Director: Leigh Janiak
Starring: Sadie Sink, Emily Rud, Ryan Simpkins, McCabe Slye, Ted Sutherland and Gillian Jacobs
It’s strange starting an almost 2 hour film with a ‘previously’ segment. Combine that with the weekly episodic film series that is Fear Street and the only thing that separates it from the almost endless list of Netflix series is that they didn’t all drop on the same day, instead being released weekly.
Continuing from the moment that last week’s film ended the teen-horror series Fear Street continues. This time taking us back in time to a summer camp where the witch had previously struck, possessing a councillor to kill a lot of children. This is very much a continuation of the first film in tone and style. It would be easy to believe that you’ve left a film on pause for a week before coming back to it. If you liked the first one, then this isn’t going to disappoint. In fact I think it’s a little better.
Much like the first instalment, Part Two blends a sweeping classical score with a list of rock hits from the 70s from The Velvet Underground to The Runaways. It works really well. Before the story goes back to 1978 we get Nirvana’s cover of Bowie’s Man who Sold the World, letting us travel through time by taking a 90s cover of a 70s classic. This song bookends the embedded narrative, because we also get Bowie’s original towards the end of the film, signalling that we are finished with the camp story and heading back to the 90s. It’s a nice touch and is one of many nods towards Bowie, the main character is called Ziggy, and in the 90s her dog is named Major Tom.
For the most part this film feels very polished. The acting is good, the sets look great, the music is pretty much spot on. The only downside is the gore. The effects, while passable aren’t great and do stand out. The noise of flesh being cut is also a little too over the top. Even though this carries an 18 rating in the UK, it feels like the film is shying away from being an all out gore-fest, especially with the children, this normally happens just off camera and not in a way that makes it worse like in Psycho or Reservoir Dogs. This is a true teen-horror film through and through.
It may not be scary, but Fear Street Part Two is still fun. It’s compelling and has a good story at the heart of it. It is a love letter to classic slasher films, like Friday the 13th. It’s nothing completely original, but it captures the feeling of the classics it is references. It’s a perfect continuation of what the first one set up and the third one looks like it’s going to be good. The ending is very reminiscent of the end of Evil Dead 2 and the final part, due next Friday, has a lot to live up to.
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