Fright Night Part 2

Fright Night Part 2 ★★½

I'm having a double feature tonight, slowly getting into the October spirit with some horror films. I'm pitting this against the brand new Fright Night 2: New Blood. I quite liked the first films, especially the original Fright Night. But this one left me rather disappointed.

Charley Brewster has survived his horrible meeting with a real life vampire, and he's been in therapy ever since. He is still friends with television host Peter Vincent, and has found himself a new girlfriend. But he can't shake the feeling that something is wrong. He sees mysterious people everywhere he goes, and a beautiful but eerie woman seems to follow his every movie. Is someone waiting to set their fangs into him yet again?

I'll keep it short and simple. I felt like this was rather strange and boring. There's a whole host of new secondary characters that are never fleshed out, and there's even very little chemistry between our main characters. When it tries to go its own way (and not be the first movie all over again) it becomes odd and spreads out all over the place, losing focus of the central premise, and when it turns back to the central premise, it couldn't be closer to the original movie. It's hard to innovate without copying what's gone before. The film was also seriously devoid of humor.

However, this is not an entirely hopeless movie. There are some wonderful scenes involving the vampires, where a combination of horror and eroticism works..quite well. Not amazingly well, but decently. The real strength of this movie for me were the special effects, it has some fantastic practical effects from start to finish. I may be big on CGI, but I can't deny that when the practical stuff works, it really works. If someone were to ask me of an example of great practical effects, I'd tell them to watch this movie - they're frightening and bold without being obvious or hokey. To name just one moment, there's a character that melts slowly like a wax doll shedding layers, and it looks fantastic.

If anything, I think this could've been a direct copy of the first movie (with a bit of role reversal) and it would've been great - possibly even better than the first one if they played their cards right. Now it's just spread out thin with a lot of good ideas that are never fully utilized to their maximum potential. There are plenty worse movies than Fright Night Part 2, but it never elicited any great joy, arousal or fear in me (save maybe for that mullet, they were all the rage in 88/89), only a silent respect for the special effects makers.