The Halloween Hit List: Fright Night (1985)




Rated: R

106 mins

Written & Directed by: Tom Holland

The Lost Boys and Fright Night are two of my favorite vampire films of all time.  They both revolve around young naive kids that discover the existence of vampires, and must track down vampire hunters to aid them in destroying the vampire threat.  Fright Night follows Charley Brewster, previously stated naive kid, who over time begins to suspect his newest neighbor might in fact be a bloodsucking vampire.  Poor Charley, because nobody believes him.  Not even his girlfriend.  Unlike most modern horror films, time is taken to develop the characters.

This leads me into the introduction of one of cinema’s greatest vampire hunters, the great PETER VINCENT.  Played perfectly by Roddy McDowall, Vincent is a television host that reminds one of the great Elvira.  Charley approaches him, being a huge fan of his show ‘Fright Night’, and is initially rejected.  After all he merely just plays a vampire hunter on TV.  Once Peter Vincent fully commits to the cause, however, the bloody carnage begins and they prepare to siege the house and take out the head vampire.

While The Lost Boys and other vampire films like From Dusk Till Dawn get recognition, I believe the original Fright Night is frequently forgotten.  The remake was fun and everything, but the original is a masterpiece.  The violence, special effects and memorable characters make this film worth checking out.  The movie builds towards the ending, much like the later Home Alone flicks, only in this film it’s like following the characters inside a real life House of Horrors.  If that doesn’t make this Halloween material, then I don’t know what does.

FIVE reasons why Fright Night kicks ass:

1. Evil Ed

2. Pencil stabbing scene

3. Peter Vincent

4. Great balance of horror and comedy

5. Peter Vincent, Peter Vincent, Peter Vincent