Fright Night (1985) 3.14/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 76.3
Genre: Horror
Duration: 106 mins
Director: Tom Holland
Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse

As is almost invariably the case with films that have been ‘remade’ in modern times, the original Fright Night is the definitive version and the only one worth seeing. William Ragsdale stars as a teenage boy who becomes convinced that a vampire (played with relish by Chris Sarandon) has moved into the house next door. To alleviate his fears, his friends cajole an old actor (Roddy McDowell), famous for playing a vampire slayer on tv, into giving his neighbour the once over and to everyone’s dismay the kid was right! Writer/director Tom Holland struck the perfect balance between humour and horror with no little help from his production designer (who was at least somewhat influenced by Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot), his effects crew, and his cast. The actors are all in top form and Holland clearly gives them room to improvise, a decision which paid off in spades as most of the fun is had in those moments between the lines as the actors play off each other often to hysterical effect. The creature effects are excellent and for the most part stand up today. Whether you’ve seen it in the 80′s or it’s your first time you’ll find this little gem to be as enjoyable as they come.

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