‘Welcome to Fright Night…for real‘
Horror will always be an important part of my life and the 80’s provided some of the best in the genre. Of all the creatures created, the Vampire is one of the most iconic and so there are innumerable interpretations of their kind. From Dracula to The Lost Boys (and beyond) they have thrilled and chilled people all over the world. No matter what, one of my favorites will always be Fright Night.
Today’s Key Movie:
Directed by Tom Holland (Child’s Play) Fright Night follows the story of a young man named Charley Brewster (played by William Ragsdale) who thinks he witnesses his new neighbor (played by Chris Sarandon) turn into a vampire and kill a woman. Unfortunately no one believes him so he decides to to take matters into his own hands and enlists TV personality Peter Vincent (played by Roddy McDowall) to fight this new evil.
This is a fun and frightening horror film that hits all the right spots.
Why this movie?
As you well know by now, I love horror. I grew up with it being a part of my life from a young age. Vampires were a big deal for my Father. At one point he even attempted collecting every film that involved Dracula. I don’t think he was successful but it certainly hasn’t stopped him from trying.
This was another film we rented on VHS. I’m not sure how we had heard about it but I do remember him bringing it home for us to watch. I was riveted and loved every second of it. I also had a huge crush on Charley’s girlfriend Amy, played by Amanda Bearce.
How did this translate to real life?
It’s a ‘teen horror’ so, as I got older I found myself identifying with Charlie on subsequent viewings. I mean, as a teen, most adults don’t believe you and it’s frustrating. Charlie’s story is a bit far fetched but I can still feel his pain.
Even though this is a horror film there is a lesson here, even if the story sounds unreasonable give someone the benefit of the doubt if they ask for help. You never know what demons they are fighting…they might really be vampires.
Okay, you like this film, but is it really a ‘good film’?
It really is. The actors are great and seem to genuinely enjoy their roles. The makeup & special effects are top notch for their time and still hold up today. It is a very ’80s’ film so the styles and music are certainly dated but it is a must see for any self respecting horror or Vampire fan.
As an adult I don’t really find it scary as much as I do find it an excellent interpretation of the Vampire myth. There are some really cool bits in this film that I honestly had never encountered before. For example, in order for a cross to work on a vampire, the bearer must have ‘faith’. This heavily implies that any religious symbol would work as long as the person wielding it had faith in that symbol. Pretty cool huh?
There is a quality sequel featuring the same cast plus a really solid remake starring the late Anton Yelchin as Charley with former Doctor, David Tennant in the role of Peter Vincent. While not ‘as good’ as the original it is still quite enjoyable.
OK, where do I get this movie?
This is one that pops up in the bargain bins from time to time. At the time of this writing it is available for streaming on Hulu.
You can also pick one up at pretty much any place DVD’s and Blu-ray are sold.
and of course, the trailer:
If you would like to read more reviews please check out the rest of the Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday.
For more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here. and, If you dig Music, I have a semi regular series called Stand Out Albums that covers some of my favorite records I have come across in life.
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Late To The Game 10/25/17