And we are back into the “Fear Street” trilogy, this time taking place in 1978. We start exactly where we were left off in the previous entry where Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) visits Christine/Ziggy Berman (Gillian Jacobs) to look for answers to stop the curse of Sarah Fier that is haunting the innocent lives of Shadyside. But in order to solve this problem, they need to look back to the root cause of this in form of a flashback to 1978.
You see, Christine aka Ziggy was one of the few surviving witnesses who saw what went down in 1978 at Camp Nightwing. It was during summer camp when her sister Cindy’s (Emily Rudd) boyfriend Tommy Slater (McCabe Slye) almost was murdered by the camp’s nurse. Shocked and puzzled by the nurse’s actions (who they said was an overall nice person prior to this), Cindy decides to search for the meaning behind a strange notebook containing a map to a witch’s house, presumably Sarah Fier’s, that they found in the infirmary.
Upon reaching the house, however, Tommy is possessed and starts a killing spree at camp using an axe, similarly to what we saw in “Fear Street Part One: 1994”. So, in a way, it is kinda an origin story of the towering masked axe-wielding killer. And that is also the problem of “Fear Street Part Two: 1978” for me. This movie acts as an origin movie to how they discovered the curse which is a little of a slow burn in the beginning. It doesn’t pick up immediately like what we saw in the previous movie, it took a good 50 minutes for the first kill which, honestly, I got bored by then.
It takes itself too seriously during the first half of the movie with family arguments among sisters Cindy and Ziggy; one is a pure goody two shoes who needs everything to be perfect and another who rebels without a cause like every teenage girl. They get into history and their relationship which is really kinda useless because we already know what’s going to happen to one of them since we’ve already watched the first movie. And I think making a trilogy backwards in time also contributes to the staleness of “Fear Street Part Two: 1978”. None of the scares scare us anymore because we already know how Tommy kills. The only thing keeping it intriguing is the slight chance these sisters had to ending the curse but as we all know, that won’t happen because it continued on in “Fear Street Part One: 1994”. This offscreen knowledge we have as an audience is the movie’s curse.
With all these information that the audience knows already, I wished director Leigh Janiak would turn up the campiness in a setting like this and have fun with it as the first movie did. Remember how camp horror movies were in the 80’s? They were fun and dumb but in a so-bad-it’s-good way that “Fear Street Part Two: 1978” should’ve gone for. Well, onto the next movie, I guess.