We leave 1994 and head to 1978. The teens are still angsty and the witch is still running rampant, we just have a different soundtrack now. That’s fine by me, music is music and violence is violence. We did have some interesting plot developments in Part 2, and I’m looking forward to the conclusion later on this week.
In the opening scene of 1978, we are watching a news report that recaps the first film. This is an interesting way to recount the events. It’s good to see something different, instead of just “previously on Yu-Gi-Oh” or “last time on Dragon Ball Z”.
My favourite part of the news report was when the reporter ended her piece by stating that the sheriff found the grocery store “soaked in blood and broken dreams”. Could you be any more cheesy?
Watching the news report is C. Berman, the only known Shadysider to have seen the witch and live to tell the tale. Unfortunately, we don’t learn how she has managed to survive all these years, but she does recount her tale for us. Pull up a seat, kids. It’s story time.
We head back to Camp Nightwing, in the year of 1978. We witness a young Ziggy Berman, presumably the sister of C. Berman (the C stands for Cindy), running through the woods. Ziggy is portrayed by Sadie Sink, most commonly known for starring as Max in Stranger Things. Just like Max, Ziggy is full of angst and hatred for the world. I think that Sadie has been officially type cast.
Anyway, Ziggy is on the run and she is picking up speed. Until a clothesline stops her dead in her tracks. It’s all downhill for Ziggy from here. The camp bullies, lead by Sheila, accuse her of theft and sentence her to hang. It seems a bit extreme, but apparently we are going with it.
Ziggy is strung up from a tree and Sheila starts to burn her arm with a zippo lighter. We know that the killer in this film is Tommy Slater, but we should seriously have Sheila checked for signs of demonic possession. She is clearly a psychopath.
(She got what was coming to her later, when Ziggy locked her in a toilet and gave her a bug shower. Gross. She deserved it though. And it kept her safe from the murders. She just slept amongst the bugs, hiding out the whole time. I think she was safe though, the killer only went after Shadysiders. This was confirmed when the Tommy had a chance to kill Nick, but basically ignored him. If you can call an axe to the leg ignoring.)
Fun Fact : I made a note here to check on Sheila’s grammar. She states that in 1666, the townsfolk captured Sara Fier and “they hanged her”. I thought the correct way to say it would be that they “hung” her.
Apparently, I was wrong. According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary, the correct term is always “hung”, unless you are referring to someone being sentenced to death via hanging. Interesting. You can read more about that here : https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/hung-or-hanged. Commencicate, however, is definitely not a word. I don’t care how “shagadelic” he is.
Fortunately, Ziggy is saved by future police chief, Nick Goode. Over the course of the film we learn that Goode is actually interested in the spooky and macabre, but only plays the role of the perfect child as to not tarnish the legacy of his late father. We also learn that he has a thing for Ziggy and is a master of puns, dropping “Carrie on” instead of “carry on” when Ziggy is attempting to recreate a scene from “Carrie”.
The movie continues on much as you would expect. Ziggy continues to alienate herself from everyone else at the camp. Nick evolves into the role of a hero. Tommy Slater gets possessed and goes on a murderous rampage. All the usual stuff.
Unfortunately, none of the kills were particularly creative. Just a lot of children getting hacked up with an axe. The kill of the film was when Cindy decapitated Tommy with a shovel. I love a good shovel decapitation. We do get some good plot updates and are left with some questions that hopefully get answered in Part 3.
One of the key characters was Nurse Lane, the camp…nurse. If you recognise the name Lane, it means you paid attention to the first film. Ruby Lane was the one with the switch blade. “You always hurt the ones you love”. Nurse Mary Lane, is her mother. Was her mother.
Mary is attempting to solve the mystery behind her daughters possession, so has taken a job at Camp Nightwing, which is evidently the ground zero of possession. Not an ideal location for a summer camp, but here we are.
Mary Lane has actually done an incredible job and should probably be a detective, but instead is passed of as a psycho. The old Shadyside curse. Lane has discovered Sara Fier’s original house and is attempting to find her missing hand.
Before she can finish her mission though, she is arrested for attempted murder, after trying to kill Tommy before he got possessed. No dice! That was the last we saw of Mary Lane, she is presumably going away for a long time.
Mary’s mission is continued by Cindy, and her former friend, Alice. I really hated Alice and wasn’t at all disappointed when the axe came for her. I’ll give credit where credit is due though, Alice was the one who found Sara Fier’s missing hand. She got the hand to the Berman sisters, before she was brutally murdered. Other than that, she was a total drop kick. Why would she touch the gross mass in the middle of the witches lair? Idiot.
Ziggy made the mistake of bleeding on the hand, much like Deena’s girlfriend in the first film. I’ve forgotten her name already. Sam? I dunno. Just like with Sam, Ziggy immediately had visions of the witch and became a marked woman. No more Judy Blume book club for you.
Speaking of which, all the other campers and counsellors were pretty quick to deduce that Ziggy and Nick had fallen in love. A bunch of murders were happening around them and all they cared about was the forbidden romance between a counsellor and a camper. Priorities, people!
Anyway, Ziggy and Cindy knew that they had to bury the hand with the rest of the bones and only then would the curse be lifted. As they were being chased by a bunch of murderous spirits, they rushed to the burial site of Sara Fier.
However, when the dug her grave up, there were no bones. Just a rock, with the message “the witch lives forever”. Luckily, there disappointment was short lived, because they were soon hacked and stabbed to death. The sisters died next to one another and the spirits vanished.
Nick was soon on the scene and somehow managed to revive Ziggy. Apparently CPR is enough to save someone from multiple stab wounds. True love conquers all. Did Disney write this? Cindy, is not so lucky and dies on the scene. Turns out Ziggy, real name Christine, is the C. Berman of the story, not Cindy. Plot twist!
The police arrive on the scene and Nick fills them in on the details, leaving out some pretty key events, ignoring all of the supernatural happenings of the night, claiming it was just another case of a Shadysider going mad. Ziggy was not happy and never spoke to him again.
Back to 1994 and Deena has put all the pieces of the puzzle together. She takes her brother, whose name I have also forgotten, to the mall to find the hand. Josh? I think it’s Josh. They find the hand pretty easily, much like they did the corpse in the first film.
The movie ends with Deena putting the hand with the bones and turning in to Sara Fier, transporting back in time and setting us up for the final film, 1666.
I really enjoyed 1978 and am very eager for the final part. We have a couple of key questions that still need answering.
First, how has Ziggy stayed alive all this time. Surely her obsessive routine isn’t enough to keep the witch away? It’s been 16 years since she bled on the witch’s hand. 16 years and she has managed to stay alive, despite her insistence that it is never over.
By comparison, Sam bled on the hand was possessed within 48 hours or so. I really want to know what the secret is.
The other main question on my mind is who moved the witches body? I pointed out in the first film that it was almost as though they wanted to be found. Who replaced the corpse with the rock? I would also like to know what happened with Mary Lane, but I don’t think we will hear about her again.
All in all, it was a great movie and I can’t wait for the conclusion this weekend.
One last thought, because I meant to squeeze this in earlier, but couldn’t find a nice segue. When Ziggy was trying to get Alice and Cindy out of the toilet, she literally started to lift them up with a rope. What was the plan though? A human body won’t fit through a tiny little toilet hole. Kids. No wonder so many of them died.