Fear Street director on gay couple taking centre stage in Netflix's new horror film series

"It was a very different world to be gay in 1994."


Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Netflix

Netflix's upcoming teen horror film Fear Street Part One: 1994 will focus on a lesbian couple, according to its director.

The first in a three-film series overseen by Leigh Janiak, the movie drops internationally on the blockbuster viewing platform on 2 July 2021.

What's more, Shadyside residents Deena and Samantha, played by Kiana Madeira and Olivia Welch respectively, will "anchor" the other two films, too.

"I don't identify as queer but my writing partner does"

Speaking in an interview in the new issue of SFX magazine, Janiak said: “The whole thing of the world of Shadyside is that it's about people who were told that they’re ‘other’, that they were different. To be able to represent a queer love story that takes place in the 90s was something that was very interesting to me.

"I don’t identify as queer but my writing partner [Phil Graziadei] does, and he was always with his voice guiding [the story].”

Janiak adds: “It was a very different world to be gay in 1994, and we acknowledge that it wasn’t easy to walk around and say, ‘I’m a lesbian.’ You’ll see as the movies unfold what the bigger story is, in terms of all the characters being ‘other’ and ‘different’. It made sense that they would be our anchor."

Fear Street Part One: 1994 follows three teenagers trying to unmask a serial killer; Part Two: 1978 focuses on a night of mayhem at a campsite, while Part Three: 1666 follows a witch hunt in the same town where the first two films are set.

The film series is adapted from the hit horror fiction series by R. L. Stine, which began in 1989.

Part Two drops on 9 July and Part Three on 16 July.

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