Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Fear Street Part Two 1978 Review: A Slasher Follow Up Continues The Fear Street Saga


Release date: July 9, 2021
Running time: 109 minutes
Writers: R.L. Stine (based upon the Fear Street books by), Kyle Killen (story by), Phil Graziadei (story by)
Directed By: Leigh Janiak
Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, Ryan Simpkins, McCabe Slye, Gillian Jacobs, Chiara Aurelia, Marcelle LeBlanc, Ted Sutherland

In 1994, a group of teenagers discover the terrifying events that have haunted their town for generations may all be connected — and they may be the next targets. Based on R.L. Stine’s best-selling horror series, Fear Street follows Shadyside’s sinister history through a nightmare 300 years in the making. 

Fear Street is a three movie event that starts with the first movie, 1994.  After hte events of the first film, it moves on to Part Two, 1978.  
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.  Whereas Fear Street Part One felt like a 90s Scream-style film, 1978 feels more like an 80s slasher film.  The movie is set in a summer camp with all the 80s style tropes you would expect: cliques, town rivalries, exaggerated personalities, and a competition that isolates people at night.  The film feels like a wonderful throwback to these films and continues the trend that was started in the first film in the series.  And in line with the different time period, you get an all new cast.  Although there are appearances from those that we met in 1994 in their 1994 timeline, the characters in 1978 are all new. 

But 1978 is much more of a slasher than 1994 was, with a killer that literally goes crazy and on a rampage.  Despite this, the film does have a good sense of dread to accompany the gore.  A lot of the film is spent hiding from the murderer, or trying to round up other kids so that they don't become victims, so there is a great sense of suspense as people try to escape this.  However, when the suspense goes away, the film definitely digs into its slasher side.  The body count is greatly increased in this film, and along with it the blood, gore, and crunching sounds.  And although the sound of the killer's axe is a noticeably present thud in this film, the soundtrack will also get your blood flowing.  Just like 1994's use of 90s music, 1978's soundtrack is period appropriate and immediately sets the tone.  You have some absolute classics in the soundtrack that will have you rocking out while you run from the killer.  

And although I really did love this film, it also had the feeling of a bridging film.  For one, the movie pretty much focused on the main killer.  Whereas 1994 had a menagerie of killers, this one pretty much only showed the latest one.  And although the film ends with a somewhat self contained story, it also has a cliffhanger that leads right into the third movie in the series, 1666.  

Fear Street Part Two 1978 presents a summer camp slasher, with a similarly amazing soundtrack and style as the first movie, but with an increased body count. 

Watch it.

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Fear Street Part Two 1978 is available on Netflix on July 9, 2021.

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