In the cursed town of Shadyside, a killer’s murder spree terrorizes Camp Nightwing and turns a summer of fun into a gruesome fight for survival.
Runtime: 1hr 50m
Director: Leigh Janiak
Starring: Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, Ryan Simpkins, McCabe Slye, Ted Sutherland, Jordana Spiro, Gillian Jacobs, Kiana Madeira, Benjamin Flores Jr., Ashley Zukerman, Olivia Scott Welch, Chiara Aurelia, Jordyn DiNatale
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/81334749
Before continuing, read our review of Fear Street Part 1: 1994 – while we don’t do spoilers, there may be things in this review that relate to things that happened in Part 1 of the film. You have been warned!
“Fear Street Part 2: 1978” follows on directly from where Part 1 ended. After Deena has restrained Sam in the surprising ending to Part 1, she takes her with her brother Josh to see ‘C. Berman’ – the survivor of the 1978 Nightwing Massacre that has been mentioned a few times. Berman, after some coaxing, then recounts the story of how she survived Camp Nightwing and we are taken back to 1978…
From the outset, the film has a very different look and feel to it compared to the 1990’s theme of Part 1. Instead of lots of dark and neon, we are treated to a more rustic looking style and it all feels like you in a classic slasher movie – especially one set in a holiday camp. Last week I compared the look and feel of Party 1 to “Scream”, this week I will make the lazy comparison of “Friday the 13th”.
The film starts out with Ziggy (Sadie Sink) being chased through a wooded area and then eventually being caught. She is accused of stealing by a Sunnyvale camper and is bound by a rope and hauled up a tree to hang – by her wrists, not her neck. Camp counselors Nick Goode and Kurt intervene and Ziggy is set free. Later on we see Ziggy’s older sister Cindy (Emily Rudd) cleaning up at the camp with her boyfriend Tommy (McCabe Slye) when the camp nurse attacks him saying he will die tonight. The couple find the nurses diary where it is revealed that she has been researching the witch Sarah Fier and how she cut off her hand to make a deal with the devil near to where the camp is now placed. But when Alice (Ryan Simpkins), Cindy’s former friend, and her boyfriend Arnie show up things take a turn and the two couples head, reluctantly, to the area marked on the map…
As with the first film, there are a lot of songs in the soundtrack to “Fear Street Part 2: 1978”. However, like the first film, these are relatively short clips of songs whose presence in the film seem to be more about showing off someone’s musical knowledge than adding to the story. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good soundtrack with the likes of ‘Cherry Bomb’ by The Runaways; ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’ by Blue Oyster Cult; and ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ by David Bowie. There just seems to be just a few too many songs in there.
As the group find the house, we learn more about the history of Sarah Fier but the group gets trapped and then our killer makes an appearance… After a relatively slow build up, we are now into classic slasher territory with a mad axeman on a killing spree in the middle of a Summer camp for kids. As with last week’s review, “Friday the 13th” is a lazy comparison as we also have a lot of supernatural elements added into the story which helps the film stand out. The film itself has, I would say, a good mixture of both the slasher and supernatural elements and as the story progresses we learn more about some of the Shadyside killers mentioned in the first film – as well as meeting some of them directly.
There are a good number of gruesome deaths throughout the film but as they are all carried out by an axe they are not as ‘exciting’ or clever as the many deaths in Part 1. This certainly doesn’t spoil the film but personally feel it could have been improved upon. That being said, I found the overall story much more interesting than Part 1 but this may also have been because it was delving a bit more deeply into some of the stories and themes mentioned previously.
It’s difficult to say more about the film without doing spoilers but like many horror films there are a few unexpected twists and turns as well as finding out more of the history of the witch, Sarah Fier who has been haunting Shadyside for centuries. At the film’s climactic end, we are introduced directly to the third and final part of the film which is set in 1666.
Overall, I feel that “Fear Street Part 2: 1978” is a solid film that does a great job of being both its own thing as well as the middle chapter of the overall trilogy. It manages to expand on the mythos of Sarah Fier without detracting from its own supernatural-slasher storyline. I for one am looking forward to “Fear Street Part 3: 1666” and seeing how the writers link back to the first two films in the trilogy.
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!