Fright Night (1985)

There are some very good reasons to be afraid of the dark.

Nobody believes teenager Charley Brewster when he discovers that his suave new neighbor, Jerry Dandrige, is a vampire. So when the bloodsucker starts stalking Charley, he turns to has-been actor Peter Vincent, famed for portraying a ghoul hunter. Unfortunately for the would-be vampire slayers, Dandrige has set his sights on Charley's girlfriend.

Feeling like a time warp now, but oh so much fun and frights.
Viewing this for the first time in 20 years really put a smile on my face, now I know that for after having just watched a horror film that may not be the best guideline you will ever read, but the film has it's tongue firmly in cheek and it doesn't come up short on the thrill factor.
You will read other reviews stating that the film is a little cheesy and a little dated, and sure, in this day and age of gorno and ultimate slash kill death murder movies, the film can be judged as tame alongside the big box office ghoul movies. But from a personal point of view I got such a kick out of watching a good honest genre piece that shows love, care, and entertainment rolled into one movie. Perhaps I'm the old fart who is so desensitised to blood horror these days? Perhaps I live in the past too much? So what? It matters not because as long as there are delightful genre pieces like this to remind me that the 80s horror crowd had some knowing style, then I'm a happy bunny.
Cute teens embroiled in Vampire next door plot is about the make up of the film. No one believes the central guy of the piece (William Ragsdale as Charley Brewster), but he convinces TV Vampire Slayer Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowell) to join his quest to rid the neighbourhood of the murdering menace living next door. The film has the love interest in peril (Amanda Bearse), it has the grossly annoying best friend (Stephen Geoffreys) - and boy is he annoying! And it has all the homages to the horror classics gone by you could wish to have.
Such guts and gusto went into making this film I felt like clapping at the end. It's aware of the horror competition when you catch some of the dialogue, so it should never be allowed to become a perceived cheesy relic, because this is 1985 and it rocks for those that remember when horror had a glint in its eye instead of a sabre through its head. 8/10

Columbia Pictures, Delphi IV Productions, Vistar Films by Tom Holland.
Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall.

Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Keywords: parent child relationship nightclub virgin vampire transformation undead lifting person in air werewolf super power

08/02/1985

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