Emily Rudd, Sadie Sink, Ryan Simpkins, McCabe Slye, Ted Sutherland, Jordana Spiro, Gillian Jacobs, Kiana Madeira, Benjamin Flores Jr., Olivia Scott Welch, Ashley Zukerman, Chiara Aurelia, Brandon Spink, Marcelle LaBlanc, Eden Campbell, Michael Provost, Drew Scheid, Jacqi Vene and Jordyn DiNatale
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.
19th July 1978, and it’s the beginning of camp at Camp Nightwing, where teenagers from Shadyside and Sunnyvale come together. While the camp prepare for the annual colour war, Ziggy’s sister, Cindy, and her boyfriend and fellow counsellors Tommy, Alice and Arnie, come across a diary that leads them to the supposed house of Sarah Fier’s, where the night takes a turn for the gruesome and they, as well as everyone at the camp, must fight to survive.
Fear Street Part Two: 1978 takes place moments after the events of the first film, with Deena and her brother Josh, tracking down C. Berman and looking for her help about her possessed girlfriend Sam. Berman allows them into her home and begins recounting to them the events of what happened at Camp Nightwing in 1978 and how she survived that night.
It’s certainly an interesting change of pace to have this be a continuation in the story, whilst also serving as a prequel (of sorts), with an almost entirely new cast of characters, even though those that survived the events of Part One appear, while one particular character that surfaced in 1994 resurfaced in 1978 that certainly caught my attention. While it takes a while to get going in order to development the general rapport amongst the characters, there is a few interesting developments along the way, one being the friendship and potential relationship arc between Shadysider Ziggy and Sunnyvaler Nick, which we know in 1994 to be C. Berman and Sheriff Goode. Another dynamic I thought was interesting was the relationship between Ziggy and her sister Cindy, with the younger sibling becoming accepted to the fact that life in their town is a void of darkness and that they’ll all be succumbed to its poisonous history, while the older sibling acts in a wannabe Sunyvaler manner, believing that her behaviour and attention to her studies will be enough to get her out of that hellhole.
Another thing that’s developed further is the lore of Sarah Fier, as Cindy, Tommy, Alice and Arnie come across Nurse Lane’s diary that leads them to Fier’s house on the same land that the camp resides, and when the group reaches the house, that’s when the film starts to pickup and the body count begins to accelerate and the director and fellow writer definitely show no mercy when it comes to who gets killed off, even though we don’t see how the younger camp kids are killed, we’re left with the gruesome aftermath, as well as getting the entire visual when it comes to the older teens. I thought Sadie Sink gave a good performance in her role as Ziggy, with Emily Rudd and Ryan Simpkins also impressing as Cindy and Alice. I also liked McCabe Slye also getting to get time to shine as the decent guy before becoming a stoic killer, and Ted Sutherland also left a decent impression as the younger version of Nick Goode.
For me however, I felt that the rapport between the main characters didn’t gel as well as it did within Part One: 1994, and since we know the majority of the outcome thanks to Part One, I didn’t really care for the characters the same way as the original cast. There’s a sub-plot about what caused friction in Cindy and Alice’s friendship that plays out over the course of the film, but it is just one of the plots I didn’t care much for, including anytime that the Stephen King-like psychotic bully Sheila appeared, didn’t care for her character one bit. Also after watching this directly after Part One, the needle-drops feels extremely excessive here in comparison. In terms of deaths and gore, having just one primary killer on the loose with an axe, it definitely feels more repetitive than creative, though Janiak and Zak Olkewicz are merciless when they choose their victims.
While I felt that Fear Street Part 2:1978 didn’t work as much for me as 1994, I did like how it developed more into the lore, with some good performances, particularly from Sadie Sink.