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Fear Street Part 2: 1978 Netflix film review


Directed by: Leigh Janiak

Written by: Zak Olkewicz, Leigh Janiak, Phil Graziadei

Starring: Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, Ryan Simpkins, McCabe Slye, Kiana Madeira, Benjamin Flores Jr., Olivia Scott Welch, Gillian Jacobs


Fear Street Part 2: 1978 (2021) Film Review


Fear Street Part 2: 1978 Movie Poster
Fear Street Part 2: 1978 Movie Poster

We’re heading to summer camp in “Killer Capital USA” for the second instalment of the Fear Street trilogy and things are about to get even more cursed - seventies style. Director Leigh Janiak is back at the helm, delivering a smorgasbord of teenage promiscuity, classic rock tracks, and bloodbaths, as we see Shadyside in 1978, after C. Bergman (Gillian Jacobs) reveals to our two survivors from the first film that her experience with the town’s witch goes back 16 years at least…[play nostalgic harp sounds].

Ziggy and Cindy Berman (Sadie Sink and Emily Rudd respectively) are sisters with a tumultuous relationship. The former a designated “weird kid” and the latter a fun-sponge. Whilst at Camp Nightwing, the sisters prepare (in their very different ways) to survive the endless tirade of town rivalry and teenage drama, as well as the upcoming “Color War” - not quite as dramatic as it sounds, each town wears a blue or red t-shirt. Two tweakers drag Cindy and her boyfriend Tommy Slater (McCabe Slye) into dangerous territory when they go looking for the town’s legendary witch’s house. Once they get there, the writing is literally on the wall.

Beautifully confined to the summer camp for the majority of the film, Janiak is able to create a cauldron of tension and thrills that continue to bubble frantically throughout the whole run time. Once the slashing begins, viewers are treated to an array of engaging set pieces and carefully choreographed encounters with the newest witch’s recruit.

Fear Street Part 2: 1978 is another mashup of classic horror tricks and treats, and, much like Part 1: 1994, does so with no qualms. Horror tropes are aplenty, such as the Cindy character's virginity being referenced, and the dialogue even goes into Stephen King influences to a good degree of detail. A pun using the word “Carrie” was almost too much to take but felt somewhat appropriate for this 2021 film paying tribute to its heritage with a bit of flair.

Soundtrack highlights include Don’t Fear The Reaper, Carry On My Wayward Son, and The Man Who Sold The World, among others, with a clear enjoyment of the 70s period being exercised in Part 2.

It was great to see a horror film depict more female leads (in both part 1 and 2). The film also explores a heavy theme about truth and whether people choose to ignore it, for personal gain or just to survive, which is brilliantly characterised in the younger version of Nick Goode (Ted Sutherland) who falls for Ziggy but must also consider his destiny within the town.

For Fear Street Part 3: 1666 viewers may expect the soundtrack to be less rocking but the stakes are higher, as we finally get the answers to Sarah Fier’s story.

Put our names on the wall for that one.


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