The second chapter of Netflix’s latest horror trilogy arrives in Fear Street Part Two: 1978 from director Leigh Janiak. Opening moments after its predecessor Fear Street Part One: 1994, finds 1994 siblings Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr) seeking out the help of the mysterious C. Berman (Gillian Jacobs) in hopes of saving Deena’s girlfriend Sam (Olivia Scott Welch) who appears to be possessed.
Hesitant at first, C. Berman begins to tell the siblings the story of her experiences with a Shadyside massacre in the late seventies. Fear Street Part Two: 1978 then transports us back to the turbulent seventies where we meet a young C (Sadie Sink) who goes by the nickname of Ziggy. Along with her sister Cindy (Emily Rudd), Ziggy is spending the summer at Camp Nightwing. Unfortunately, her fellow counselors & campers generally dislike Ziggy. Her only allies are Nick Goode (Ashley Zuckerman) and kooky Nurse Mary Lane (Jordana Spiro).
Campers and counselors who hail from the prosperous town of Sunnyvale and campers and maintenance staffers from the downtrodden town of Shadyside divide Camp Nightwing. However, when horrors from their towns’ shared history come alive, they must band together to solve a terrifying mystery before it is too late.
One of the things viewers will notice instantly about Fear Street Part Two: 1978 is that it opens with a quick recap of Fear Street Part One: 1994. Kudos to the film’s writer Zak Olkewicz for taking this approach, as I always love when a horror film does a recap. Olkewicz works from a story by Phil Graziadei and Leigh Janiak who wrote Fear Street Part One: 1994. Instead of trying to create his own mythology, Olkewicz expands on the ideas from the first film. However, the writer avoids overdoing the seventies Meta references, which I commend them for.
Slasher fans will be happy to know that Fear Street Part Two: 1978 plays out like the movies you grew up loving. There is a sex scene, gory kills and the character templates you love; from a bitchy bully to a dunce pretty boy.
Both Sadie Sink and Emily Rudd are real finds and the cast appears to be having fun with their characters, which brings me to my primary criticism of the film.
I did not find myself overly invested in any of the characters, aside from Ziggy and her sister. Generally, you want to root for the antagonist in slasher films and that is the case here.
However, I was hoping to have a male hero to root for too, which just does not happen. I did love the way the director shot some of the kill scenes though.
Nevertheless though, Fear Street Part Two: 1978 is a fun entry in the Fear Street trilogy. While the sequel did not leave an impression as strong as the first for me, I do recommend it for slasher fans.
Final Grade B-
Fear Street Part Two: 1978 is available to stream on Netflix tomorrow July 9th