Fright Night

"Very Good"

Fright Night Review


B-movies don't deserve any special treatment. Some people think we need to lower our standards for such productions, but to me, a movie is a movie, and each must stand on its own merits. Fright Night, the popular 1985 scream-feast by Tom Holland, is truly a B-movie. But it knows that and uses all the traditional B-movie clichés: campy situations, high school students, cheesy performances, bare breasts, make-out scenes, and so on. It's often a laughable exposition of silliness.

But often it's not, and during the second half, the movie does indeed offer some big screams. Suspend disbelief for two hours, follow the story, and you might find yourself having a good time during Fright Night. The first half doesn't work. It lacks style, suspense, and intrigue, and the characters are not very interesting. The real scares find an outlet in the third act, and boy, will some of those scenes give me nightmares for a long time to come. Unfortunately, even with a man's flesh melting from his skeleton before our eyes, I wanted more from the film.

Fright Night details the misadventures of a 17-year-old named Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) who discovers that a bloodsucking vampire (Chris Sarandon) has occupied the vacant house next door. Of course, most people refuse to believe such nonsense, including his mother, girlfriend (Amanda Bearse), and best friend Evil (Stephen Geoffreys), a guy who knows a thing or two about horror myths. Not even the aging actor Vincent (Roddy McDowall, whose career consists of playing apes and vampire hunters) believes Charley. His mother, being the kind person that she is, even tries to calm the situation down by inviting the new neighbor over for a drink.

The actors take their roles somewhat seriously. The late McDowall delivers the film's best performance with a nifty little cockiness. And Chris Sarandon brings a devious charm to the vampire. Stephen Geoffreys' utter goofball probably has the most fun of all the actors.

The movie could have gone farther with gore, blood sucking, and gratuitous sex. Tom Holland has some fun with the material, but it never completely satisfies. The ending saves the movie, though, thanks to some astonishing special effects. Scar-eeee!



Fright Night

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th August 2011

Box Office USA: $18.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $24.9M

Budget: $9M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: Delphi IV Productions, Vistar Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Fresh: 117 Rotten: 46

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Jerry Dandrige, as Charley Brewster, as Amy Peterson, as Peter Vincent, as 'Evil' Ed Thompson, as Billy Cole, as Bouncer

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.