Fear Street: Part Two - 1978

11/24/2021 06:06

Film: Fear Street: Part Two - 1978

Year: 2021

Director: Leigh Janiak

Writer: Zak Olkewicz and Leigh Janiak

Starring: Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd and Ryan Simpkins



This is another movie that was getting a lot of buzz earlier this year. I didn’t read the Fear Street books so I wasn’t familiar with the story behind them. I did read Goosebumps so I was aware of R.L. Stine. When I heard about this one and the premise for the sequel, I was intrigued to check it out as a summer camp slasher is something that is more up my alley. The synopsis for this one is Shadyside, 1978. School’s out for summer and the activities at Camp Nightwing are about to begin. But when another Shadysider is possessed with the urge to kill, the fun in the sun becomes a gruesome fight for survival.

For this movie, we are picking up where the last one left off. C. Berman (Gillian Jacobs) gets a visit from Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.). This is a bit of a spoiler, but they brought a possessed Sam Fraser (Olivia Scott Welch) to see how she survived in the past. We also see that Sheriff Nick Goode (Ashley Zukerman) knows something supernatural is happening and is the one that warned C. Berman. The teens convince her to tell her story and that takes us back to 1978.

We then see Ziggy Berman (Sadie Sink) fleeing from a group of girls and even some guys. They’re led by Sheila (Chiara Aurelia) and she is with Becky (Marcelle LeBlanc) and Annie (Eden Campbell). Will Goode (Brandon Spink) is also there with Kurt (Michael Provost). Ziggy is being accused of stealing and Sheila is calling her a witch. They’ve got her strung up and they’re going to burn her. This gets stopped before it goes too far though. Ziggy is on the verge of being kicked out of camp for some of things she’s done. Nick Goode (this younger version is Ted Sutherland) gets them to change their mind.

Ziggy also has an older sister of Cindy (Emily Rudd). She doesn’t like that she’s from Shadyside and tries to hide it. She comes off as little miss perfect, which her boyfriend of Tommy Slater (McCabe Slye) loves about her. This does rub her former friend Alice (Ryan Simpkins) the wrong way and her boyfriend of Arnie (Sam Brooks) mocks her.

Coming back in this movie is Mary Lane (Jordana Spiro). We briefly met her in Fear Street Part One and she is the nurse here at camp. She treats Ziggy for her burn. When the younger lady asks about a book in her office, she is shooed away. Mary comes off as crazy though when she attacks Tommy. She said she saw his name on the wall. She knows what he will do and tries to kill him. Mary is stopped and escorted away by the police.

If you’ve seen the previous one, then you know about Tommy. We see him not feeling well, but fights through. He goes into the woods with Cindy, Alice and Arnie. They find where the witch Sarah Fier (Elizabeth Scopel) performed her rituals. It is there they see what Nurse Lane said about his name on the wall. Something comes over him and Tommy goes on a rampage with an ax. This becomes a slasher at the camp as these teens try to stop their friend. The question then becomes, can he be stopped?

That should be good enough to recap what we are getting here. Where I’ll start my analysis is that I love this film picking up where the last one left off. We are in 1994. We have Deena and Josh seeking out the help of C. Berman. She then goes about telling how she survived, but we see that she might not be thriving. She has a bunch of clocks in her house and I want to know more as to why. I’m assuming this will be revealed in the final film of this trilogy. This one also does some interesting things with characters who are adults in the previous one and we are now seeing them as teens. It is also referring back to different things as well as people. I’m a fan of the care taken with all this. It is probably aided there being made back to back.

What also works for me is this slasher at a summer camp. One issue some people have with some of these types of movies in these locations is that they don’t kill kids. This one does. I think they can get away with it a bit more since Tommy is a teenager himself so it isn’t an adult doing it. I’ve never been to a camp, but I liked this setting. I also like the slasher elements. This one goes brutal much like the previous one and I can appreciate that. I’ll give credit here to the effects for sure. They looked to use practical ones where they could and the cinematography helps to hide things. What I also like is that it feels like less CGI was used as well. That was a slight issue I had with part one that has been alleviated here. I do think part of this is that for the most part, we are following one killer where the other had a few. We get some of that here so I’m glad that idea wasn’t abandoned completely.

Then the last bit I’ll go into the story is that I enjoy the back-story here. Having this witch of Sarah Fier, who was executed and getting her revenge. I do think it is a bit odd that it only seems to affect the Shadysiders and not the people from Sunnyvale. The people from the latter all seem arrogant and more in line with the people who executed her. I’ll be curious if there is more here. This idea that she takes over people and that is how she gets her revenge is interesting. I’ll be honest, I’m excited to see the third one as I love witch movies.

That should be enough there so I’ll shift over to the acting. Our lead here of Sink is solid. We all know her from her role in Stranger Things, where is good there. I like her as this outcast girl who hates the world from Shadyside. She doesn’t take anything from the bully which is good. I liked Rudd as her older sister. I also enjoyed Sutherland as the younger Nick. I’d say outside of that, the rest of the campers are fine. There is some overacting, but I can forgive that in a slasher film. What is interesting as well is that my issue with Madeira wasn’t here this time around. She is limited with just the beginning and the end, but it helped for me to enjoy the acting more. Overall I’d say that it was good.

Then what is left is the soundtrack. I like a lot of the songs that are people played here. This is stuff that my parents would listen to and some that I discovered through Pandora. What I do have an issue with is that it feels a bit too in your face that this is 1978. It could go a bit more subtle and still work. What I did love though is the soundtrack that is borrowing heavy from Friday the 13th. I recognized a few songs used and those worked for me. Despite my bit of an issue, I love the soundtrack still.

So then in conclusion here, I’m glad that I stuck with seeing this movie as I enjoyed it more than the first one. It is building off the story that we get established in the previous one. We have a good setting at summer camp and having this killer pick off campers. There is a bigger plot here as well with the rich that I like. I just have some minor issues with the story. The third movie could potentially resolve this. The acting was solid. The effects were good with just a bit of a hiccup with the CGI. The soundtrack too in your face with establishing the era, but I also dig what they’re doing with it. For me, this is a good movie and would recommend giving it a viewing if you like slasher films.


My Rating: 8 out of 10