most of you will have memories of staying up well past your sensible
bedtimes to watch a late-night horror movie matinee: for me, it was
witching-hour screenings of Nosferatu or Night of the living
dead. Fright Night, directed by Tom Holland in 1985, plays upon
those memories to deliver a light-hearted send up of the vampire flick.
Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a fan of those same B-grade horror
classics. But one night the horror reaches beyond the television screen
when he witnesses his new next door neighbour lugging a coffin into the
basement of his house. The evidence starts to pile up, yet no-one seems
to believe Charlie’s warnings that there is a real vampire living next
door. His girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse) and friend ‘Evil’ Edward
(Stephen Geoffreys) are sceptical at first, but they stop laughing when
they are themselves caught up in the feud between Charlie and his undead
neighbour. It comes down to the three teenagers and legendary screen
vampire killer Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) to try to stop this force
of evil before it can destroy any more young lives.
This is a
movie that would have been very, very bad, but for one thing: It doesn’t
take itself at all seriously. Everything about Fright Night is
deliciously over the top, from the acting to the visual effects to the
lighting. Fog machines pump out eerie mist like it’s going out of style,
while green strobe lights flash in the background. The soundtrack has a
crash-bang 80’s style to it that is completely overpowering, but somehow
isn’t out of place here. You get a sense that the actors revelled in
their individual roles, and had a great time playing up to their campy
role is fairly straightforward, but almost everyone else is some kind of
movie is fun and entertaining, but there are definitely some problems
with pacing. Almost every sequence goes for far too long, and we’re left
wondering why Vincent is still poking around in the Brewsters’ house, or
why the monster is taking so long to die, or why the chase sequence has
to take Charlie and his pursuer through so many back alleys before it
finally ends up at the nightclub.
isn’t much to get excited about here, just the theatrical trailer and
some text-only information on members of the cast.
Night isn’t the most sophisticated movie ever made, but it is a lot of
fun. You could do a lot worse than give this underrated gem a go.