I don’t remember exactly how. I don’t remember exactly when. I only remember that, as a kid, I was obsessed with R.L. Stine, and no, not Goosebumps; it was the Fear Street series that was my jam. The Fear Street books were geared toward teenagers with stories about the paranormal, and also often would have a twist ending, but a lot of the books are murder mysteries. I always preferred the murder mysteries myself.
If I could remember the how and the when, I would love that because I suspect that it was R.L. Stine who really nurtured my love of all things horror, reading, and by the second grade (or probably sooner, but my distinctive memory is of the second grade), I was already writing my own horror tales. I still remember the story, by the way. It was of a guy in a long trench coat who went around the mall going, “Boo!” to all the shoppers. I could have made millions as a seven-year-old, huh?
I mean, when I think about that influence — that he inspired my love of reading, horror and writing — I’m quite thankful for Mr. Stine! And whoever gave me my first Fear Street book.
But if Stine nurtured it, what even got me into these horror tales? Particularly Fear Street? Because, after all, Fear Street is technically for an audience older than I was at the time, more like teenagers, whereas Goosebumps was more for kids. But for some reason, I didn’t like Goosebumps as much. I wanted the scarier stuff! I would love to know what it is about me that was attracted to horror.
I also didn’t realize until today that Fear Street actually came first, starting in 1989 (and continuing for the next 10 years), and Goosebumps followed in 1992. Goosebumps would ultimately be magnitudes more successful, but I’ll always have more fondness for the Fear Street books. In fact, I wish I still had my collection! I don’t have any of my childhood books anymore, and I’m a bit sad about that.
Looking at Wikipedia, that original 10-year span of the Fear Street series had 52 books. I’m pretty certain, just glancing at the titles, I’ve read all of them. I devoured these books! These are the books that made me fall in love with reading and eventually branch out into Dean Koontz and Stephen King and other authors.
I obviously didn’t keep up with the new ones that came out in 2014 when he revised the series, although I’m not opposed to reading one for nostalgic purposes!
Looking at some of the covers again, wow that nostalgia is hitting me hard. I miss these books and the fun I had with them. They were fun stories at about 150 pages. I wanted to be R.L. Stine for the longest time, and uh, given he’s sold nearly 500 million books, I’d still like to be him.
But there’s another reason I started randomly going down this nostalgia path: Netflix has picked up R.L. Stine’s Fear Street for a movie trilogy for summer 2021. Wohoo! Granted, I think given how many books there are in the series, you could easily do a fun anthology-like television show, similar to American Horror Story, but I’m down for three movies, too.
According to Deadline, all three films from director and co-writer Leigh Janiak (who has done two episodes of Scream: The TV Series on MTV) are complete, purchased from Disney, and will be released one month apart in summer 2021.
All of which is apparently part of a broader Netflix campaign in summer 2021 called The Summer of Fear. SIGN ME UP. Wait, I already have a subscription. Can I double-subscribe? Yes, please.
The Fear Street saga starts in 1994, where a group of teens find out that a terrifying series of events in their hometown of Shadyside, Ohio, might be connected. Worse, the teens might be next up as targets. The films cover three different time periods, including the 1600s.
Bring it on. Give me Fear Street again … in Netflix movie form!
And I should note, even if I wasn’t as big of a Goosebumps fan, I did read some of those books, too, and I’m sure as a kid I watched the 1995-1998 Goosebumps TV series. But! I also am fond of the goofiness of the two film adaptations from 2015 and 2018.
Given that Fear Street is more for teenagers and as Deadline said, isn’t exactly the usual Disney fare, if they’re as fun as those two Goosebumps movies were, but titled slightly edgier, I. Am. Here. For. It.
Did you read the Fear Street books (or Goosebumps!) as a kid? Whether you have or not, are you intrigued by a Fear Street trilogy, or at least, whatever this “Summer of Fear” is from Netflix in 2021?