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Charley and Ed are two students who travel to Romania to study European Art, but are just as interested in seeing the sights – including the castle in Transylvania associated with Count Dracula. All of the students are intrigued by their lecturer, the beautiful and sultry Professor Gerri Dandridge. When Charley witnesses a young woman being devoured at the woman’s hands, he carries out some investigations of his own and learns she is a vampire. Of course, no one believes him (least of all his ex-girlfriend, Amy), and now he and his friend’s lives are in danger. He seeks the help of Peter Vincent, a TV monster hunter, but the drunkard womaniser is also a coward and is only lured by the promise of money. Events escalate when it is discovered Dandridge is the real life Elizabeth Bathory, and she plans on using the blood of Amy to increase her power and walk in the daylight...
Let me say from the outset that the original Fright Night from 1985 is a much better movie. I really have no idea why perfectly good films are remade. Just point new generations in the direction of the classic.
Fright Night 2 is billed as a sequel, but in many ways it’s very similar to the old one. The differences are that the eighties version possessed significantly more perfectly balanced humour. It also had better performances which incorporated much more of a sense of urgency.
Roddy McDowell was just sublime as Peter Vincent; a very convincing coward, but more brave because of precisely that. Aside from the wooden acting of Sacha Parkinson’s Amy, all other performances are good in this one. In fact, Jamie Murray is quite impressive as Dandridge. The basic plot is the same; only the balance is at odds. The story takes place in Romania rather than America, and a male master vampire is superseded by a cross between the fictional Countess Dracula (Dracula himself being partly based on Vlad the Impaler) and the real life Elizabeth Bathory, who killed virgin girls and bathed in their blood because she believed it would keep her youthful.
For anyone who hasn’t seen the 1980s film, it won’t matter too much as this is a surprisingly enjoyable horror romp. However, what is the ending all about? Characters are dead and then not dead, humanoid and then monster, human and then vampire and then human again… It’s all very messy, which is a real shame because it really does spoil an otherwise fine film.
Extras include: Dracula Revealed featurette, Fright Night Webisodes, and a commentary by Eduardo Rodriguez, Alison Rosenzweig and Michael Gaeta.