Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

October of Horror #4: Fright Night (1985)

Posted by Trixter on October 4, 2018


(For an explanation of what these posts in October are, see the parent post.)

Synopsis

Charlie is almost certainly sure that his new neighbor is a vampire: He sees a coffin being brought into the basement, and women have a nasty habit of turning up dead once they visit next door.  Problem is, nobody believes him.  Desperate, he enlists the help of his friends and a washed-up horror movie actor to confront the vampire once and for all.

Opinion

I’d somehow missed this movie when it first came out, but my wife Melissa had seen it nearly a hundred times as it was in regular rotation on HBO in the 1980s, so we watched it together.  Unlike yesterday’s disaster Return of the Living Dead II, Fright Night mixes together just the right amount of comedy and horror.  The supporting players (Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall, and Stephen Geoffreys) are standouts, with Geoffreys in particular striking an unnerving, off-balance character that made him perfect for his later starring role in 976-EVIL.

The story is simple but engaging, the pacing is even throughout, it hits all of the right vampire lore notes, and the practical effects are cheesy but fun to watch.

Recommendation

While it may not be the best film ever made about vampires, it’s great fun, and definitely worth your time.

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