Fear Street Part Two: 1978 Ending, Explained

The second entry in the ‘Fear Street’ trilogy, ‘Fear Street Part Two: 1978,’ takes the story forward in a convincing way. It introduces new characters and expands the lore. The trilogy takes place in the town of Shadyside, where poverty and rampaging murderers are equally common. The second film’s focus is the Camp Nightwing massacre of 1978 and is told through the perspective of C. Berman (Gillian Jacobs), one of the Shadyside residents who attended the camp. If the first film, ‘Fear Street Part One: 1994,’ is a homage to the 1990s slashers such as the ‘Scream’ series and ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ films, then ‘1978’ is a love letter to teen slashers of 1970s and 1980s. Here is everything you need to know about the film’s ending. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Fear Street Part Two: 1978 Plot Synopsis

Since her traumatic experience at Camp Nightwing, Berman has led a secluded life. She has separated herself from her community and seems to live in perpetual fear of a murderer breaking into her house. Considering that she lives in Shadyside, she has every reason to be paranoid. As ‘1994’ establishes, the town is under a 350-year-old curse placed on its residents by the witch Sarah Fier after being hanged in 1666. In the ensuing centuries, a number of Shadyside residents have become possessed by the Witch and embarked on a killing spree. This has earned the town the moniker of the “Killer Capital of the USA.”

After the Witch possesses Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) take her to the only person who seemingly has survived the Witch’s wrath. They get to Berman’s home and put Sam inside a bathroom. Berman tells Deena that Sam can’t be saved, and the only thing that she and Josh can do is run. Despite all her reservations, she lets them inside her house before telling them what happened at Camp Nightwing.

Cindy Berman (Emily Rudd) and Ziggy Berman (Sadie Sink) are a part of the young adult group attending Camp Nightwing in 1978. The relationship between the sisters is strained to say the least. Their father has left home and married a woman much younger than him, while their mother has descended into a severe bout of depression. The story of struggle and financial difficulty is not unique to the Berman family in Shadyside, as the effects of the curse are not limited to possession and murder. In comparison, Sunnyvale thrives. When the Witch was still alive, the two towns were reportedly one settlement. But since then, as their destinies have diverged because of the curse, Sunnyvale and Shadyside have emerged as individual towns.

The disparity between them becomes even more apparent when young men and women from both towns are placed side by side. All her life, Cindy has deluded herself into believing that if she works hard and stays focus, she can beat whatever is going on in Shadyside. But her attempt to do this has not only alienated her from her sister but also her former best friend Alice (Ryan Simpkins).

The horror begins when the camp’s nurse Mary Lane attacks Cindy’s boyfriend, Tommy Slater (McCabe Slye). Although he survives the attack, he suddenly begins changing. Predictably, murder and mayhem follow. After getting separated from Ziggy, Cindy desperately tries to get back to the camp and protect her sister. On the other hand, Ziggy teams up with a younger Nick Goode (Ted Sutherland), hoping to save as many campers as they can.

Fear Street Part Two: 1978 Ending: Who Is the Killer?

Like in the previous film, the killer is ultimately the Witch, Sarah Fier. This time, she possesses Tommy and turns him into the ax murderer that appears as one of three summoned killers in ‘1994.’ It is revealed that Mary Lane is the mother of Ruby Lane, the girl that killed several of her friends before killing herself in 1966. Since Ruby’s death, Mary had been trying to find answers about how to lift the curse. She found the stones with the killers’ names written on them and saw that Tommy’s name had been inscribed there. To prevent him from embarking on a killing spree, Mary tries to kill him first but fails and is subsequently arrested.

Cindy initially thinks that Mary attacked Tommy because she was on drugs and enters the infirmary to find them. He and Tommy find the notebook in which Mary wrote down all her findings of the witch. Soon, Alice and her boyfriend Arnie (Sam Brooks) show up, and they take the notebook and the unmarked meds that Cindy has found (which later turns out to be a brand of paracetamol) and follow the map that Mary drew to the witch’s house. Inevitably, Tommy becomes possessed and kills Arnie. Alice and Cindy try to escape and get trapped underneath the witch’s house, and Tommy heads towards the camp with an ax in his hand.

How Does Alice and Cindy Plan to Defeat the Curse? Does It Work?

In her notebook, Mary wrote the following words, “A deal was made with the Devil. Sarah Fier cut off her wicked hand on Satan’s stone in exchange for eternal life, scarring the soil beneath with the witch’s mark, bringing darkness upon the land… She emerged by the Meeting House, one hand severed, lost forever. We hanged the witch, body chained and buried, but without her hand, her grip on the land holds firm.” Mary likely copied this from contemporary accounts about the witch. While Cindy and Alice are underground, they discover that the cave they are in is actually the mark that the witch left on the land after cutting off her hand.

In the first film, Deena has a nosebleed near the place where the witch’s bones are buried. Alice has a nosebleed in the cave in this film and realizes that the witch’s hand must be nearby by reading the notebook. Meanwhile, Cindy is forced to fatally stab the possessed Tommy to save her sister’s life. Alice meets up with the sisters and shows them the hand. Like what happens to Sam in the first film, Ziggy ends up bleeding on the hand and has a vision of Sarah, and immediately becomes the witch’s target. Tommy is resurrected, along with other killers of Shadyside, and they all come after the survivors.

No, the plan doesn’t work. Tommy kills Alice. The sisters take the hand to the tree where Sarah was supposedly hanged, believing her bones are buried there. The only thing they find is a stone with the words “the witch forever lives” written on it. Realizing that their actions have been futile, Cindy tries to sacrifice herself to save Ziggy. However, she gets attacked by Tommy, while “The Milkman,” Harry Rooker, who killed several homemakers in 1950, stabs Ziggy multiple times.

Are Ziggy and Cindy Dead? Who Is C. Berman? What is the Significance of Her Message to Nick?

Cindy is dead, but Ziggy isn’t. After the killers retreat, Nick performs CPR on Ziggy, reviving Ziggy. It is revealed that her real name is Christine. Throughout the film, the audience is led to believe that Cindy is the one amongst the sisters who survives the massacre, especially with Berman using the initial C and not Z. But it turns out to be a clever ploy used by the filmmakers to hide the film’s ending.

In one of the final scenes of the movie, the older Nick (Ashley Zukerman) learns about the cryptic message that Berman has left at the station, reminding him that they used to be in a Judy Blume book club together. All those years ago, when Tommy was after them, they promised each other they would create a Judy Bloom book club together if they got out of the camp alive. However, Nick seemingly didn’t believe her when she told him that the witch was behind the murders and instead blamed the incident on Tommy’s insanity. Feeling betrayed, she never spoke to him again. After Deena and Josh tell her that they know where the witch’s bones are, she reaches out to Nick, likely hoping to put the past behind them.

What Does Deena’s Vision Mean?

From Berman, Deena and Josh learn that the Shadyside Mall now stands where the hanging tree used to be. They retrieve the witch’s hand and take it to where the rest of the bones are buried. Immediately, Deena starts bleeding. As she places the hand among the bones, she experiences an incredibly lucid vision, in which she finds herself in the body of Sarah Fier. The last part of the trilogy, ‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666,’ will likely be told this way: from Deena’s perspective in Sarah’s body. The next film will likely reveal the origin of the curse and what exactly transpired in 1666.

Why Does the Killer Not Attack the Campers from Sunnyvale?

During the massacre at Camp Nightwing, the victims are exclusively from Shadyside. Not even one resident of Sunnyvale dies during the ordeal. Although Nick gets injured, it happens when he tries to save Ziggy from Tommy’s ax. This is obviously because of the curse. But as we learn in this film, when the witch was hanged, Sunnyvale and Shadyside were one settlement called Union. So, if the curse was placed back then, it should affect both towns. This is likely tied with the Goode family’s legacy, about which Nick speaks at length in this film.

He also mentions how reluctant he feels to succeed his father as the Sheriff of Union and shoulder the responsibility. The curse may have been kept alive through human intervention. In ‘1994,’ we see a person in a witch’s attire at the altar before Sam’s name appears on the stone. The next film might also reveal that Shadyside’s ill fortune is closely tied to Sunnyvale’s prosperity through magical means. And to free Shadyside from the curse, Deena and the others might have to first remove the aforementioned enchantments.

Read More: Is Fear Street Part Two: 1978 a True Story?