Fright Night (1985)

It all starts one evening when teenager Charley Brewster is on ‘a promise’ from his girlfriend Amy.  As Amy is getting ready elsewhere in his bedroom Charley thinks he spots some people carrying a coffin into the house next door.  Charley becomes somewhat obsessed with his neighbour and is convinced he is a vampire especially after a spate of murders.  His sort-of pal at school Evil Ed tells him a bunch of stuff about vampires and says a vampire cannot enter someone’s house without being invited.  Unfortunately when Charley gets home his neighbour has ‘popped round’ after an invite from his Mum.

Suffice to say, the neighbour Jerry Dandrige is a vampire and a powerful one as well.  He has a stooge named Billy assisting him in his evil deeds so Charley approaches ham actor Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) for help.

Tom Holland’s Fright Night is a genuine bona-fide horror classic from the mid 1980’s.  Immensely successful upon it’s release, the film features everything you could possibly ask for in a horror (with some comedy thrown in).  It’s scary, incredibly well acted by all of it’s cast, atmospheric, superbly written (and directed) by Tom Holland and features outstanding special effects which still hold up today.

Eureka’s Blu-ray release is rammed full of extras including a feature length documentary on the film which is scarly even longer than the actual film it’s discussing.  A nice tribute with interviews for the sadly missed Roddy McDowall and other featurettes celebrating the film with a majority of the surviving cast.  Sound wise, you can choose between a 5.1 mix or the original PCM Stereo sound.

Fright Night as you may know got it’s sequel a couple of years later which was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace.  It wasn’t as good as Holland’s original and unfortunately suffered from poor distribution.  It was remade in 2011 (and a direct to DVD sequel shortly after) as a big budget 3D production starring Colin Farrell and David Tennant.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but totally different in tone than the 1985 version.  It did however have it’s moments.

I’ve always loved Fright Night since the big box RCA Columbia VHS days and this 4K restoration had made it into possibly the best condition it’ll ever be in, so don’t delay seek it out.

  • Starring Chris Sarandon  William Ragsdale  Roddy McDowall  Jonathan Stark  Amanda Bearse  Stephen Geoffreys
  • Director Tom Holland
  • Distributor Eureka