Fear Street Part Two: 1978 is the second part of the trilogy of horror movies based on the books by R. L. Stine that are airing on Netflix.
It picks up right after the events of Fear Street Part One: 1994 (read my review), with Deena (Kiana Madeira) and her brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) trying to save Deena’s girlfriend Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), who has been possessed by the witch Sarah Fier.
They meet with C. Berman (Gillian Jacobs), who was one of the survivors of the 1978 massacre at Camp Nightwing that was also attributed to Fier. Berman tells the kids the events of that fateful week at camp.
We flashback to a girl named Ziggy (Sadie Sink), as she is trying to outrun some bullies at camp. She gets caught, but is saved by a young Nick Goode (Ted Sutherland), aka the sheriff from 1994.
Meanwhile her older sister Cindy Berman (Emily Rudd) is hanging out with her boyfriend Tommy (McCabe Slye), and fellow friends/counselors Alice (Ryan Simpkins) and her boyfriend Arnie (Sam Brooks), who are both stoner troublemakers.
For unknown reasons, Tommy is attacked by the camp’s Nurse Lane (Jordana Spiro), and Cindy knocks her out. While searching her office, they come upon Lane’s strange notebook which says that Fier made a deal with the devil by cutting her hand on Satan’s stone, thereby earning eternal life. They also find a map of the camp, with directions leading to Fier’s house at the edge of the map.
Of course Alice and Arnie immediately set off for the house, with Cindy and Tommy in tow, and you just know all hell is going to break loose. Which it does, as campers and counselors alike are soon murdered by a Fier-possessed killer (leaving this one unnamed since it’s a nice twist reveal).
Cindy and Ziggy end up among the few survivors fighting for their lives, alongside Nick, and several more twists happen towards the end. determining who will survive.
I loved this movie! It’s a complete homage to the camp-based horror of the late 70s/early 80s, most notably Friday the 13th, but it takes it two steps further.
One, the killer is possessed by an ancient witch. This is different from most slasher movies where the killer is just considered to be insane.
Two, this film breaks an unwritten rule of camp slashers. In past slashers, especially set at camp, those who died were horny teenagers and troublemakers. But in this movie, everyone is fair game, including the innocent kids.
As in the first installment of the trilogy, director Leigh Janiak elevates the film from the books’ PG material to an R-rating with plenty of gore and some partial nudity. It serves the film well.
They also nailed it with the cast again, with strong turns from Sink, Rudd and Simpkins especially. Actors who weren’t even born when this movie is supposed to take place, I’d like to point out.
I’m giving Fear Street Part Two: 1978 a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a great blend of slasher and supernatural horror, and it really evokes the vintage horror vibe. It’s currently airing on Netflix, with the final installment, 1666, due to air July 16, 2021.
FEAR STREET PART TWO: 1978 (2021)
Director: Leigh Janiak
Cast: Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, Ryan Simpkins, McCabe Slye, Ted Sutherland, Jordana Spiro, Gillian Jacobs, Kiana Madeira, Benjamin Flores Jr., Ashley Zukerman, Olivia Scott Welch, Chiara Aurelia, Jordyn DiNatale
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