Fear Street Part Two: 1978 Ending and Theories Explained

What could the time-bending cliffhanger of Fear Street Part Two: 1978 mean? We’ve got some ideas!

Sadie Sink in Fear Street Part 2 1978 Ending
Photo: Netflix

This article contains Fear Street Part Two: 1978 spoilers.

When it comes to horror movies, things are never as easy as they first appear. The key influences of Fear Street Part Two: 1978 could’ve taught its characters this unfortunate truth. The final girl in 1980’s Friday the 13th, Alice (Adrienne King), thought she was home free after she beheaded Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer); then she got a good look at her beautiful boy Jason in the lake. And Sue Snell (Amy Irving) thought she was honoring the memory of the title character (Sissy Spacek) in Carrie (1976) until she realized she was being haunted from a literal grave.

So too did things go sideways for Deena and Josh (Kiana Madeira and Benjamin Flores Jr.) at the end of Fear Street Part Two. After hearing an adult Ziggy’s painful memories of her time at Camp Nightwing and the slaughter that followed, the pair seemed to have discovered the answer for putting the witch’s curse over Shadyside to rest once and for all… but things didn’t work out that way, huh?

Fear Street Part 2 Ending

How Deena ended up time-warped to the year 1666 is itself pretty nifty. Beforehand, she and Josh were mostly passive characters as the invaluable Gillian Jacobs recounted her character’s golden days at summer camp. Initially set up to appear as the older version of Cindy (Emily Rudd), we eventually learn Jacobs is the thirtysomething future version of Sadie Sink’s Ziggy. I guess Ziggy dyed her hair in the same hue as her sister to honor her memory?

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Back in 1978, Cindy was the optimistic-to-a-fault popular sister at school/camp while Ziggy was the rebel who renamed herself after glam rock royalty. Yet both girls’ hope for the future and their town is shaken to its core when they discover Camp Nightwing is situated atop the very site where the witch Sarah Fier cursed the land in 1666 with her severed hand before being hanged from a nearby tree. Perhaps this is one reason why the witch selected Cindy’s perfect boyfriend Tommy Slater (McCabe Sly) as her next vessel for movie murder mayhem.

Going from everyone’s favorite benevolent counselor to a Jason Voorhees stand-in, Tommy begins a killing spree, slaughtering kids who looked up to him and former friends alike. Eventually, Cindy discovers an ancient book which confirms that the only way to stop Sarah Fier’s curse is to reunite her severed hand. As the local legend goes:

Before the witch’s final breath, she found a way to cheat her death.

By cutting off her wicked hand, she kept her grip upon the land.

She reaches from beyond the graves, to make good men her wicked slaves.

She’ll take your blood, she’ll take your head.

She’ll follow you until you’re dead.”

So by discovering her severed hand buried near the Satan stone where Sarah cut it off as part of her pact with the Devil, Cindy and Ziggy thought they had found the solution for ending the curse: They’d bury it with Sarah Fier’s body! Unfortunately for both sisters, especially Cindy, they were wrong to believe the legend’s claim that the witch was buried beneath the hanging tree.

The Berman Sisters thought they were digging up Sarah’s grave when instead they were digging their own. After finding nothing beneath the dirt, they only had a moment to see the reanimated corpse of Tommy Slater and other previous Shadyside ghouls coming for them. Ziggy is brutally gutted by “the Milkman” (yet somehow later survives the holes in her intestinal track thanks to CPR?!) while Cindy is even more cruelly eviscerated by her possessed boyfriend’s axe. For a movie aimed at kids who grew up on Stranger Things, this sequence is merciless.

However, unlike the Berman Girls, Deena and Josh know where Sarah Fier is buried in 1994. So they take Ziggy’s story to heart by finding the hand where the Bermans left it, and then Deena puts it to rest with the rest of Sarah’s actual bones scattered by the highway. In theory, this should’ve been the end of the nightmare…. and yet, when Deena personally shoved the witch’s hand in its proper resting place, she was transported to 1666.

… Kind of. In the ultimate cliffhanger tease, we get a glimpse of the past just long enough to realize Deena is not herself, but rather she is inhabiting Sarah Fier’s body circa 1666. What?!

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Fear Street Part 3 Theories

…So that ending leaves a lot of questions, both in regards to what exactly was happening during 1978’s final minute and what it means for Fear Street Part Three: 1666. Well, without having watched the third entry yet, we’d like to posit some theories…

Firstly, there is the actual logic behind Deena’s trip into the past and, specifically, into Sarah Fier’s witchy shoes. At a glance, the way the time travel works is somewhat similar to how comic book writer Chris Claremont imagined it in the seminal X-Men storyline Days of Future Past, which became a pretty good superhero movie in 2014: The only way to travel into the past is to assume control over the body of a former self. Except, of course, Deena wasn’t alive in 1666… she’s in the body of the witch!

In fact, she has possessed Sarah’s body in much the same way that Sarah apparently possesses the bodies of her “slaves” Tommy Slater in 1978 and Ryan Torres in 1994. It is a home invasion of someone else’s biological space. So why would Sarah Fier want Deena to do this?

Personally, I suspect placing the hand with the rest of Sarah Fier’s corpse succeeded in undoing the curse, at least temporarily. Deena has broken the witch’s thrall that has lasted for more than 300 years over the Shadyside landscape… but perhaps it only works if the hand stays in Sarah Fier’s grave.

There are multiple reasons Sarah Fier could wish to bring Deena back to the fateful days that doomed her and her community for centuries to come. It is telling that in the preview for Fear Street Part Three that many of the faces of villagers in the 17th century resemble the countenances of victims and descendants from the future. A many times over great-grandfather to Tommy Slater, also played by McCabe Sly, can be spotted in the sizzle reel; as can Olivia Scott Welch who plays Deena’s first love, Sam, in 1994. Even Sadie Sink as a girl decidedly not named Ziggy can be seen in the puritanical setting.

Ergo, it is possible that every person bewitched into becoming a killer in the 20th century and earlier—or at least bedeviled by the witch’s minions—is descended from an ancestor who persecuted Sarah Fier in 1666. Based purely on our understanding of the superstitions and misogynies which led to the witch hunt manias in Europe and colonial New England, it is easy to already predict that Sarah Fier will be at least somewhat unjustly harassed and hounded to her death.

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So is there even the possibility that Sarah Fier is not the actual witch who cursed Shadyside? Could she even be just a victim of false accusations and then centuries of propaganda that have disguised the identity of the true spell-caster?! While it’s possible, I don’t believe this is actually the case. For starters, there is the fact that uniting the hand, which is said to be Sarah Fier’s, with the actual remains of Sarah Fier’s body—which are so identified by the chains around her coffin in its unarmed grave—is something the witch fought hard at preventing in 1978. When Cindy and Ziggy picked up that hand, the guilty party behind all this death sent all her minions after them.

Then there is the fact that once the hand and other bones are reunited Deena is instantly transported into Sarah’s skin. All of this would seem to suggest Sarah is, indeed, the actual witch who damned Shadyside in 1666 and is tormenting it to this day (or at least in ’94). I do not believe Deena was asked to walk in Sarah’s shoes to come to realize Sarah’s innocence… Rather Sarah wants Deena to understand her rage.

If I had to guess the direction of Part Three, it’s that by living through the torment Sarah Fier endured in 1666, Deena will be asked to empathize with and even come to agree with Sarah’s witchy vengeance; the final part of the trilogy will reveal Sarah’s origins and also act as a motivation for Deena to remove the hand from Sarah’s grave, thereby allowing the witch to continue her curse into the 21st century…and all there sequels therein.

That’s at least one theory. What’s yours?