2-8 - Movie Review: FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)Columbia Pictures
1985
R

“Oh, call me anything you want. Only you’re the one failing trig, not me.”

What would you do if you realized that your charming next-door neighbor was actually a bloodthirsty vampire? This is the dilemma Charley must confront when he notices some rather strange occurrences on the block. His solution is to enlist the aid of Peter Vincent, a has-been horror film actor who now hosts “Fright Night”, a local TV show. Together, the duo set out to rid Charley of his coffin-dwelling neighbor – but their plans go awry when the suave bloodsucker realizes they’re on to him.

You know, come to think of it, 1985 was something of a banner year for horror movies. Especially for a young tweener as myself, with the kind of wild imagination custom-built for the bizarre, dark and creepy with a healthy dose of cheese and camp. Couldn’t watch a lot of horror movies that came out during that time due to my age and my parents having that annoying “concern” and “responsibility” thing going on. But, watching the commercials were just as entertaining. And Fright Night was definitely one of the memorable spots in between episodes of whatever sitcoms I was allowed to watch at the time.

It wasn’t until I was much older when I finally got around to watching the original 1985 post-modern vampire flick Fright Night, when I had the ability to get my own video rental card at the Applause Video store in Fremont, Nebraska back in the day. And I got to admit, the version I imagined this movie would be when I was a youngster was much more dynamic than the actual movie itself (my imagination being rather explosive, natch), but it still was rather fun to watch.

So, here we have a couple of 20 something-looking teenagers–Charley “That Guy From Herman’s Head” Brewster, Edward “Evil Ed” Thompson, and Amy “That Neighbor From Married With Children” Peterson–and the host of a local late night Creature Feature program–Peter “I’m Roddy Freakin’ McDowall” Vincent–have suspicions that Charley’s new neighbor may be a vampire. Well, more Charley than the other two, they just seem to be along for moral support for their possibly crazy friend. But then [SPOILERS] the neighbor really is a vampire! And he’s betting that it doesn’t matter, as everyone thinks Charley has been watching too many vampire flicks. And then his friends and family start getting turned into vamps. And so it’s up to Charley to take out that vampire and survive so he can get that obscure show on Fox that predated Inside Out by a couple of decades.

Okay, so I had a bit of fun with the story descript, but that’s only because the original Fright Night was just good, bloody fun (pun intended). It’s one of those cheesy 80s horror movies that manages to be fun on a level that also has some good, spooky atmospherics, kind of a neo-Gothic Hammer flick for the Regan era. Maybe not as genre defining as The Lost Boys were a couple of years later, but a fun post-modern vampire flick that needs to be watched, instead of that relatively decent remake from 2011. Recommended.

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