Posts Tagged ‘Roddy McDowall’

Fright Night 2 (1988)

October 31, 2016

For a couple of years running, I have participated in a good friend’s family tradition. Three years in a row, I have watched the original Fright Night at their house. The movie is cheesy as heck but it really is a near perfect, extremely nostalgic horror movie. It pays tribute to the time-honored tradition of horror hosts. It also gave us another reason to love to hate Chris “Prince Humperdinck” Sarandon. It had every box checked off on the checklist of Eighties horror adventure movies. It is a close cousin to The Monster Squad but is a little more adult. I have the advantage of seeing the movie a few times but I have yet to see the sequel. I have seen the remake (but also not the sequel to the remake). I suppose it is time to fix that.

They say there is bliss in ignorance and while this may be true, there is also safety in ignorance. If you do not know about the monsters then you have no inclination to get between them and their prey. More importantly, if you know about the monsters, then they probably know about you. This is not good for your long-term health and happiness. It is better not to know but when you know, there is a moral duty to act. Those who stand idly by and let the monsters have their meal are doomed to regret it for the rest of their life. The rest of their life is probably going to be short because they are probably the next meal. However, when there is a moral duty to act against supernatural creatures, you are going to have a bad time. So let us talk about Peter and Charley’s bad time.

The movie starts approximately three years after the events of Fright Night. Obviously, nobody believed Peter Vincent or Charley Brewster about the incidents surrounding Jerry Dandridge. Supposedly, Amy is languishing in some insane asylum somewhere. We are deep in the Eighties still and deep in time of horror hosts and strange fashions. I really like the setup for this movie because it deals with what happens after the hero’s big epic adventure. It also doubles down on the original movie’s premise which every good sequel does. Brad Fiedel is the composer of all of the incidental music and the score and he did a great job. His iconic synth and guitar riffs are so memorable just like in the first film. Once again the makeup and practical effects are great in the tradition of the first movie and other iconic Eighties horror movies. The lighting and set decoration are on point again as well. It did feel like there was a little too much dry ice in this one which is saying a lot considering the original.

William Ragdale plays Charley again and he is once again both relatable and kind of a dick. He is your typical teenage boy who is a little too much in his own head and up his own ass but now he also has trauma from vampires. Peter Vincent is still the foremost member of his own fan club. Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent was kind of the heart and soul of the first movie along with Chris Sarandon so it was great to see him return. In the end, there should have been more Peter and less Charley in this movie. Tracy Lind plays Alex who is a much more proactive female lead whereas Amy spent a lot of time just whining. The new vampires are intriguing and definitely as Eighties as Jerry Dandridge was. Julie Carmen as Regine is particularly charming and fun. I also have to give a shout out to the unique look and understated acting of Brian Thompson as Bozworth as well.

Overall, it was a pretty good sequel of a movie that is very iconic in my mind. It is not as well-paced as the original but that was a hard act to follow. This movie walks some of the same paths that the original movie but it also explores some new territory as well. We see the vampires pulling a lot of new tricks but also a lot of Jerry’s tricks as well. It also includes the unforgettable vampire bowling scene. There was one particular plot point that impressed me heartily but I cannot spoil it for you. It was a good attempt but it was probably a good thing that this movie ended the franchise (until the remakes). This one would be interesting to fans of the original but that morbid curiosity does not extend to people who did not see the original. For that reason, I cannot recommend it although I did enjoy it.

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