Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Fright Night

Last night I saw Fright Night, starring Chris Sarandon and William Ragsdale.

Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a typical 1980s teenager—he enjoys late night television, making out with his girlfriend and spying on neighbors. One evening, he sees the guys next door carry a coffin into their yard and suspects they may be vampires. His fears are confirmed as he witnesses an intimate moment between one of them and their partner. The trouble is, they're onto him.

Soon enough said vampire, Jerry (Chris Sarandon), covets Charlie's naive mother and all hell breaks loose. Charley attempts to kill Jerry unsuccessfully, so he solicits the help of a late night show host who claims to be a vampire killer. Along with him, Charley's recruits his best friend and girlfriend, and the group attempt to eliminate this neighborhood threat.

Here, the film surpasses all attempts at actual horror and becomes a full-on camp fest. But that's not a bad thing—the special effects are so over-the-top, they leave you fascinated by the work that must have gone into creating them.

As for the acting, Sarandon chews scenery like the best of them, smirking and flirting his way across the screen, seducing the audience along with his desired victims. They couldn't have cast a more perfect, pompous vampire. And William Ragsdale's Charley is desperate and scared and paranoid just as a hormonal teenager with a great imagination would be (even though he turns out to be right).

Over 30 years later, I still enjoyed this ride and will continue to return to it in the Octobers to yet to come.


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