Thanks to the success of Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy, director Leigh Janiak is set to experience a huge uptick in visibility within the industry, after each entry in the horror series scored strong reviews from critics and pulled in huge viewership numbers on the world’s biggest streaming service.
It’s an enviable position to be in, especially when the ambitious undertaking was by no means a guaranteed success. Utilizing a lot of the same cast and crew, Janiak helmed a trio of slasher films set over the course of almost 300 years in one six-month block, and if the material wasn’t up to scratch then the experiment would have been doomed from the second the opener premiered.
Luckily, Part One: 1994, Part Two: 1978 and Part Three: 1666 all topped the streamer’s most-watched list within 24 hours of debuting, and they also boast impressive Rotten Tomatoes scores of 80%, 90% and 95%, respectively. The world is now Janiak’s oyster, but in a new interview the filmmaker admitted that she’d love to stay in the Fear Street sandbox for a while yet, and continue building out a property she believes has the potential to be horror’s version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“I think that my hope is that audiences like it enough that we can start building out. We can think about what another trilogy would be, what standalones would be, what TV would be. I don’t even think about it like TV or movies exactly anymore. That’s the great thing about Netflix and about what Fear Street is, which is kind of a hybrid new thing. I’m excited about the possibility of what else can happen. I really started getting excited about a ’50s slasher movie, which I haven’t really seen, and what that means. It’s just cool to think about the different eras and what’s possible as a horror fan.”
Prior to Fear Steet, Janiak’s only credits behind the camera came on low budget mystery thriller Honeymoon and episodes of Outcast, Scream and Panic, so it would be an understatement to say she’s made the jump into feature films with aplomb. The 41 year-old will no doubt be fielding plenty of offers in the aftermath, but Netflix know a hot trend when they see one, so we could be getting plenty more period piece slashers to come as the universe continues to expand, with almost limitless storytelling opportunities.