Leigh Janiak returns with the second instalment of the frightful trilogy with Fear Street: 1978 and it’s a gory ride from start to finish.
I’ll admit I was a tad skeptical going into the sequel because the camp massacre premise has been reimagined so many times before but I ended up enjoying this instalment much more than the first movie. The story picks up immediately after the end of the last film with Deena (Kiana Madeira) seeking to uncover more of the mystery behind Sarah Fier – the witch responsible for cursing the town – before transporting to Camp Nightwing in 1978.
The events that follow are pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a summer camp story – there’s the tormented final girl-type, horny counsellors and the axe-wielding psycho wreaking havoc. Janiak ups the ante with this darker, gorier tale that closely replicates the classic aesthetic of 70s and 80s horror.
As the middle act, it holds stronger than the first. It is clearly influenced by Friday the 13th (1980) but bodes extremely well on its own and never feels as though it’s walking in the shadow of the original franchise. Unlike part one, the sequel has one singular killer and the focus switches to the bond between two sisters, Cindy (Emily Rudd) and Ziggy (Sadie Sink).
The pair, similar to Deena and Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), are on opposite ends of the societal spectrum but the theme of a strong female relationship remains present as the bond between them grows. Rudd and Sink give honest performances as the story delves away from representing the cultural appropriate undertones of 1994.
Another enjoyable part of the feature is the soundtrack. Music always plays a major role in creating an effective atmosphere and yet again, Janiak proved successful in this aspect. It is also definitely scarier; the tension is unnerving during the climax as the scene between the sisters becomes claustrophobic and grotesque.
Fear Street: 1978 is a strong addition to the trilogy that could be viewed as a stand-alone bar the opening moments. Sadie Sink is fantastic to watch, standing out in her role as Ziggy. Thankfully, there is only a week left to wait for the finale with 1666 because I can’t wait to see how the story wraps up.