Fright Night Part 2 Review

Fright Night Part 2 is a 1988 horror comedy directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, starring  William Ragsdale, Roddy McDowall, Traci Lind, Julie Carmen, Jon Gries, and Russell Clark.  Set as a direct sequel to 1985’s Fright Night the plot follows Charley Brewster (Ragsdale) who, now a college student, encounters a group of vampires led by a beautiful woman, Regine Dandridge (Carmen), who is seeking him out for revenge for the death of her brother.


Positives:

  • Good antagonists
  • Good performances
  • Good use of practical effects
  • Good use of make-up effects
  • Good premise

Negatives:

  • Protagonists suck
  • Lackluster performances
  • Terrible script

Plot:  The premise is actually pretty good.  Regine seeking revenge against Charley for the death of her brother, Jerry, is a solid premise.  It can be entertaining at moments but when focused on Charley or Peter it’s pretty dull.  Charley dealing with denial is actually a pretty good subplot.  There is never a sense of urgency, like Regine is truly closing in on Charley.  The ending was totally anti-climatic. (3 out of 5)

Characters:  Regine (Carmen) is the main antagonist of the film and she is completely badass.  Like Jerry (Chris Sarandon) from the previous film, she has personality and charm and she definitely is a scene stealer.  She’s seeking Charley (Ragsdale) out for the death of her brother.  Bell (Clark) and Louie (Gries) are a helluva lot more interesting than the main protagonist.  Alex (Lind) is actually a pretty cool character. Charley was such an unlikable character as well as Peter Vincent (McDowall).  Much like the previous film, there’s not much to like about them. (3 out of 5)

Cast: The cast are a bit of a mixed bag. Julie Carmen was a great casting choice for Regine.  Definitely had alure and sex appeal.  Jon Gries and Russell Clark have good presence. Traci Lind was actually a good cast. William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall give very poor performances and like the previous film remain unremarkable. (3 out of 5)

Visuals: Pretty good use of practical and make-up effects.  The vampire effects look good although there are moments where they look a bit exaggerated (for example, fangs and claws).  The monstrous transformation designs look decent but also cheesy. (3 out of 5)

Score: The score was decent but not really memorable.  Brad Fiedel does an alright job especially with the seductive sequences. (2 out of 5)

Writing: Like in the previous film the script is poorly executed, riddled with conveniences.  Tommy Lee Wallace does manage to make the film appealing.  Why did Charley see the coffins?  Made no sense for them to have been there in the first place. Another example is Regine’s pursuit of Charley.  She had him several times but did not take her revenge out on him until it was convenient for the plot in which she died. (2 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Fright Night Part 2 is a decent film but it could’ve been better.  Though the film does have entertaining villains, an interesting premise, and good performance by Carmen, it suffers from lackluster protagonists, weak performances, and a script riddled with over conveniences.  Fright Night Part 2 gets 3 out of 5.

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