In ‘Street of Fear’, Provides Hope for a Lesbian Romance Genre


They are also heroes. In a sensitive scene in “1994”, when Sam stops denying his feelings for Deena moments before Deena is taken over, Deena makes a very important vow to Sam. “Even though we’re in hell tonight, I feel like I have one more chance with you,” she tells him. “I will never lose you again. Because you and I are the way out.”

This simple phrase is often heard in fear, but is often said by a man for the love of a woman. In “Fear Street,” a promise of the future makes more sense: it signals a change that requires Deena to be sent back to 1666. There, she plays Sarah Fier, a queer woman persecuted as a witch and hanged because of her. Love for another woman (also played by Welch) can seek justice against the same kinds of hatred and violence that keep Deena and Sam apart today.

In “1666,” Janiak wanted to emphasize the idea that the women then accused of being witches were simply non-standard.

“Because they were different, because they looked at the other girl for too long, or because they didn’t want to get married, they were labeled witches,” she said. “Whatever the social lines, they didn’t fit them.”

Apparently, the animus exhibited by humanity – as in Solomon (also played by Zukerman) who summons an entire town to persecute Sarah in “1666” – is as deadly, if not more, than a witch’s curse. It allowed Janiak to look beyond supernatural fears to examine the evils of our human beings. “This is always the scariest thing for me,” Janiak said. “I thought this was a great opportunity for us to visit the crazy villains of the genre, but in the end, ‘Who’s the real monster here?’

All in all, the “Street of Fear” movies are inspiring – even though there is clearly a lot of carnage along the way. Deena and Sam help save the town but, more importantly, maintain their love for each other. “The trilogy let us give it some hope, as I don’t think it usually exists in horror movies,” Janiak said, adding with a laugh, “When you only have an hour and a half to kill everybody. But the experimentation of movies has allowed us to push things a little bit, question and change things.”

And it was necessary.


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