Charley (William Ragsdale) is a pretty normal teenager, who’s into the Fright Night TV show with Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), which mostly concerns itself with hunting vampires. So, it’s no surprise that Charley immediately assumes that the new neighbour – the charismatic Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) – is a vampire. What does come as a surprise, though, is when this assumption turns out to be true.
I had never actually seen Fright Night, even though it’s such a classic. Now that it’s being remade (with an awesome cast), I just had to close this gap in my cinematic education.
Anyway, it’s funny, decently acted and has a good script. It’s not as brilliant as I expected it to be, but it’s entertaining. If you expect scary, you”ll be disappointed though.
This might be one of those movies you need to have grown up with to really think it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s not bad (though some parts didn’t age terribly well) but I’m not sure whether I would put it into the (cult) classics category on my own.
But the script is pretty good – riffing on a lot of tropes, while expertly using them at the same time and with some nice dialogue.
Chris Sarandon was perfectly chosen for the role, as were Stephen Geoffreys and Roddy McDowall. Amanda Bearse didn’t get to do a whole lot and William Ragsdale seemed mostly lost. He had a kinda ungrateful role, though, so it might not be for his acting skills.
Some of the special effects are really nice and show the height of the technology at the time. Some of that still looks great today, some feels very old. And I have to admit that the vampire make-up just seemed ridiculous.
Summarising: Entertaining and made me even more curious about the remake.