Netflix subscribers spent another weekend getting scared in Shadyside. The latest installment in the streamer’s trilogy adaptation of author R.L. Stine’s books, Fear Street Part 2: 1978, slashed its way to the top movie on the platform this weekend and holds the No. 5 spot on the Top 10 overall list. For comparison, the first film in the trilogy, Part One: 1994, also reached the No. 1 spot for films and climbed to No. 2 on the overall chart.
Although its current overall ranking is several slots lower than its predecessor’s, 1978 has outperformed 1994 on Rotten Tomatoes. The film currently has an 90% fresh tomatometer rating and an 85% audience score. Meanwhile, in the more than a week since its release, 1994 has earned itself an 80% fresh tomatometer score and a 65% audience score. Critics have dubbed the second film in the trilogy “bloodcurdling” and “a horror film lovingly tailored to the tastes of those who grew up on Stine’s work.”
Based on Stine’s books of the same name, the Fear Street trilogy takes place in the fictional town of Shadyside, Ohio, where a curse spun by Sarah Fier, a witch who was executed, has plagued the town for centuries, leading to countless massacres. After documenting the latest reign of terror in 1994, Part 2 flashes back to 1978. The setting at Camp Nightwing helps pay homage to summer camp slashers, including Friday the 13th. As Sunnyvale and Shadyside teens come together for what should be a summer of fun, they find themselves fighting for survival. Just like 1994, 1978 boasts an R-rating, despite its book counterpart having been geared towards younger audiences.
“For me, they were always R-rated, that was always part of my vision of what the movies should be,” director Leigh Janiak told PopCulture.com’s sister site, ComicBook.com. “I think it’s important that slasher movies are very violent and very crazy with blood and gore and all of that. Also, just thematically, for me, I wanted the experience of the movies to be really fun and scary, but I also wanted the moments of violence to be real and disturbing and remind the audience that there’s a real evil happening in Shadyside.”
Fear Street Part 2: 1978 stars Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, Ryan Simpkins, McCabe Slye, Ted Sutherland, Gillian Jacobs, Kiana Madiera, Benjamin Flores Jr. and Olivia Scott Welch. Both 1994 and 1978 are now available for streaming on Netflix. Fear Street Part 3: 1666, the final installment, debuts on Friday, July 16.