The Fear Street Part One: 1994 soundtrack includes a plethora of bangers from the good ‘ol 90s. This article contains spoilers for the 2021 Netflix film. Subscribe to Vague Visages for access to reviews and essays.
In 1994, my brother Dusty returned home to Barnesville, Minnesota after serving in the U.S. Navy. He told me stories about traveling around the world, and about musical acts that he learned about (such as No Doubt) while stationed in Concord, California — just around the bend from San Francisco. Nearly three decades later, I can still remember Dusty’s red case full of cassette tapes and the excitement I felt upon learning about Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers and other bands. The soundtrack for Fear Street Part One: 1994 takes me back to that formative experience as a 14-year-old, and will undoubtedly inspire a new generation to explore the discography of mid-90s alt rock legends. Here’s a breakdown of every featured song in Leigh Janiak’s Netflix film.
More by Q.V. Hough: Soundtracks of Cinema: ‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666’
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails (00:00:00)
Released in May 1994, “Closer” plays during the opening minute of Fear Street Part One: 1994 when Maya Hawke’s Heather gives the finger to a Shadyside Mall patron. The song establishes a specific mood for the Netflix movie, and the moment instantaneously informs the audience about the character’s personality. Heather may be an angsty youth, but she’s specifically upset about the correlation made between “low-brow horror” and “trash.” So, Fear Street Part One: 1994 announces its identity by kicking off the trilogy with “Closer.”
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage (00:09:00)
Fear Street Part One: 1994 reinforces its identity through Garbarge’s 1995 song about the self-awareness of mid-90s alt rock hipsters. Within the narrative, the lyrics align with the mindset of Kiana Madeira’s Deena, who writes a note to her ex-girlfriend, Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), that begins with “I Hate You.” In reality, the character seemingly hates how she feels in the moment but nevertheless embraces her dark side.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Fear of the Dark (2015 Remaster)” by Iron Maiden (00:10:00)
“Fear of the Dark” scores the introduction of Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.), Deena’s brother who chats online with a blanket over his body and computer station. This moment in Fear Street Part One: 1994 suggests that the boy is somewhat of an outsider, a teenager with a morbid curiosity about the dark history of his native Shadyshide.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Machinehead” by Bush (00:12:00)
After Deena reads about Heather’s murder in Fear Street Part One: 1994, Josh tears a page from his obsession wall. It’s revealed to be a sketch of Sarah’s Fier’s 1666 execution, and “Machinehead” sets in when the camera zooms in on the text “The one-handed witch, Sarah, Fire, condemned to Hell.” The song works as a mood-setter for a subsequent transitional sequence at school, but the lyrics almost make it seem like the witch herself is looming over the student, waiting for the right opportunity to present herself.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” by Sophie B. Hawkins (00:13:00)
Originally released in 1992, Sophie B. Hawkins’ “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” plays as Josh gazes at his crush, Kate (Julia Rehwald). The thematic usage in Fear Street Part One: 1994 is straight-forward, and the track complements the comedy of Josh reciting the Konami cheat code to calm himself down (“Up, up, down, down. Left, right, left, right, B,A, start). But there’s also the possibility that the song reflects Kate’s perspective, and that she anticipates a romantic relationship in the near future.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Sour Times” by Portishead (00:13:00)
“Sour Times” most definitely captures Deena’s perspective in Fear Street Part One: 1994, as she watches various students bond at Shadyside High. Her facial expression implies that she doesn’t enjos the various PDAs, and the scene positions her a social outcast like her brother.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Insane in the Brain” by Cypress Hill (00:16:00)
Once Deena learns that Sunnyvale will host a candlelight vigil for murder victims, she expresses herself by suggesting that she’d rather die than attend. “Insane in the Brain” helps reinforce the ongoing conflict between the opposing schools in Fear Street Part One: 1994, and also preps the audience for the proper introduction of Sam, a Sunnyvale cheerleader.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Creep” by Radiohead (00:17:00)
As “Insane in the Brain” drowns out, Fear Street Part One: 1994 shifts to Deena’s perspective as she listens to “Creep” on her walkman. A montage shows shows the bleak nature of the community known as “Shittyside,” with the lyrical usage implying that Deena struggles with self-confidence issues. She wants Sam, but seems to believe that she doesn’t deserve a girlfriend who attends Sunnyvale.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Thursday” by 99 Tales (00:30:00)
“Thursday” can barely be heard in Fear Street Part One: 1994 as Deena speaks with Sam’s mother on the phone. Lyrically, the song usages implies that a dark force is coming for Sam, which proves to be true.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “More Human Than Human” by White Zombie (00:30:00)
While playing a video game in Fear Street Part One: 1994, Josh rocks out to “More Human Than Human” — a White Zombie classic that was thematically inspired by Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and the movie adaptation, Bladerunner. The moment offers a little more character detail for Josh, who is so consumed by his gaming/musical experience that he doesn’t realize the danger that lurks nearby.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Gz and Hustlas” by Snoop Dogg (00:32:00)
“Gz and Hustlas” plays as Kate babysits and instructs two girls about taking pills. The song drowns out as Rehwald’s character visits with Simon, just moments before a masked killer shows up. Thematically, the lyrics correlate with Kate’s personality and proactive behavior in Fear Street Part One: 1994.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Killing Me Softly with His Song” by Robert Flack (00:36:00)
On the surface, Roberta Flack’s classic functions as lobby music when Deena arrives at East Union Memorial Hospital to see Sam. However, the lyrics foreshadow imminent terror in Fear Street Part One: 1994, as the receptionist Stephanie is killed shortly after.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Your Woman” by White Town (00:37:00)
“Your Woman” introduces Eddy or “Beddy” (Eric Mendenhall), a nurse who speaks with Deena about breaking security protocols . Lyrically, the song aligns with the gender dynamics of the scene in Fear Street Part One: 1994, along with Simon’s teasing statement that he’s “too pretty” to be dropped by Kate as a friend.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “You Always Hurt the One You Love” by Jordyn DiNatale (00:46:00)
Outside East Union Memorial Hospital, Simon comes face to face with the undead Ruby Lane (Jordyn DiNatale), who sits by a tree while singing The Mills Brothers’ “You Always Hurt the One You Love.” The X-shaped scar on her face foreshadows the eventual death of Hechinger’s character in Fear Street Part One: 1994, and the lyrics connect to the character’s relevance in the prequel, as her mother plays a significant role. The song plays two more times in the Netflix movie — first at 01:06:00 when Ruby shows up at Shadyside High, and then again at 01:21:00 when Ruby targets Simon.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “You Always Hurt the One You Love” by The Mills Brothers (00:46:00)
The Mills Brothers’ original recording of “You Always Hurt the One You Love” scores the moment when Ruby attempts to kill Simon in Fear Street Part One: 1994. He’s saved when Deena puts two bullets in the undead character while a stunned Sam watches Ruby instantaneously recover from her wounds.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Sweet Jane” by Cowboy Junkies (01:03:00)
In a comedic moment, Simon admires himself in the mirror (and then pleasures himself, too) as Cowboy Junkies’ cover of The Velvet Underground classic plays. Meanwhile, Josh shares an intimate moment with Kate, while Deena hooks up with Sam. The musical sequence develops the collective character arcs in Fear Street Part One: 1994, and the song plays again during a sex scene in the prequel, Fear Street Part Two: 1978.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Firestarter” by The Prodigy (01:05:00)
“Firestarter” enlivens a scene when Deena and Sam commence their plan to trap the undead killers. The lyrics reference trouble-making and fear addicts, so the song underlines the mentalities of the teenagers in this particular moment during Fear Street Part One: 1994. They’re not running away from their problems but rather addressing them head-on and literally trying to cheat death.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “Hey” by Pixies (01:33:00)
Sam and Deena enjoy a romantic moment in bed during the final act of Fear Street Part One: 1994. Once again, the song foreshadow imminent danger, as Madeira’s character leaves the room and then discovers that Sarah Fier has possessed her girlfriend. The lyrics reference “whores in my head” and “whores at the door,” and so the usage implies that the Shadyside Witch is ever-present.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “The Day I Tried to Live” by Soundgarden (01:36:00)
After Sam/Sarah Fier stabs Deena in Fear Street Part One: 1994, Josh chats away on his computer while listening to “The Day I Tried to Live.” He defends his deceased friends while communicating with “QUEENOFAIRANDDARKNESS,” with the lyrics emphasizing his evolution from a timid teenager into someone who seizes the day. Moments later, Josh assists his sister Deena upon discovering that Sam has been possessed.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 Soundtrack: “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper (01:39:00)
As Fear Street Part One: 1994 ends, “School’s Out” scores what is essentially a trailer for Fear Street Part Two: 1978. The song actually released in 1972, but its themes align with the summer camp premise for the slasher prequel.
Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.