Fright Night (1985)
The first time I saw this I was impressed by this little gem. But to be fair being a child of the Eighties there wasn't much that I did not like. There was something about that time period that made everything seem better. And I believe a lot of things were better. You can say what you want about the Eighties but not that it wasn't creative. Anything was possible. And we ate it up! One of the many excellent movies made in that era was Fright Night. Not that it was technically good or impressive. But there was a vibe to it that made it stand out. One of the elements was the almost perfect combination of comedy and horror. Another important element was Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandridge. He was menacing yet sophisticated and even charming. He did not need to use force to have his way. Roddy Mcdowall's performance which might be seen as a tribute or parody on Peter Cushing or Vincent Price in the Hammer movies is priceless. His role does have a function. Which is to show the contrast between him and the villain Jerry Dandridge. But also to show the commitment and conviction the main character William Ragsdale has to put an end to Jerry Ragsdale. His performance gets overlooked very quickly because it seems typical. Although I do think very few can show desperation and strength in the same role as he did. Amanda Bearse (pre Married with Children) actually looks very attractive in this and is pivotal in certain scenes. Obviously the special effects can't compare to what can be done now but still are quite good. The soundtrack also adds to the movie especially in one very important seduction scene. After having re watched Fright Night recently I must say that there is no doubt that it is a classic.
genre: horror, comedy
Fright Night (2011)
How I dreaded this remake. They were going to remake a movie I loved so much. But I am glad to report that this version is very different and good in it's own right that will not harm the memory you have of the original. Colin Farrel is much more a cruel and relentless villain than Chris Sarandon was but still even then Colin manages to be charming. He is having fun and shows it. Which is a good thing for the viewer. But to make it clear I favour Chris Sarandon's Jerry a little more since he is far more charming and mysterious compared to Colin Farrel. David Tennant (in my opinion the best Doctor Who ever) is nothing short of brilliant. Too bad his appearance is a little short for my taste. Anton Yelchin doesn't have to deal with the desperation that William Ragsdale had to suffer which on the one hand makes it a little too convenient. On the other hand since this movie is more special effects and action based much less distracting. It is the action that makes this version of Fright Night enjoyable. The soundtrack in this movie was awful. It simply never sets the mood quite right. Which becomes clear in the club scene. Imogen Poots is nothing more than an eye catcher and since there is barely a seduction scene her role is almost redundant. Overall this movie is very entertaining and can easily exist next to the original which can't be said of most remakes.
But of course the original is the better one. Just wanting to point that out in case you were wondering.