Online premieres: review of “The Street of Terror (Part 2): 1978”, by Leigh Janiak (Netflix)

An improved version of the previous one –more narratively organized and better dramatically constructed–, THE STREET OF TERROR (PART 2): 1978 does not end up taking full advantage of the concept slasher that he had the first film despite the fact that the period is the one that saw the best copies of the subgenre. Let’s say that the film, which is a sequel and a prequel at the same time since this is a trilogy that goes chronologically backwards, moves more in the field of “camping movie”, than those that happen in those Summer Camps so expensive at the same time. American tradition in which parents ignore their children for almost an entire summer and, for the boys, it is an opportunity to have fun. Well, or maybe not.

The children and adolescents of the two neighboring communities – the prosperous Sunnyvale and the “doomed” Shadyside – coincide and share that Camp Nightwing in which everything usually happens, for better or worse. Even before entering the topics more linked to witchcraft and murderers, those attending the camp have already gone through different types of experiences, from bullying to drunkenness, from fights and humiliations to casual sex, and sometimes everything in the same place and with the same people. It’s the ’70s, folks, a time when “caretakers” looked the other way and let the kids fend for themselves. And it didn’t always work out.

To the picture of the situation is added, predictably, the curse of the 17th century witch who had already demonstrated her powers in 1994. The film begins in that year, in fact, when the survivors of the first film come across a woman ( played by Gillian Jacobs, in an unfortunately very brief role) who tells you what happened in that seventies camp where everyone seemed to listen to David Bowie (the soundtrack is still a jukebox of pop hits of the time, including Buzzcocks , Velvet Underground and Cat Stevens, among others), read Stephen King and wear sweaters and shirts in primary colors.

The protagonists are two sisters who do not get along at all: Cindy and “Ziggy” Berman. The first works as a “counselor” of the camp, is always aware of her boyfriend and challenges the minor to live getting into trouble. And some sense makes his accusation since Ziggy is a defiant girl – at that time they would have called her “problematic” – who lives fighting with other girls and boys her age. In fact, the film begins when the Sunnyside girls want to hang Ziggy from a tree, accusing her of being a witch, and she ends up getting away thanks to the appearance of other advisers.

The setting in which the events take place is a competition called the War of Colors in which boys from one city to another face each other in a series of events. But soon everything gets out of control when strange discoveries – graves, strange noises, masked with axes – are hinting that there are strange things happening in the Camp. And that the myth of the witch Sarah Fier (yes, Fier is pronounced very similar to Fear) may not be so much a myth but something more palpable and even real. Everything seems to indicate that it existed and there is even physical evidence (bones, notebooks, etc.) that make it clear. Furthermore, perhaps he is showing up at one of the local guys.

For the second half the film will take, yes, some of the most brutal characteristics of the slasher (It is quite a surprise the first time a teenager’s head is blown off by an ax blow) and the blood will run left and right, leaving few survivors … or a few whole and moderately healthy heads. And while the saga itself appears to have neither the mythological power nor the potency of the King novels they seem to quote, 1978 It is somewhat fresher and more coherent than the previous one, also based on using a single physical space (large, but unique) as a territory for blood, curses and myths to be present.

The ending, of course, is a great will continue. The saga ends on Friday the 16th with PART 3: 1666. And there is the preview presented so that there we do come across, once and for all, witches-witches, with the famous Sarah and with the beginning (or the end) of this horror trilogy that will surely be forgotten as quickly as it is reaching the screens of Netflix.

Note: here’s the review for PART 1: 1994. PART 3: 1666 opens on Friday, July 16.