Let’s break down the bully in Fear Street Part 2: 1978 and how Stephen King is the inspiration for revenge against this horrific Sunnyvale individual.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Fear Street Part 2: 1978, now streaming on Netflix.
Fear Street Part 2: 1978, like its predecessor, isn’t just a love letter to the slasher genre, but to horror at large. It’s got witches, possession, undead beings and gruesome monsters in gooey cocoons, so it should come as no surprise that Stephen King gets a shoutout in 1978. It comes in the most perfect segment of the film, with King being the inspiration for revenge against a relentless bully.
About a half-hour in, Ziggy plots payback against Sheila, the girl who’s bullied her for some time. Sheila accosts Ziggy with other rich Sunnyvalers in the opening moments, falsely accusing her of theft and continuing to show fans how classist and terrible Sunnyvale brats are to the Shadyside contingent.
Sheila constantly makes sly remarks, feeling untouchable as it seems not even her violence towards Ziggy will garner her punishment. It gets worse when Nurse Lane is taken away after trying to murder Tommy, believing he’ll be the next victim to be possessed by the witch, Sarah Fier. Sheila knows Ziggy and Lane were close, and seeing as Lane’s daughter, Ruby, became an unhinged slasher in 1965, Sheila digs at the girl once more.
It leads to Ziggy mixing up some blood-like concoction in her bunk later on, fed up of how Sheila’s crew defaced the room, calling Ziggy all sorts of derogatory things with their graffiti. However, when Nick — a counselor who’d grow up to become sheriff — visits, a King conversation starts. He realizes Ziggy wants to dump the fake blood on Sheila, so he calls out how it’s like Carrie, the novel King wrote in 1974. It’s noted in pop culture for the film adaptation as well, starring Sissy Spacek as the title character two years later.
Most iconic is the scene of Carrie’s peers dumping pig’s blood on her after letting her think she was elected Prom Queen. It was brutal to read and watch, especially as it caused Carrie to snap, using her telekinesis to murder a bunch of teens. There’s even the Carrie book near Ziggy to complete the homage, with Nick loving it all, as he’s a huge fan and even name-drops Salem’s Lot.
However, while Nick loves the idea of revenge, he proposes a “better” plan — a trap that’s more original and which will truly scar Sheila after all her emotional and physical abuse. They go to the science and nature center, filling the bucket with giant beetles, cockroaches and other gross bugs.
The duo then lure Sheila into the outhouse with flowers on the ground, making her think her crush is wooing her, but as she gets in, she finds a letter on the floor telling her to look up. It leads to a different spin on Carrie, as the bugs are then dumped on her, with Ziggy locking the screaming girl in to suffer. She and Nick then head off, further developing feelings for each other, but sadly, seeing as the Nightwing killer is en route, despite how sweet this bit of karma is, they make Sheila a sitting duck.
Directed and co-written by Leigh Janiak, the Fear Street trilogy stars Sadie Sink, Kiana Madeira, Olivia Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Darrell Britt-Gibson, Ashley Zukerman, Fred Hechinger, Julia Rehwald, Jeremy Ford and Gillian Jacobs. Part 1: 1994 and Part 2: 1978 are now streaming on Netflix, followed by Part 3: 1666 on July 16.
KEEP READING: Fear Street: Every Named Character Killed in Part 1
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