (seriously, go watch this…like, right now), but you’ll just have to live with me saying there’s blood, psychotic rage, goldfish, Antonio Banderas lookalikes, daddy issues, and of course (as Dominic Toretto quips in every one of his movies) family. – YoungYoda

For The Fans…

A Review of EL camino: A breaking bad movie

Photo Credit: Entertainment Weekly

Another movie this year which I chalked up to being “unnecessary”, but in this instance I still believe that. But, did I watch El Camino the second it dropped on Netflix? As Walter White once proclaimed, “You’re goddamn right.” I guess this review has a hint of spoiler territory if you’ve never seen the original six seasons of Breaking Bad. If this is the case, be sure to stop reading here and go watch the series as it is one of the best television moments to ever grace the airwaves.

When we last left off the story of Jesse Pinkman, he was driving off into the sunset in an El Camino stolen off the once living, meth dealing white supremacists whose corpses now littered the very compound they had been keeping Jesse hostage in. This all of course thanks to Walter White’s last minute heroics which included robots and a fully automatic machine gun (Seriously to all the readers, go watch Breaking Bad). Anyways, to me this was the perfect send off to a beloved character who was only supposed to get a very short episode arc, but due to Aaron Paul’s prodigious performance, he became the Oliver Hardy to Bryan Cranston’s Stan Laurel. This ending sees Jesse burst through the locked gate of his previous forced residence as we get a close-up to his face both laughing manically while crying tears of relief and delirium. It left all viewers who watched with the idea that Jesse, a character who had gone through hell during this last season, would have a happily ever-after. Vince Gilligan had capped off one of his greatest achievements with an ending that left most, if not all fans, satisfied.

A little more than six years later we get El Camino, whose existence is more of a love letter from Gilligan to the fans. Was it necessary? Far from it. Was it satisfying? Oh, hell yeah it was. The story starts right at the very ending of Breaking Bad and doesn’t slow down. We find that not all stories are straight forward and sometimes our characters go from the frying pan and into the fire. Fans of Breaking Bad will not lose that feeling of satisfaction by the end of this movie, but will have more details to go with it.

Seeing Aaron Paul back as his titular character is refreshing and getting call backs to conversations he had with his past castmates from Jonathan Banks to Bryan Cranston made me nostalgic for the series. Two characters whose portrayals must be recognized are that of Todd Alquist, played by Jesse Plemons, and Ed Galbraith, played by the now late Robert Forster (who passed away, the same day the movie was released, at the age of 78). These two characters help to provide the details of Jesse’s past and move the story forward into his future. All I can say is that it is a must to have the exact change when purchasing a vacuum.

Can a two hour movie provide the same quality as six seasons? No, but Vince Gilligan has penned a love letter to the fans that allows us to see some of our favorite characters one more time. For that, I am giving El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie a 9.25/10. YoungYoda out.

“The Family” Conspiracy or Corruption?



Whether or not you believe in conspiracy theories, Netflix has put together a series that showcases the coming and goings of “The Family,”(also known as The Fellowship and the International Foundation) a secretive, religious sect that has had unfettered access to not only the most powerful in Congress, but to leaders all around the world.  Based on the series written by executive producer, Jeff Sharlet, the writer of such novels as C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy and The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, “The Family” is 5 episodes which take the viewer through recruitment of the youth, protection of their political proponents, and how they are affecting the today’s political landscapes all around the world. 

Now “The Family,” is not just some new, upstart organization.  Oh no, first started in 1935 by Abraham Vereide as more of a church for the elite.  Those who possessed some sort of power, be it as Congressman of Alabama or President of Uganda, were recruited in some manner.  Doug Coe, continued Vereide’s vision with the slight change of not putting a spotlight onto the organization but keeping their works under wraps which does give the appearance of what some would call “suspicious”. “The Family” appeals that there are no nefarious intentions in their operations and is only there to provide spiritual support through prayer meetings, support groups, and the like. 

Jeff Sharlet gives viewers a different interpretation, being that he had actually been recruited in his 20s to become a member and live at their estate in Arlington, VA called Ivanwald.  From his experience he allows viewers to see that having powerful friends and using Jesus as more of a prop to get a foot in the door of the influential, versus living according to his teachings, garnered the organization to continually increase it’s influence and have the ability to be in the ear of the decision makers.  In Jeff’s opinion, “The Family” is willing to forgive and forget the misdeeds of other if those others are “chosen” by God, no matter the offence.  One example given includes the protection of the ex-Senator of Nevada John Ensign whose continued extramarital affair with a staff member’s wife led him to bribe/placate the staff member into silence with a job as a lobbyist.  Although the staff member was met with jail time and the loss of any and all credibility due to ethics violations once this arrangement had come to light, John Ensign managed to not face any penalties other than having to resign from his position and fines (after the case had been reopened in 2013).  Sharlet gives the presumption that “The Family” acted as the safety net for Senator Ensign, as he was chosen by God to be in his position, while allowing all others caught in his wave of deceit to drown.

It is up to the viewer to determine for themselves if Netflix’s “The Family” is just a conspiracy documentary/dramatization made to sell the books of an ex-member whose interviews include many wronged by the very people he looks to bring out into the public eye…or, is it an expose into a political organization that has used religion as it’s stepping stool in order to place themselves next to the most powerful, be it presidents or dictators, as to sculpt the world how they see fit.  In my personal opinion, some imagery throughout this series seems to have an exaggeration placed within, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t do a great job at showing the public another hidden cog that turns the wheel of power in which “We the People” get no say.  I give “The Family” an 8 out of 10. – YoungYoda