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A Nightmare on Fear Street: A Review of “Fear Street Part Two: 1978”

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A column header designed for Night Light by Jamie Miller, a culmination of reviews opinion from a night owl (Abby Haywood/The Collegiate).

By Jamie Miller

Greetings dear Nightlighters it is I, “the sarcastic, spine-chilling, cinema-loving, self-deprecating writer” Jamie Miller here with yet another issue of Nightlight. A short time ago I wrote a review of “Fear Street Part 1: 1994”. Well, now I’m here for the second chapter of fear, so sit down, and read below here.

“Fear Street Part Two: 1978” is both a sequel and a prequel to part one. The movie is shot mostly in the past, as the mysterious C. Berman tells part one’s protagonists, Deena and Josh Johnson, about her past battle with the witch and her proxy, the brutal and vicious camp Nightwing killer. She promises this tale of the blood-soaked summer camp from hell will reveal to the two how her sister died. This is a tale of Cindy Berman and her younger sister Ziggy who are staying at the Nightwing summer camp. Despite its heroic sounding name, this place is far from a colorful comic world. As the summer camp quickly becomes a slaughterhouse, the sisters must work together with a dwindling group of survivors to hold the line and find a way to survive…. But all is not as it seems, and Berman has one last surprise for the Johnson’s.

The film stars Sadie Sink of “Stranger Things” fame as Ziggy Berman, Cindy’s trouble-making,  smart mouthed but resourceful younger sister, Emily Rudd as Cindy, Berman Ziggy’s sweet, quiet and behaving older sister. McCabe Slye stars as Tommy Slater, a camp counselor and Cindy’s “nice guy” boyfriend. Ted Sutherland plays a younger version of Nick Good, the sheriff in part one who, while not a huge character in part one, is one of the main characters in part two and a love interest of Ziggy. Ryan Simpkins, known from movies like “Brigsby Bear,”  plays the role of Alice Cindy’s drug addicted and ne’er-do-well friend. Ashley Zukerman, known for such projects as “Manhattan” and “Rush,” returns as Goode. Also returning are Kiana Madeira as Deena Johnson, Olivia Scott Welch as Sam Fraser and Benjamin Flores Jr. as Josh Johnson. Jordyn DiNatale also returns from part one as Ruby Lane, one of the witches resurrected proxy psycho killers with an affinity for old music and even older razors.

Much like part one, I really liked this movie. The story is compelling, and the killers are actually frightening, and not in a “oh, I would be scared only if I were there”, as in a I can barely stand to watch them kind of way. And trust me dear readers, to get that reaction out of me is no small feat. No one is safe, not even children. And that is another thing I like about this movie, they don’t glamorize the killers or make the deaths in any way comical. The deaths are brutal, vicious, bloody and painful. There’s never anything funny about them. They don’t let you forget that these are human beings being murdered. And I respect that. That’s one of my criticisms of some horror movies. Some of the murders are set up to be so comical that you forget that these are supposed to be human beings being brutally murdered, and not in a satire sort of way. No, this movie makes it very clear that the witch is out for blood. And she won’t stop until either she is destroyed… or Shadyside is. It also continues a theme from part one that most of the killers were nice and for lack of a better term, perfect, never caused any trouble. On the flip side, the trouble making drug taking ne’er-do-wells oftentimes are heroic when it counts, throwing themselves in harm’s way to help the protagonists. I give this eight and a half torches out of 10. I highly recommend this movie. Stay tuned for my review of the finale of this trilogy of terror.

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