Fright Night Review

Fright Night is a 1985 horror film directed by Tom Holland, starring William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall, Amanda Bearse, and Stephen Geoffreys.  The film follows Charley Brewster (Ragsdale), who discovers that his next-door neighbor, Jerry Dandrige (Sarandon), is a vampire.


Positives:

  • Great performance by Sarandon
  • Great premise
  • Good score
  • Good use of practical effects

Negatives:

  • Terrible script
  • Poor characters
  • Poor performances
  • Comical make-up effects

Plot: The film has a pretty interesting premise and takes no time diving into the plot.  There are moments with Charley and his friends that does slow down the pacing of the film. There are some really tense moments. The ending sucks but it is a pretty sweet climax.  (3 out of 5)


Jerry (Sarandon) is definitely the highlight of the film.  He’s the most interesting character; charming, charismatic, and has personality.  Definitely stole the show. Amy (Bearse) is actually a pretty likable character among the protagonist and has more personality than her boyfriend, Charley.  Charley (Ragsdale) and Evil Ed (Geoffreys) were some horribly written characters with nothing interesting going for them.  Vincent (McDowall) is what can be considered as unremarkable.  (3 out of 5)


Great performance by Chris Sarandon; he was perfectly cast for the role.  Bearse is an actual good cast and gives a pretty good performance.  William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall are decent but not really memorable.   Stephen Geoffreys is absolutely terrible and and to watch that ship sink was just plain painful. (2 out of 5)


Some of the make-up effects are comical compared to modern standards.  The eyes, fangs, and claws look decent but the “demonic” mode look crappy.  Pretty decent use of practical, shitty cgi.  Great with the Amy transformation. (2 out of 5)


The score is pretty decent, and does have that Halloween-type theme but it isn’t overly memorable.  However, it doe gives depth to the film.  Kudos to music composer Brad Fiedel. (3 out of 5)


The script was horribly written.  Many events of the film seem overly convenient.  One of the worst scenes in the film is when Jerry confronts Charley and Nearly kills him but is stopped when Charley’s mother voices concern.  Why didn’t he just murder Jerry and his mother and be done with it?  Many of the character choices make little to no sense. (2 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Fright Night is a decent watch but it is full of problems.  Despite a great performance by Sarandon, an interesting story, and some decent practical effects, the film suffers from poor characters, poor performances, and a poorly written script.  Fright Night gets 2 out of 5.

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