After a blood-soaked Part One, the Shadysiders are back this week with Fear Street Part Two: 1978. This time, we jump back to 1978. School’s out for the summer, and the kids are all away at Camp Nightwing.
The following review contains spoilers for Fear Street Part One, but no major spoilers for Part Two.
After the tragedy in 1994, Deena (Kiana Madeira), her girlfriend Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), and her brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) thought they managed to survive the witch’s curse. But in the final moments of 1994, someone curses Sam, and possessed, she ends up stabbing Deena before Deena is able to tie her up and restrain her. She also gets a call back from one of the survivors of the Camp Nightwing Massacre, a C. Berman (Gillian Jacobs).
Credit: NetflixThe majority of Fear Street Part Two: 1978 centers around the massacre and the kids of Camp Nightwing. Once again we are confronted with the nasty rivalry between Shadysiders and Sunnyvalers. 1978 is oozing with the same amount of nostalgia as the first film. Jukebox hits like Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son” and The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb” are blasting on the radio, while Camp Nightwing radiates Wet Hot American Summer vibes with a splash of Friday the 13th.
Again, plot-wise, 1978 is not exactly reinventing the wheel. The horror tropes are clear as day, but that doesn’t take away from the slasher fun of the series at all. This time Shadysiders are the prim and perfect Cindy Berman (Emily Rudd), her younger troublemaker sister Ziggy Berman (Sadie Sink), her ex-friend Alice (Ryan Simpkins), and her boyfriend Tommy Slater (McCabe Slye). We also get to meet the young Nick Goode (Ted Sutherland) before he became Sheriff Nick Goode (Ashley Zuckerman), who we saw knew something about the killings during 1994.
Much of the young cast are new faces with the exception of Sink, who had her breakout role in Stranger Things. Both Simpkins’ Alice and Rudd’s Cindy lean a little too far into their roles as bad girl and good girl, verging into the land of overacting. But, as the story progresses, and both characters are allowed to sink into the story a little, they’re far more enjoyable characters who you find yourself rooting for.
Sink’s Ziggy is our ultimate hero though. As a Shadysider, she faces cruel bullying at the hands of those spoiled Sunnyvale kids and gives it back to them ten-fold. Her burgeoning romance with Sutherlands’s Nick Goode is quite sweet as the two bond over their favorite authors and the struggles they face with the legacy of their two towns.
Unlike 1994, the key focus of 1978 is not the kids as much as it is the mystery of the witch, Sarah Fier. We learn more about Sarah’s cursed bones, what is lurking beneath Camp Nightwing, and hints at who or what is behind the curse on Shadyside. What is the truth between the two towns? What broke them apart? Who is furthering the curse on the town?
1978 ends by bringing the two stories together, giving us more questions than answers, but making us all the more excited for the final installment of the trilogy.
Fear Street Part Two: 1978 streams tomorrow, July 9th.