Find That Film: Fright Night

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Happy Birthday, ManWithPez!

We celebrate by highlighting Fright Night; his favorite horror movie. Let’s go back to 1985 to visit this nearly perfect Tom Holland project.

Tom Holland wrote and directed this Chris Sarandon thriller. He stars as Jerry Dandridge, new neighbor to teen Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale), a charismatic and friendly fellow. Charley comes to believe Jerry and his roommate Billy (Jonathan Stark) are behind a recent string of murders. Charley’s girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse) and friend Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) seek help from former horor host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) to prove Charley wrong.

There’s plenty to recommend here and not a lot to detract. The practical effects and makeup are top notch. The small cast and limited sets keep the story moving at a good pace. The acting hits every note. I am not a Chris Sarandon fan and I can admit he’s charming as heck here.The icing on the cake is the simple, sexy electronic score by Brad Fiedel.

There are a few minor editing issues in a couple scenes. You might miss them if you only watch it once–why did you only watch it once? The story is a bit derivative. We would prefer to say homage, but the creators have never admitted to their inspiration.

Why are you still thinking about it? Even your 10-year-old can handle this one. This movie is rewatchable (up to a dozen times a year) so go find that film Fright Night.

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