Fright Night (1985) [REVIEW]


The first time I watched this movie was when I first learned of what “On Demand” was. Is it still called that? I think it is. I was excited that there were a whole bunch of free movies that I could watch, any time I wanted! I also had cable in my apartment, which is something I haven’t really had since then. I figured that since I only watched it that one time, and with the new version of this movie coming out, I should watch the old one again. Seeing the trailer for the new one in theaters just made me mad, because it reminded me that the general public doesn’t necessarily like the same things I do. That means that when a trailer for a tongue-in-cheek remake of a “horror” movie from the 80’s pops up, and the audience moans and groans, I want to stand up and yell at them. Then I remembered that I might not even like this movie anymore anyways, so I’ll just watch it and then complain about those people on the internet.


BUSTED! This is the face of sexuality in 1985. Oh my, how the times have changed.

There’s a new neighbor moving in next to Charley, played by William Ragsdale (yes, the guy from Herman’s Head), and he notices movers bringing in a coffin. This piques his interest, so he starts checking out who moves in. He sees someone who the 80’s would describe as sensual and attractive, which we know to be true, because we see this guy with a naked lady. After seeing the sexy neighbor bite, and supposedly kill the lady, Charley realizes his neighbor is a vampire. Knowing that no one will believe him anyway, the neighbor, played by Chris Sarandon, taunts Charley by threatening his girlfriend and mom. Charley seeks advice from an actor from some of his favorite vampire movies, thinking the actor can help. While initially humoring Charley, the actor learns that this neighbor really is a vampire, so they begin to plot and scheme how to take him down. Eventually they succeed and kill the vampire. The actor then appears on television saying he is no longer going to be in vampire movies, but instead will be in alien slashers. Before the credits roll, there is a voice of one of Charley’s friends who was turned into some sort of dog creature, implying a sequel.


I did enjoy the Big Trouble in Little China-esque makeup effects, that’s for damn sure.

What happens when you combine movies like The Lost Boys, Night of the Creeps, and Rear Window? YOU GET THIS MOVIE! Not to say that this movie stole things from those movies, because that would be difficult, especially since this movie came out before two of them. However, I think Lost Boys is a lot more popular than this movie, so it makes the reference a little easier to relate to. The whole tone of the movie is unclear as to whether or not they are intentionally cheesy and are self-aware, or if this movie was made in the 80’s and is cheesy and weird because it was the 80’s. It’s hard to say that this movie is scary, because looking back, some elements were quite over-the-top and silly, yet not so silly that it was laughable. Add to that the fact that the first time I saw this story, it was an installment of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and wasn’t scared then, either. Watching it 25 years after it first came out, I can appreciate it for being a fun movie now, as well as an even more fun movie back then. I can’t really knock it or anything for the dialogue or effects, and have a feeling that most of the people who really love this movie enjoy it on a nostalgic level. On that note, I don’t think the remake will be all that good, despite the fact that they chose someone who is a little bit more of a hunk for the sexy neighbor vampire. I’ve mentioned in previous entries the difficulty of making a movie that is funny AND scary, and that you typically can’t fake the inherent humor of movies from the 80’s, but I suppose vampires are popular now, and so are remakes, so why not give it a shot.


Wolfman Moon Scale

Amazon DVD

4 responses to “Fright Night (1985) [REVIEW]

  1. I am going to assume that your favorite line was “Welcome to Fright Night for real!” Because why wouldn’t it be? I think that line proves the filmmakers were in on the joke.

  2. That was the quote I was going to post, damn! I guess I’ll have to settle for “Brewster, you’re so cool!!”. I’ve been lurking around your blog for a while now and really like what you do. I have a simialr blog where a friend and I review some 80’s and 90’s favorites, as well as some lesser know movies from the past decade. We did Fright Night a l few months ago, we had watched it as kids and both have fond memories (we’re in our early 30’s), and thought it aged pretty well. I’d love for you to request a review on our site and perhaps we can share links. If you have a moment please visit us at Best – Alex

    • That’s what the line was! I totally meant to point out the line, but couldn’t remember it, and despite being right there AT a computer, couldn’t be bothered to look it up. Oh well, you saved the day anyway. Thanks for the kind words! Glad you are enjoying it. Also very glad that you guys didn’t like Dance of the Dead either, I couldn’t stand that movie. In fact, most of my comments for that review are people complaining. Ugh, not everyone likes the same stuff!

  3. Pingback: Here’s kind of a review for the Fright Night remake? « The Wolfman Cometh·

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