Fright Night (1985)

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Fright Night is a 1985 American horror film written and directed by Tom Holland (not the new Spider-Man in the MCU) in his directorial debut, and produced by Herb Jaffe. It stars William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall, Amanda Bearse, Jonathan Stark, Dorothy Fielding, Stephen Geoffreys and Art Evans. 

Summary

A teenager discovers that the newcomer in his neighborhood is a vampire, so he turns to an actor in a television horror show for help dealing with the undead.

Why It Rocks

  1. A very original horror film plotline about a teenage boy and a horror show actor working together to try and discover the truth about a mysterious neighbor who’s supposedly a vampire.
  2. Tom Holland has shown great skills as both a director and screenwriter for the film.
  3. The mysterious neighbor, Jerry, is quite an amazing villain and Chris Sarandon does an amazing performance as him.
  4. Memorable and very scary moments, mainly the scenes with Jerry when he’s in his blood-thirsty, monstrous vampire state.
  5. The cinematography is very chilling, even for the mid-1980s.
  6. It has become a horror-movie/vampire classic by many horror movie fans.
  7. Wonderful acting, especially from William Ragsdale, Chris Saradon and Roddy McDowall.
  8. Many of the characters are very likable and interesting, such as the protagonist, Charlie, and his goal to see if his new neighbor, Jerry, is a vampire.
  9. The 2011 remake it had was pretty decent and actually stay’s true to the otihinal very well.
  10. The designs for the vampires are nightmarish and very unforgettable.

Reception

Box office

Fright Night's widest release was 1,545 theaters. The film made $6,118,543 on opening weekend (1,542 theaters, $3,967 average). The domestic gross came to $24,922,237. It performed the best of any horror film released during the summer of 1985 and was the second highest-grossing horror film of 1985, surpassed only by A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge.

Critical reception

Fright Night holds a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes; the average rating is 7.3/10 based on 33 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Fright Night deftly combines thrills and humor in this ghostly tale about a man living next to a vampire." Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and wrote, "Fright Night is not a distinguished movie, but it has a lot of fun being undistinguished". Variety praised Sarandon's performance, citing that he "is terrific as the vampire, quite affable and debonair until his fingernails start to grow and his eyes get that glow".