Main debut of the week on Netflix, Rua do Medo: 1994 – Part 1 kicks off the trilogy inspired by the books of the master of horror in literature RL Stine — same author of the Goosebumps stories (1995-1998). With a plot that mixes elements of the Scream and Stranger Things franchise, the film disappoints with a horror to make you laugh.
One of the most acclaimed horror works in recent decades, the Scream franchise has been the inspiration for many others. Films with serial killers hunting young people in small towns across the United States are nothing new, and the trick Rua do Fedo uses to distance himself from others is the supernatural touch, seen in series like Stranger Things and Supernatural (2005-2020).
The feature is not an adaptation of any specific novel written by Stine. Director Leigh Janiak created an unprecedented story inspired by some of the author’s short stories. In terms of scares, the film fails, but if the focus is fun deaths and questionable decisions, it is possible to please.
In Rua do Medo, there is the kind of construction of a shared world that we see in films like Marvel’s: stories that exist in the same place, but at different times, and connected by a common enemy and the curse it brings .
In the plot of part 1, a small group of friends investigate the secrets behind a series of bloody murders in their hometown of Shadyside in the interior of the United States. Since 1666, numerous massacres at the site have left the city marked as the Capital of Death.
The macabre assassin of Rua do Fedo
Set in 1994, the film begins with a new slaughter. A young store attendant, apparently sane, chases and kills several colleagues inside a mall. A short time later, the quartet of friends formed by teenagers Deena (Kiana Madeira), her younger brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) and drug dealer friends Simon (Fred Hechinger) and Kate (Julia Rehwald) discover a curse of the 17th century that may be the cause of the city’s horrible history.
Keeping an eye on the blood trail left by the killer, the quartet ends up directly involved with the curse when Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), Deena’s ex-girlfriend, begins to be chased by entities who want her dead.
For those who like blood, Rua do Medo is a sure bet. The film features killings and massacres that do not go unnoticed. However, everything that involves the conflicts of the characters makes the production dull and uninteresting.
If the core doesn’t work, it’s the exaggeration of absurdities to blame. Even for a Hollywood film, the facilities the script finds to explain the survival of its protagonists and the lack of interest from others when they see teenagers stealing ambulances and police weapons make the work laughable.
Rua do Medo: 1994 looks a lot like countless Scream-style franchises, but tries (without much success) to be original. The fact that it’s a trilogy announced from the beginning helps to create an interest in continuity — even if it’s just for the pleasure of following what could get worse. If it depended on the first movie for a future, the resolution of the curse would hardly be seen.
Watch the trailer for Rua do Medo: 1994 – Part 1: