As we all know, the 80s brought us some of the best horror, even if it was filled with enough Aqua Net to last RuPaul for the rest of her life and shoulder pads designed to kill.
This extends to vampire movies, too, in the form of Fright Night.
Fright Night was an odd duck in the vampire genre because it didn't take place in a city or in Romania or London. It brought the vampire to the 'burbs and with a plot not unlike Rear Window, it added a distinctly Hitchcockian vibe to it. Add a touch of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf and the American staple of the late night TV horror movie host and you've got a heapin' helpin' o' bloodsuckin' awesome.
Our story goes like this: Charlie Brewster is a huge horror fan, watching the local late night horror show whenever he can, Fright Night, hosted by Peter Vincent. This, of course, leads him to be particularly sensitive to the fact that his new, (supposedly... at least he's pretending to be) gay neighbor, Jerry Dandridge, is a vampire. Nobody believes him but if they did, the movie would be about 20 minutes long.
What the fuck am I doing here?
Since his future lesbian girlfriend, Amy Peterson, doesn't believe him, she enlists the actually quite cowardly Vincent to assist in proving Dandridge is not a vampire. Peter is, wisely, skeptical but goes along with it. And then he sees Jerry's lack of reflection in the mirror.
This causes Dandridge to hunt down future gay porn star Evil Ed and future lesbian girlfriend and turn them into vampires in an effort to lure Charlie to him for the purposes of, DUN Dun duuuuuun, revenge.
YOW! Black'n'Decker Pecker Wrecker, much?
Tom Holland gave us yet another example of how humor and horror are used successfully together. Not only did this scare the pants off of my 12-tear-old self, but it made me laugh out loud. The blending of the different types of vampire films up until that time was brilliant. The classic aloof vampire. The Hammer-inspired host. The Renfield-like Evil Ed. Finding the references made it that much more fun!
Plus, there's this face. GAH!
Fright Night had a soul to it that a lot of vampire films don't. Maybe that was because of the change in setting but it felt like "This is what happens when a normal person has to deal with the weird". And, really, there was only one complete asshole in the film and that was Evil Ed. I liked the character but he does get to be annoying after a while. It's that voice of his. Nails on a fuckin' chalkboard.
Even 28 years later, it's still a fun watch. Bust it out and laugh all over again.
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