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Fear Street Part 2: 1978 Review: A Bloody Sequel That Expands The Universe

July 10, 2021

Set somewhere between a television event and a ready-to-go movie franchise, the second installment in Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy takes us back to the late ’70s, the heyday of horror movies. This segment, which ends with our main story from the 1990s, tells the story of the Camp Nightwing massacre, as told by C. Berman (Gillian Jacobs), the sole survivor of the murders. Based on the books by RL Stine, but with an R rating, Fear Street Part Two: 1978 focuses on teenagers, but is as relevant to them as their influences, that is, it depends on the ‘child’.

Playing on the stalking and killing traditions of the late ’70s and early’ 80s, the film is clearly influenced by Friday the 13th and tells the story of a Jason Voorhees-like masked killer. But just like Fear Street Part 1: 1994, this sequel takes pleasure in subverting those tropes and expanding the mythology of its universe. It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s extremely gory, and it reminds of a more innocent time for the genre. If you believed in Fear Street ’94, you won’t be disappointed.

Drawing on the bitter rivalry between neighboring towns, the perfect and privileged Sunnyvale and the seemingly cursed Shadyside, Fear Street ’78 begins with the rebellious young Ziggy (Sadie Sink from Stranger Things) being tortured by the ugly Sunnyvalers who think she stole money from them. . The Sunnvalers laugh at her, tie her wrists above her head, and hang her from the same tree where the legendary Sarah Proud is said to have been hanged as a witch. They then burn the inside of his arm with a lighter, foreshadowing that the circle will be completed in the final episode. As in 1994, this is a story of outsider fights pitted against the rich but cruel Sunnyvale mob, and here the rivalry is even more stark: the night of the massacre coincides with the camp’s annual “color war”. – a night game between Shadyside and Sunnydale.

Sink, like Ziggy, is electric, which is crucial because, staying true to the tropes of the original slashers, many of the supporting characters in Fear Street ’78 are very boring at first. Ziggy is fierce, furious, and self-centered, while her critical sister Cindy (Emily Rudd) is the ultimate archetypal girl, in pole and virgin. Other supporting characters, who are no doubt destined to be eliminated from the classic slashers (Fear Street has a few moves to play with, don’t think you know where this will take you), are preoccupied with sex and drugs. But there is more.

In addition to the threat of the madman with his ax destroying campers and monitors, a subplot sees Cindy and the rebellious Alice (Ryan Simpkins) delve into the story of Sarah Proud thanks to the notebook of Mary Lane (Jordana Spiro), whose daughter Ruby was. also affected by the curse. Underground tunnels, buried bones, and glimpses of a dark past give us a glimpse of what we might see in part three, while dual narration makes things faster and more dangerous – no one is up to the task.

All three films were shot consecutively, with 1978 being the last to be shot, and director Leigh Janiak, who clearly has a genuine love of horror, filled the film with references and easter eggs for ’94. This is another reason why Releasing all three movies weekly on Netflix is ​​a good move. Audiences can have fun watching the winks – we already know Nurse Lane! Oh, that’s why Nick is limping! Etcetera etcetera. – and when all three movies are available, we can watch them in reverse order.

Which is better: 94 or 78? This is a moot point and will definitely depend on your preference for horror movies from the 90s or 70s / 80s. Both films, however, maintain a consistent tone, sympathetic performances from the young actors, an absolutely brilliant soundtrack, and an element of surprise. On its own, it’s a fast and fun movie, with lots of nods to classic movies and a good sense of humor, but as part of all of Fear Street it’s turning into something really unique and special.

Fear Street Part Two: 1978 and Fear Street Part 1: 1994 are available to stream now on Netflix. Fear Street Part 3: 1666 will be released on July 16.