My Life in Horror 1985 – Fright Night

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The films voted for on my Twitter polls just keep coming and now it’s on to 1985, the winners here were Fright Night and Demons. I’d seen Fright Night so long ago that I didn’t remember anything about it at all, in fact I’d seen the remake much more recently and I enjoyed it. But now it was time to settle down and watch the original movie.

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Director – Tom Holland

Writer – Tom Holland

Stars – Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall, Stephen Geoffreys and Jonathan Stark

Run Time – 106 minutes

Budget – $9 million estimated

Tagline – If You Love Being Scared, It’ll Be the Night Of Your Life

Trivia – It was Chris Sarandon‘s idea to have Jerry eating apples throughout the film. While researching Vampire lore, Sarandon looked at information about bats and concluded, “Jerry had a lot of Fruit Bat in his DNA.”

Trivia – In 2015, when asked if he could do a sequel to any of his movies (ignoring existing reboots) for a You Tube fan questions video, writer/director Tom Holland replied that he’d like to do a follow-up to “Fright Night” utilizing the original cast. His proposed plot was that single-father Charley Brewster inherits his mother’s home and, soon after taking up residence, his two teenage children become convinced that there’s something “evil” in the house next door – namely Evil Ed, who is squatting in the abandoned mansion, attempting to resurrect Jerry Dandrige.

Charley gets some new neighbours and for some reason they move in during the middle of the night, this peaks his interest so much that he decides to spy on them rather than have sex with his girlfriend. His interest in the neighbours and a few killings in the area make him further leave his girlfriend behind and focus on the new mysterious man who’s moved in next door.

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Charley is certain he sees the neighbour and his goon move a body out of the house in the middle of the night. There’s only one conclusion in his mind, the new guy next door is a vampire! Charley’s girlfriend Amy and his “best friend” Evil Ed don’t believe him, I mean why would anyone believe in vampires?

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Soon the charismatic neighbour Jerry Dandridge befriends Charley’s mother and also convinces the police that he’s not a vampire. Charley needs help to prove that the guy in is fact a blood thirsty vamp. There’s only one place he can go and one person he can call upon Peter Vincent an old actor who’s starred in some awful films and now presents movies on late night TV.

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Charley easily finds him and manages to talk to him but he too doesn’t believe him. Charley needs to confront Dandridge luckily his friends are looking out for him and they convince Peter Vincent to help. Initial tests that Dandridge agrees to show he isn’t a vampire but Peter stumbles on the truth.

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Dandridge constantly plays games with and threatens Charley and slowly begins to targets Charley’s friends. The film does have a light edge to it but Dandridge is one creepy fella as he continues his vampire kills and continues to terrorise Charley, can him and an old has=been actor come together and stop the horror?

The Good

  • Chris Sarandon is superb as Jerry Dandridge the vampire next door.
  • The whole premise of the film is so beautifully simple yet so very entertaining.
  • Peter Vincent is a great character a cowardly washed up actor who never really found proper fame but in this find courage to fight back.
  • The pacing of the film is spot on there wasn’t any time I was bored at all.
  • Sometimes when a film isn’t an out and out horror comedy things can go wrong but the humour in this was spot on.
  • Really good ending.

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The Bad

  • There’s only one thing that I can think of and that’s the side characters, I know we were supposed to find Evil Ed a bit annoying but he was poorly acted and just a bad character. The same could be said of Jerry’s side kick Billy, I wasn’t a fan of either of these.
  • Why are most vampires a bit paedo? Jerry looks about 40 and he’s trying to seduce a teenager.

That’s it really there’s no more bad unless you count the highly unrealistic aspect of a teenager putting spying on his neighbour ahead of having sex with his girlfriend. The pacing was great, a really good build as we see Charley struggle to convince anyone else about the fact he has a vampire next door, right through to the final battle so to speak. All of is flow perfectly, this is a must watch film and can understand why some people list it as their favourite vampire film or all time.

Overall Rating – 9/10

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8 thoughts on “My Life in Horror 1985 – Fright Night

  1. This was a terrific film that I had the pleasure of seeing in the theater when it was released.
    Roddy McDowell was superb as Peter Vincent. The script was well written. Chris Sarandon was sexy & believable.as a vamp that could make the women swoon.
    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review!This is a really entertaining 80’s movie and it is a must for any lover of horror.I think that the horror and comedy works really well here and sometimes that can be a problem but not here!!The cast are great and the story is great.Sarandon plays the suave vampire to perfection and Ragsdale is great as the teen who knows too much.A really great movie overall.I liked the sequel too!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: My Life in Horror 1985 – Demons | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

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