Fright Night (1998, DVD)
Fright Night looks like another cheesy vampire film: a young man finds out that a vampire has moved next door, no one believes him, the vampire comes after him, his only hope is an old horror TV star, etc. It's pretty predictable, right down to the whole thing about the boy's girlfriend bearing a striking resemblance to one of the vampire's old flames. So yes, in its own way, Fright Night is cheesy. At the same time, though, it is oh so much more than you would expect - an entertaining, somewhat creepy vampire film that features some great acting and some really impressive special effects. You expect to see really bad, noticeably cheap special effects in a film like this, but Fright Night hits a home run in this department.
William Ragsdale plays Charley Brewster, a typical horror-loving kid who just so happens to find out that his new neighbor is a vampire - naturally, no one believes him, including his friend Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys who whent on to starr in gay porn) and his girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse, who went on to play Marcie on Married With Children). For some reason, Charley decides to be open about his suspicions, thus letting the vampire know that he knows his little secret - not a smart move, as Charley soon learns courtesy of a little visit from the new guy in town. This vampire, I must say, looks nothing like your typical Count Dracula; he actually looks like a reject from Dance Fever, making it a little hard for me to take him seriously (although the threat of "Deney Terrio" busting out some disco moves in the film's one night club scene certainly had me feeling uneasy). In desperation, Charley goes to the only man he thinks can help him - Peter Vincent, Vampire Killer (Roddy McDowall). Vincent killed many a vampire - in the movies - and he is now the local host of Fright Night, a late-night horror show. As you might expect, Vincent doesn't really believe in vampires and, once he sees that Charley is telling him the truth, he isn't too anxious to fight them, either. McDowall is really great in this movie; he is the lynchpin upon which most of the movie's success depends.
I can't say enough about the special effects, especially those in the film's climactic moments. As a horror fan, I really appreciate the filmmakers spending the time and money to give me such an impressive show. The plot features a number of cliches as well as a couple of "oldest tricks in the book," but the inspired performance of Roddy McDowell combined with the fantastic special effects leads me to bump my rating up from four to five stars. This probably won't be the best vampire film you've ever seen, but I am sure that fans of the genre will not fail to get quick a kick out of Fright Night it takes me back to the 1980 every time I play it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
"Fright Night" gave a long awaited transfusion to the vampire cinema. Sadly, very few vampire movies since "Fright Night"(shown in theaters in 1985) have come close. This ia a must-see movie!
An homage to classic vampire cinema with a modern twist, "Fright Night" has fantastic special effects that compliment, rather than overshadow, the superbly written and directed story.
Featuring a number of highly erotic moments, in particular the dance club sequence, during which vampire Jerry Dandridge(played perfectly by Chris Sarandon) seduces Charlie's girlfriend Amy(Amanda Bearse).
Welcome to FRIGHT NIGHT!!
This movie was one of my favs in the vampire movies. The cast has quite a charming appeal including Susan Sarandon's brother Chris. Of course the storyline is quite good for its age. Special effects for its time were done quite well. The comical Roddy McDowell playing a reputed vampire hunter was hillarious. Of course,some of the lines in the movie were pretty quirky and rather cheesy. Overall, a great spooky flick with dose of comedy for people to enjoy.