Review by Camden Ferrell
Fear Street Part Two: 1978 is the second movie in the horror trilogy that is debuting on Netflix in successive weeks this July. Writer and director Leigh Janiak continues her work on this second installment. Even though it doesn’t live up to the quality of the first, this is still a mindlessly fun and gory slasher movie that pays homage to the films of that era.
After the events of the first film, our protagonists track down a paranoid and reclusive woman who tells her about the summer of 1978 and how it relates to the murders from the first movie. This is a movie that works very well as a stand-alone film, but it does a great job of connecting to the first film and its lore.
This script was written by Zak Olkewicz and Janiak, and it doesn’t do anything too impressive, but it provides a reliable foundation for the story to unfold. It lacks the characterization and tender moments that made the first one so unique. However, this simplistic writing may actually work in the movie’s favor as it allows the viewer to focus more on the violence and fun nature of the film.
The acting is sufficient from the entire cast. Both Sadie Sink (Stranger Things) and Emily Rudd do a good job playing sisters in this film. They each hold their own in their respective storylines, and even though it’s nothing particularly impressive, they provide some enjoyable personality to the film. The acting from the rest of the cast, mostly consisting of kids and teenagers, is also decent and contribute to the environment.
Like the first movie, this film makes good use of its R-rating. It features even better and more graphic kills than the first movie, and it would fit nicely into the subgenre of slasher films. It also features some strong sexual content and drug use, and it’s refreshing to see these movies take risks in order to create more mature and daring movies.
Once again, Janiak is able to pay homage to an era while still creating a movie that feels fresh and original. She has proven herself to be a consistent and confident talent in this genre, and it makes me especially hopeful for the series’ final film. She directs this movie with style, and it’s executed in a thrilling manner.
Even though the script isn’t the most dynamic and engaging, the film maintains a steady pace and doesn’t hit any lulls. It is consistently entertaining, and it goes by fairly quickly. It’s a love letter to this era of horror films that will please genre enthusiasts and novices alike.
Fear Street Part Two: 1978 may not be on par with the first, but it’s a thrilling and violent summer camp movie that will entertain audiences when it comes out. It’s a testament to Janiak’s ability as a director, and it will excite you for the final film in the series next week.
Fear Street Part Two: 1978 is available on Netflix July 9.