Film Review – Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (2021)

Title – Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (2021)

Director – Leigh Janiak (Fear Street: Part One – 1994

Cast – Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, McCabe Slye, Gillian Jacobs

Plot – It’s 1978 and teenagers from the cursed town of Shadyside are enjoying their Summer at Camp Nightwing until murder and mayhem arise one fateful night.  

“Find the truth”

Review by Eddie on 19/07/2021

After a solid Scream inspired first outing in the cursed township of Shadyside during the 1994 calendar year, the second installment of Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy takes us all the way back to 1978 at Camp Nightwing, where a bunch of Shadyside teenagers are hunted down by a possessed supervisor hellbent on bloodshed. 

If the first film in Leigh Janiak’s series was a throwback to Scream and those type of less scary more self-referential slashers, 1978 is a Friday the 13th/Sleepaway Camp infused outing that sees Janiak keep the first films bloodlust going with a visceral and carnage laden outing that is more slowly paced and less energized than the 1994 trip. 

With the stars of the first film here relegated too mere minutes of screen time as they try and uncover the mystery of the Shadyside witch and how they may finally put a stop the curse on their town, 1978 introduces us to Sadie Sink’s bullied Ziggy Berman and her older sister Cindy (played by Emily Rudd) as the two struggling teens have to work together if they are to stop an axe wielding maniac from murdering the entire Nightwing contingent. 

Much like 1994, this second outing is mostly devoid of scares and any horror hound heading into this next installment expecting an uptake in frights and tension will be left disappointed as Janiak is more at home bringing the wince inducing violence that littered her first film with a large collection of scenes that are often shocking and at times totally unexpected in their brutality and no holds barred approach. 

It does feel like a missed opportunity for the series too still not provide much in the way of genuine chills and while the last film set in 1666 looks set to be a more The Witch inspired affair, both 1994 and 1978 feel as though they would’ve benefited from some more effort when it comes to keeping their audience on guard rather than just shock them with intense and gruesome violence. 

Around all this violence this time around though we get more refined character work thanks to Ziggy and Cindy and by allowing a few central characters more room for growth and time in the spotlight, 1978 gets us more invested in the plight of the Berman sisters as they try and fight for their lives on this fateful night and thanks to the solid performances of Sink and Rudd, audiences will be rooting for the duo to make it out alive to fight another day. 

Final Say – 

A different setting and tone makes 1978 feel different to its predecessor but really its providing us with more of the same as we now await to be unnerved by the last addition to a series that has shown Netflix a new way to deliver genre content to subscribers. 

3 severed hands out of 5   

3 responses to “Film Review – Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (2021)

  1. Pingback: Film Review – Fear Street: Part 3 – 1666 (2021) | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

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