Saturday, July 17, 2021

Fear Street: Part Two - 1978

Movie Name: 
Fear Street: Part Two - 1978
Year of Release: 2021
Director: Leigh Janiak
Starring: Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, Ryan Simpkins, McCabe Slye, Gillian Jacobs, Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Chiara Aurelia, Brandon Spink, Marcelle LeBlanc, Eden Campbell, Ted Sutherland, Michael Provost, Drew Scheid, Jacqi Vene, Meghan Packer, Matthew Zuk, Sam Brooks, Jordana Spiro, Paul Teal, Michael Chandler, Ashley Zukerman, Julia Rehwald, Fred Hechinger, Emily Brobst, Kevin Waterman, Alex Huff
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review:
Picking right after the events of the first film, "Fear Street: Part Two - 1978" not only manages to create a more enticing narrative, doing so by further explaining the mythology behind the cursed city and it's witch, but also by successfully referencing Sean Cunningham's "Friday the 13th" series of films. The narrative continues to be centered around the adventures of Deanna and her close group of friends, or whomever is still alive. She, alongside her brother Josh, have managed to track C. Berman who survived the first widely publicized and well known round of killings in the 70s. She digs deep into the events which took place in 1978, when she and her sister were in a Summer camp, and witnessed when a series of murders started to occur. Sisters Ziggy and Cindy Berman, have very different approaches to fitting in during their time at the camp: while Ziggy maintains her rebellious nature, Cindy has a boyfriend by the name of Tommy, and tries to fit in. Cindy, alongside Alice, another camp counselor and former friend of hers, discover that the camp's nurse was the mother of a notorious killer the city had, and to their surprise the nurse tries to attack Tommy. As they investigate further, they uncover a diary which states that Sarah Fier, the well known witch, apparently made a deal with the devil by cutting her hand off. They also find a map in the diary which leads to Fier's house. As they uncover more and more about the story, Tommy starts yet another killing spree, and his name is one sketched in stone, therefore a target from the witch's curse. Cindy and Ziggy eventually figure out what they need to do, in order to stop the killing but are they too late for it. 
If the first film of the trilogy outlined the events taking place, the second one actually expands the mythology of the curse haunting the city, while also tapping into the possible solution for the predicaments the characters find themselves in. The director this time around, manages to be more successful in portraying a different era, playing with visual cues from different slasher films from the 80s, most notably Sean Cunningham's "Friday the 13th", while also making the rivalry between the two cities in which the narrative takes place, more noticeable and almost gang-like in its mutual animosity (a la "West Side Story", but without singing). The film also benefits from some good additions to the cast, particularly Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd and Ryan Simpkins, all of whom bring some additional energy, spunk and humor to the narrative itself. While the film itself doesn't reshuffle the tropes of the genre, it does manage to keep some momentum going, even if the characters themselves don't have once again much dimension to themselves. Visually the film feels very similar to the show "Stranger Things", courtesy perhaps from the cinematographer Caleb Heymann, but with the diversity and inclusion of the Camp segment, the overall generic aspect of the first film, is not so prevailing. While the film improves upon the original tome of the trilogy, it's still just watchable, and not necessarily memorable.