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Movie Review- Fear Street Part 2: 1978 (2021)

The second installment in the Fear Street series takes a detour to the past, delving further into the curse that afflicts Shadyside as well as a few oeuvres from Friday the 13th (1980) The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976) and Sleepaway Camp (1983).

The plot is diverted over to C. ‘Ziggy’ Berman, a previous survivor alluded to in the first film, delving into her memories of the horrifying events that occurred at Camp Nightwing which she attended as a young, tormented delinquent camper (played by Stranger Things‘ own Sadie Sink) alongside her beleaguered, straight-laced counsellor sister Cindy (Emily Rudd). Just like the first film, Sarah Fier’s supernatural wrath is unleashed once more, resulting in an axe-wielding, burlap-masked killer picking off the population of the camp, while the sisters, aided by errant camp counsellors Alice (Ryan Simpkins) and her dimwitted boyfriend Arnie (Sam Brooks) race against time to try to stop it.

The three main actresses all give compelling performances, with Ryan Simpkins and Sadie Sink in particular carrying the film, the latter giving a borderline tear-jerking performance that elevates her character from traditional slasher movie archetype. Ziggy and Cindy’s strained but ultimately loving relationship is another strength of the film, similar to Deena and Sam’s love story from the first, but this one is more tender and familial. It also includes re-appearances from other established characters, such as a young Nick Goode (played this time by Ted Sutherland) and Deena (Kiana Madeira), the protagonist of the previous entry. Like the stakes, the gore is escalated too, and truly takes no prisoners, with baby-faced campers being slaughtered alongside libidinous counsellors. The ending is shocking, turning the established world completely upside down in a way reminiscent of that of The Evil Dead 2 (1987). Rather than reiterating the previous plot, Fear Street Part 2: 1978 opens another layer of the elaborately layered matryoshka doll that is the Fear Street cinematic universe, facilitating the inevitable final conflict between old and new survivors and the overarching antagonist of the trilogy, Sarah Fier.

8.2/10

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