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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No positive messages in cartoonish homage to/parody of the teen slasher movies of the 1970s and '80s.
Positive Role Models
Cartoonish representations of character types often seen in teen movies.
Violence & Scariness
Blood, gore, and horror movie violence throughout, often graphic. Killer uses an ax to the foreheads of their victims. Decapitations. Severed limbs. Characters shown repeatedly chopped by the killer. Shovel to neck decapitation. Attempted stabbing, actual stabbing. Talk of suicide, a scene in which one of the lead characters shows the cutting scars on their wrists and arms. A punch in the nose resulting in blood. One of the lead characters breaks their leg -- bloody injury, and the sound of the bone breaking. Ziggy is bullied by the "mean girls" of the camp throughout; they call her a witch and other names like "slut" and threaten to hang her from a tree.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teens shown having sex -- no nudity, but shown in exaggerated gyrations. Brief nudity, male buttocks.
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Constant profanity, including "f--k." Also: "bulls--t," "s--t," "d--ks," "c--k," "bitch," "goddamn," "bastard," "piss," hell." Middle finger gesture. Ziggy is bullied by the "mean girls" through much of the movie, told to "shut the f--k up nerd," and the walls of her bunk get vandalized by graffiti, where the bullies write "Ziggy sucks c--ks in hell," "Ziggy is a witch bitch," and "slut."
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Products & Purchases
Adult character drinks whiskey from a prominently placed bottle of Jim Beam. Tylenol mentioned by name.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Two of the lead characters are the "stoner" teen archetypal characters, shown smoking weed, talking about it, and trying to other characters to smoke it. One character shown rolling a joint in the middle of the cafeteria. References to amphetamines. Cigarette smoking. Talk of the alcoholism of one of the character's fathers.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fear Street Part Two: 1978 is a 2021 teen horror movie in which teens at a summer camp unleash a witch who turns one of the campers into an ax murderer. Expect a lot of bloody and gory horror violence. The ax murders are graphic -- victims are struck in the forehead, their skulls wedged in half. Other characters are chopped repeatedly, even long after they are dead. There are also knife stabbings. Decapitation by shovel. Horror imagery. In addition to the horror violence, there is also bullying. Ziggy is threatened with being hung from a tree by the "mean girls" after they accuse her of stealing and of being a witch. The mean girls also break into her bunk and deface the walls of her room by calling her a "slut" and writing "Ziggy sucks c--ks in hell" and "Ziggy is a witch bitch." One of the characters talks of suicide, shows cutting scars on her wrists and arms. Marijuana smoking -- the "stoner" characters brazenly smoke weed, roll joints, talk about how great it is to be high. References to amphetamines. Cigarette smoking. Whiskey drinking by an adult. Teens shown having sex, clothed but gyrating and moaning loudly. Brief nudity -- male buttocks. Profanity throughout, including "f--k." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie is better than Part One, with some actual surprising twists. Fear Street Part Two: 1978 continues the parody of/homage to the "teen slasher" movies of decades past, with gratuitous everything: ax murder violence, sex, profanity, drug use. While catching their breath between moments of gory bloodshed, the teens find time to talk about not fitting in, the "mask" of normalcy the popular kids must wear to hide their not-cool love of arachnids and Stephen King, bad parents, and getting out of their lousy hometowns as soon as they graduate. Like the first one, there are genuine attempts to sincerely address what some teens of any decade must contend with (depression, coming out to conservative parents, identity and pressures to conform), and while these are likely to be drowned out by the scenes of ax murders and witchcraft, it's a worthy effort and one that separates these movies from the slasher movies they're drawing from, where the teens are little more than hedonistic soon-to-be-victims of the homicidal maniac.
While the music placement isn't as obnoxious as Part One, there are definitely some eyerolling moments. Apparently, there's a law on the books which states that any coming-of-age nostalgia movie set in 1970s America must feature "Slow Ride" by Foghat or "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult, and preferably both. It's a cliche, but it's somewhat rooted in reality, unlike the irritating conceit of forcing the good musical taste of the writers into the "brooding rebel artsy quirky nonconformist misfit" characters (i.e. Juno and Stranger Things), because, apparently, The Velvet Underground, Runaways, and Buzzcocks were just as much a part of American teen 1970s pop culture as disco, the Captain and Tenielle, and "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas. Furthermore, it shows where the parody becomes self parody, and distracts from the actual nostalgia for the YA novels on which these movies were based. Regardless, this is the rare example of a sequel that's better than the original.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.