Fear Street: Part Two – 1978 (2021) Review
“Three movies. Three weeks. One killer story.”
Synopsis: 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.
Fear Street: Part Two – 1978 picks up immediately after Part One. (You’ll still be able to follow most of the movie without having seen Part One, if for some reason you need to watch them out of order.) Deena (Kiana Madeira) and her brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) have tracked down the mysterious C. Berman (Gillian Jacobs) who survived an attack from the witch and her minions years ago and are desperate for answers. Against her better judgement, Berman lets them in.
Most of the story takes place in flashback form as Berman tells her young visitors about her brush with the witch in 1978. We follow a few campers, particularly sisters Cindy (Emily Rudd) and Ziggy (Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink), as they fight to survive and unravel the truth behind the witch’s curse.
Like Part One, the most horrifying part of this Fear Street installment is not the witch or her minions, but rather how the people from rival towns treat each other. The camp story opens with someone literally being strung up and set on fire; later interactions are mostly less violent, but no more friendly. Unlike Part One, these Shadysiders fight a lot amongst themselves, too. This installment is more action-heavy, but also more drama-heavy. There are a lot of repeat character archetypes and themes throughout: the perfect girl desperate to do anything to get out of Shadyside, the mess who’s given up, etc.
Part Two is an improvement on Part One, but only just. Its main saving grace is the generally better acting of the main characters. The little bit of extra background and explanation we get also helps clear up a few things from Part One, but the movies still have such a silly premise it’s hard to take the exposition seriously. Problems with lighting and abrupt musical transitions that were common throughout Part One make an appearance here, too. Basically, if you liked Part One, expect this to be slightly better. If you didn’t but you’re a completionist, this will be a little more worth your time, but can’t really stand alone as part of such an interwoven trilogy.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: C+