Review: Fright Night 2 (2013)

If you follow us on Twitter, you’ll know that the original Fright Night is one of our all-time favourite movies (hence our avatar being ‘Evil’ Ed). Now, oddly, we’ve never featured the movie on this site yet (that’s getting sorted this week!) but when we came across Fright Night 2 yesterday, we just had to check it out.

Those of you who know your Fright Nights, will know that Fright Night 2 already exists and this where it all gets a bit tricky, so before we get into this movie, here’s a quick history lesson.

Jaime Murray. Much more fun to watch than Jamie Murray.

The original Fright Night from 1985 is one of the great vampire movies. It tells the story of Charlie, a geeky teenager, who witnesses his neighbour, Jerry Dandridge, killing a woman. Jerry, played by a dashing Chris Sarandon, is a vampire and when his friends laugh off Charlie’s story, he tries to recruit Peter Vincent, host of a late-night horror show, Fright Night, to help him with his vampire problem. Now if all that is news to you, GO AND WATCH IT. It’s brilliant.

Less brilliant is Fright Night 2,the 1988 sequel which pits Charlie and Peter against more vampires (one of whom is THAT GUY). It’s been a while but if memory serves, it was hugely disappointing.

Then, rather irritatingly, a remake of the original Fright Night was announced. It arrived in 2011 and featured Anton Yelchin (from the dull Terminator: Salvation) as Charlie, David Tennant (from Doctor Who) as Peter Vincent and Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandridge (albeit with ALL the charisma removed). It was a fairly by-the-numbers remake but it had decent pacing and some good moments. That said, it hardly warranted a sequel.

Admittedly less hot here, despite the whole bath thing.

So, it was with great surprise that we found this movie.  Fright Night 2 is marketed as a sequel to the 2011 film but this is where it gets weird.  It’s actually another remake of the first movie albeit set in Romania for no good reason.  Aside from that, it’s even closer to the 1985 original than the film it is meant to be a sequel to.

Again it features Charlie and Peter teaming up against Dandridge, although this time the vampiric antagonist is Gerri, rather than Jerry, and she is played by the admittedly smoking hot Jaime Murray who is best remembered as Dexter’s season 3 girlfriend Lila.

Gerri shows up, in an indescribably overblown entrance, as a history teacher and is soon spied lezzing up and then biting to death a lady by Charlie (played by Will Payne who appears to have done nothing of note).  She then toys with him as he tries to get his best friend, Evil, and ex-girlfriend, Amy, to believe him before turning to Peter Vincent (now one of these ‘ghost hunter’ types with a TV show that looks like it is being broadcast on an Amstrad CPC464).

Ironically, Amy looks much more like the original Evil Ed than the new guy does. Hopefully this doesn’t mean she’ll end up in porn like he did.

While the plot, pacing and acting is pretty much dreadful, the film is saved somewhat by Jaime Murray (who is like a murderous Nigella Lawson) and by most of the special effects which are suitably shocking and gory with only one real moment of bullshit CGI.  Also, the European setting gives it a different flavour to the other films in the series and helps set it apart a little.

It’s not a film that you’ll need to see twice and it is mostly awful but it’s not entirely offensive to me as a Fright Night fanboy.  Which is all the feint praise I can really muster.  Oh Brewster, you’re so average.

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