In a time when slasher movies were taking over the world, Fright Night revived the almost dead vampire movie subgenre. It follows the classic formula of a teenage boy seeing something strange and people not believing him. A boy who cried wolf some might say. Fright Night is one of those eighties classics with enough charm and great visuals to remain watchable for decades to come. It blends horror, comedy, and thrills with ease, comfortably switching between and generating a lot of cool scenes.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the same movie without Chris Sarandon playing Jerry the vampire. He was smooth, scary and fucking magnetic. However, I must say that Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) was incredibly annoying to me. Everything he did was irritating, including his horrific laughter. I really don’t know what it is about him, I’m sure he’s a good guy but he was miscast here. Luckily we also have Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent balancing things out pretty nicely.
Fright Night has the spirit of an eighties teen comedy, the body of serious horror, and the mind of an intense thriller. On the surface, there’s nothing special about it but it somehow manages to steal your heart. You can watch it over and over again and still feel the same. Kind of like Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. You can also think about what would you do in that situation. I mean, who knows maybe that new neighbor you just saw is actually a fucking vampire.
Meet Charley Brewster, your average teenager who’s easily distracted and likes horror movies. One night, while making out with his girlfriend, Charley will notice something strange happening at his neighbor’s house. These strange things will continue happening until he becomes convinced that his next-door neighbor Jerry is actually a vampire. Now, does he have an overactive imagination or Jerry is a vampire is up to you to find out.
To make things even better, Fright Night features some pretty good special effects. There might not be a lot of them but at least they look believable and quite nasty. This is a full-blown R-rated eighties vampire movie so expect the unexpected. And that’s all I’m going to say. I also like the fact they don’t beat around the bush much. Wham bam, three minutes in and the plot already kicks off. You don’t have to sit through boring character development or anything like that. And after this, the whole situation just keeps escalating.
Finally, you should know that there’s a remake of this movie starring Colin Farrell. It’s not bad but it’s nowhere near this classic. The same goes for the sequel, Fright Night Part 2 released in 1988. It follows Charlie as he goes to college and uncovers a vampire coven there. At least he teams up with Vincent again. And if you’re looking for more of the same I recommend you take a look at Lifeforce  – The Weirdest Vampire Movie Ever Released.
Director: Tom Holland
Writer: Tom Holland
Cast: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall, Stephen Geoffreys
Fun Facts: Stephen Geoffreys (Evil Ed) took a sudden career turn and started acting in a number hardcore gay movies. The titles are pretty hilarious: Cock Pit, Buff and Gay, Guys Who Crave Big Cocks, Seamen Training Day, Butt Blazer…