Fear Street Part 2: 1978 – Review

Fear Street 2

Previously on Fear Street Part 1: 1994, Deena (Kiana Madeira) and her brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) became the only survivors of the terrible events which led them to being trapped in a shopping mall and forced to fight off the supernatural forces hellbent on killing them. Now, after having to save Deena’s girlfriend, Sam (Olivia Scott Welch) from the possession of the witch, they go to see an isolated woman (Gillian Jacobs) who has isolated herself after the traumatic events that killed her sister in 1978. Believing that the witch which possessed Sam is connected, Deena and Josh go to hear what she has to say.

Fear Street Part 2: 1978 is the sequel (prequel?) to Netflix’s horror trilogy based on the books by R. L. Stine. This time after evoking the Nineties slasher subgenre, Fear Street goes back to the origins of the slasher movie, hoping to remind its audience of such things as Friday the 13th and Halloween.

Ziggy Berman (Sadie Sink) has always been considered the weird kid and the rest of Camp Nightwing treat her differently, to the point that when we meet Ziggy, she’s running for her life only to be strung up and tortured by the other campers. However, there’s plenty of other campers ripe for the killing, so when Ziggy and the ones in the camp that she considers friends uncover a satanic ritual site, it once again unleashes the powers of the witch which possesses another innocent victim and lets them loose on the campers.

As with what happened in Part 1, Part 2 tries to evoke a certain era of cinema and the beginnings of the slasher movie seem to be a good place to go. It’s unfortunate then that perhaps due to the budget, Part 2 never really feels like 1978 apart from a few costumes and a soundtrack which sporadically drops in a classic Seventies track. Although often the songs are put in because they sound cool rather than making sense to the scene.

This time joined by Zak Olkewicz on screenwriting duties, director Leigh Janiak is consistent with her work, but Part 2 comes across as less of a homage to well loved classics and more of a hazy recollection of a subgenre of horror.

The cast all play their parts well and with Sadie Sink in the lead it will no doubt keep Stranger Things firmly in the minds of the viewers. There are also some twists at the end; some that audiences may like and others which they may see coming from a mile away, but as with the first part, the promise of what’s to come may entice them to finish the trilogy.

Let’s just hope that Fear Street Part 3: 1666 is less like The Village and more like The Witchfinder General.

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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.