Of all the demographic data to which the Fear street movies, gorehounds may be the only ones getting the value of their streaming subscription. The first film in the Netflix trilogy, loosely inspired by the RL Stine book series of the same name, culminated with one of the killers feeding a cheerleader’s head through a fruit and vegetable crusher. A week later, the second installment raises the gruesome bar with severed nods, bones protruding horribly from the ankles, and a giant, throbbing, disembodied heart. The rise in splashing makes sense, given the era of horror evoked this time: that long post-periodHalloween bloodthirsty programmers, which was all about finding outrageous new ways to piss off horny teens. Two out of three entries in the series, Fear street stays true to the disgusting spirit of its predecessors, while feeling pretty much in every way like the Urban Outfitters face them.
As its subtitle suggests, The Street of Fear, Part 2: 1978 swaps a theme park and costume party vision from a decade gone by for another: while Part one Following the wokest, hipster kids in the small towns of the Midwest from 1994, this midwestern episode looks back at an earlier massacre at a summer camp, where a different group of timeless teens cosplay the style and language vernacular of another generation. Like their ’90s counterparts, the young adults at Camp Nightwing have a halo of unseen spooky quotes hovering around them as they mumble “Shagadelic” like the extras in one. Austin Powers movie. Perhaps aware of the vaguely anachronistic looks and sound of her stars, returning director Leigh Janiak again overcompensates with a mixtape, stacking The Runaways on Blue Oyster Cult on Davie Bowie. (In what counts as the only clever halfway use of music so far in this trilogy, she deploys alternate versions of “The Man Who Sold The World” to set us in a period and then in the other.)
1978 presents its action as a very long flashback – a story told to survivors of the last film’s rampage by a survivor of this movies. Indie kid Deena (Kiana Madeira) and dorky little brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) learonly in ’78, two different siblings struggling in different ways with their dysfunctional family life. Ziggy Berman (Sadie Sink) is the black sheep, tormented by his peers for his rebellious streak, although this Shadyside troublemaker isn’t so bad she can’t get the attention of the future police chief of the rival town of Sunnyvale (Ted Sutherland), who we know is the chief cop we met in the previous movie because the characters literally call him “the future police chief”. Ziggy’s sister, Cindy (Emily Rudd), meanwhile veered in the opposite direction, making the reverse Sandy Olsson, although her supposed transformation into a prep princess comes down mostly to the fact that she now wears polo shirts. (Everyone in the movie looks like they’ve rummaged through mom and dad’s wardrobe.)
It’s Cindy’s boyfriend, generic hunk Tommy Slater (McCabe Slye), who goes mad one fateful night at camp, taking an ax from the monitors and campers. It’s possessed by the ghost of city legend Sarah Fier, who was hanged centuries earlier – a story that will be explored in more detail in next week’s trilogy. 1666, presumably on a fair baroque soundtrack the needle falls. Fier’s rules of chaos are a bit convoluted: The witch can turn children into unprovoked brainwashed psychopathic killers, but it takes a practical drop of blood on her exposed remains to raise a bunch of dead slashers- alive, all going It follows on anyone who inadvertently summoned them. If you squint, the sordid Shadyside story looks like a teen-lit lip gloss about one of Stephen King’s haunted towns in Maine – and of course, the ‘RL Stine for grownups’ gets checked out by a couple. of self-aware teenagers here.
Speaking of Stine, his Fear street the privileged melodrama as much as the scares, which may explain the general soapy of these films, whose high school heroes / victims spend as much time yelling at each other as they do screaming bloody murder before their bloody murders. In 1978, it takes 45 endless minutes to get to the cup. At least the movie leans pretty hard on the villainy from there: it’s a coarser, meaner movie than 1994, spilling buckets of blood and squirming bugs over her spotlessly clean ensemble. The sadistic streak actually goes a bit deeper than in some of the films that inspired this one, given Janiak and his co-writers’ willingness to drop the blade not only on the hardworking and blazing advisers, but also on their barely pubescent loads. (Not even the Friday 13 series dared to dismember the tweens like this movie does, albeit offscreen.)
The last weeks 1994 started with a tribute to Scream– a courted comparison that did the new film a disservice. 1978 has a lower bar to cross: Even the president of Jason Voorhees or Angela Boulanger the fanclub would probably concede that the majority of the films indiscriminately reproduced here are not masterpieces. Yet while this tribute is better written, directed, and played than many slashers that came before it, it rarely revives the grimy or the campy. amusing of its kind. And this is because Janiak, despite all his skill behind the camera, does not invest in his conventions, or does not make a meal with the stalking and slaughter sets; the killings come and go with a superficial rapidity that suggests condescension for the material, not genuine affection for it. This is why blood looks like a meager reward: there is a lot of blood but no heart is pumping it.