Friday, October 31, 2014

31 Days of Horror-Day 31: Fright Night (1985)

(dir. Tom Holland)

*First time viewing

     I know, I know. It’s Halloween and I’m not writing about Michael Myers. ‘But, but you referenced it so many times!’ I know, it’s true. But here’s the thing: I watch Halloween every year, and I figured it was time to break away and do something different since I was going to be writing about it. And what good is a film blog if you can’t use it as an excuse to watch movies you haven’t seen? So I’m sure I’ll write about “the night He came home” in future 31 Days of Horror, but this time were delving into the appropriately Halloweeny titled: Fright Night.

     No one believes Charley Brewster when he tells them a vampire lives next door to him. Not his mom, not his girlfriend, not his sorta-friend Ed, and not even his idol and TV vampire slayer, Peter Vincent. Charley must convince the people closest to him to see the danger there in before his new neighbor kills them all. But the vampire, Jerry Dandrige, has better ways of convincing them to see things his way.

     Fright Night’s got its 80s-ness all over its sleeve. The awesome practical effects, music choices, and over the top performances are mixed with the not so great five minute dance scenes and inexplicable errors in story-logic (Charley who constantly watches vampire movies, has no idea about which artifacts, etc., will protect him from vampires. And the idea that you need faith for the cross to work is a matter of plot convenience). It's horror-comedy, but most of the unintentional comedy elements end up being the most amusing. Stephen Geoffreys’s performance as Evil Ed is the true stand out (“Oh, you’re so cool, Brewster”). He adds just the right mix of weird and pathetic to really make for a memorable character. While I didn’t grow up with the film like so many who love it did, I appreciate its status in the horror canon and admire the sense of fun the film has.

Scare Factor: 1/5 Fright Night is cheesy, in a mostly awesome kind of way. The effects are great and chilling enough to make up for lack of actual frights. It’s not quite as great as the internet led me to believe, but it’s a solid cult classic and a pretty fun cap to this Halloween season.

And that’s all! Thanks for reading. Happy Halloween!

**Available to watch on Netflix Instant

No comments:

Post a Comment