Tommy Lee Wallace directs this sequel to the marvellous Fright Night and gives us a movie that just screams 1980s nowadays.
William Ragsdale returns as Charley Brewster, having managed to recover from the events of the first movie thanks to the passage of time and lots of therapy sessions. He’s still friends with Peter Vincent (played, once again, by the wonderful Roddy McDowall) but puts up with his tales of vampire slaying with the patience of someone listening to a small child rambling. Will he remember how things actually happened in time to save himself from the attentions of the new girl on the block, who just happens to be related to Jerry Dandridge (the vampire from the first movie)?
It’s a shame that such a great cast were rather wasted in this inferior sequel. Julie Carmen is supposed to be dusky and sexy but doesn’t really do much for me so I wish that role had gone to someone with some actual talent. Brian Thompson is fun to watch and Jon Gries (maybe best known for his great turn in The Monster Squad) is always entertaining for every minute he’s on screen. Russell Clark glides around on roller skates and . . . . . . . . well, that’s it really.
There are some decent special effects moments but, overall, this film is sorely lacking anything that made the first outing so good. The script is not clever or witty enough (though the banter between Gries and anyone else he’s on screen with is great), the pacing feels rather plodding and there’s just no sense of the fun that made Fright Night such a winner. It’s not a terrible movie, by any means, it’s just not a very good one.
DIRECTOR: TOMMY LEE WALLACE
STARS: WILLIAM RAGSDALE, RODDY MCDOWALL, JON GRIES, JULIE CARMEN, BRIAN THOMPSON
RUNTIME: 104 MINS APPROX