Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fright Night

Charley Brewster is living next door to a vampire, whose bad side he gets on pretty much immediately (by doing dumb stuff by calling the cops and telling them "Hey, my neighbor is a vampire"). Now he needs the help of his girlfriend, best friend and favorite creature feature TV host to stop the vampire from killing him.
Let's talk for a moment about vampires, shall we? The definition of vampire has changed a lot over the years. I still consider Dracula the definitive vampire, but these days a lot of people are convinced that Glitter People are vampires, too. They're not. Yes, vampires can exist in sunlight (holy shit, Stephanie Meyer was actually right about something?) but they don't "sparkle like diamonds" or whatever. They just get weak. Romantic adaptations of Dracula (including that godawful "official sequel" The Undead, which was so bad I turned temporarily cross eyed) make people forget that, wait a minute, the dude's a monster. He's ratlike and soulless and will kill you for no good reason other than that you're delicious.
So, watching Fright Night, at first I thought Chris Sarandon was the weirdest choice to play the vampire. I mean, you can't look at the guy and not think Prince Humperdink.
Holy crap, he's the perfect vampire! I mean, you can't look at the guy and not think Prince Humperdink. He's repulsive but still has a weirdly interesting charm. You hate him, but you can't stop watching him. Just like a freakin' vampire is supposed to be! It's brilliant casting! (Never mind that Fright Night came out before The Princess Bride; that blows no holes through my theory because Chris Sarandon is smarmy either way.)
The other think I really liked about Fright Night is it had no problem making their vampires horrible looking. Disgusting and fanged and red eyed and warp faced. There's one lady vampire in the movie who is pure High Octane Nightmare Fuel. I blame her entirely for the fact that I had a hard time falling asleep last night.
That's the other thing that's really cool about Fright Night: it's flippin' creepy. When it was over the house was completely dark and I had second thoughts about walking out to the kitchen for a drink of water. I mean, what if Vampire Chris Sarandon was in there? Yaugh!!!
The only thing that would've been worse than that: if Prince Humperdink were in my kitchen. I hate that guy. (At least he's a coward and easy to deal with.)

SPOILER: I have a theory that, in horror movies, if a character is named Jerry, he will be dead by the end of the movie. Fright Night supports that theory. Apparently even villains named Jerry are not safe from the Dead Jerry Clause.

End of line.

1 comment:

Dave Zybert - Rotary President said...

One of my very favorites. I LOVED Fright Night when it first came out.