How Netflix turned a slasher trilogy into a summer movie moment

In order to keep her roles straight, Fear Street star Kiana Madeira kept a big Five Star binder with her on set at most times. As part of the experimental slasher trilogy from Netflix, Madeira played two different roles across three movies, each set in a different time period. To make matters even more challenging, the schedule was incredibly compact: all three films were shot together over just a few months. So her binder served a crucial role. Inside were all three scripts, and she would write in it constantly.

“Every time we finished a scene, I would make notes about how it went, how my character was feeling, how I was feeling, what I think we ended with in terms of the tone and the trajectory of the story,” she says. “My binder really helped keep me organized and on that path.” The binder even stayed in character; to go along with the first movie’s ’90s setting, she decorated it with images from old magazines.

Fear Street represents something new for Netflix, a chance to merge the bingeable nature of streaming TV with a summer horror movie. Based on the young adult book series by R.L. Stine, the movies tell an interconnected story about a haunted town that spans generations, starting with the ’90s, before moving to the 1970s and, finally, 1666. To make the trilogy an event, Netflix devised an interesting release strategy: new movies were released on a weekly basis for three straight weeks throughout July, with the final chapter out today.

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