Fright Night (1985)

Fright Night (1985)

Taglines: There are some very good reasons to be afraid…of the dark.

For young Charley Brewster, nothing could be better than an old horror movie late at night. Two men move in next door, and for Charley with his horror movie experience, there can be no doubt that their strange behavior is explained by the fact that they are a vampire and his undead day guardian. The only one who can help him hunt them down is a washed-up actor, Peter Vincent, who hosts Charley’s favorite TV show, Fright Night. Vincent doesn’t really believe that vampires exist, but does it for the money.

Fright Night is a 1985 American horror film written and directed by Tom Holland in his directorial debut and produced by Herb Jaffe. It stars William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall, and Amanda Bearse. The film follows young Charley Brewster, who discovers that his next-door neighbor Jerry Dandrige is a vampire. When no one believes him, Charley decides to get Peter Vincent, a TV show host who acted in films as a vampire hunter, to stop Jerry’s killing spree.

The film was released on August 2, 1985, and grossed $24.9 million at the box office. Since its release, it has gotten a positive reception from critics and has became a cult classic. The film was followed by a sequel, Fright Night II in 1988, and a remake in 2011, which was in turn followed by Fright Night 2: New Blood in 2013.

Fright Night (1985)

About the Story

Seventeen-year-old Charley Brewster is a fan of both traditional horror films and a horror TV series entitled Fright Night, hosted by former movie vampire hunter Peter Vincent. One evening, Charley discovers that his new next door neighbour Jerry Dandrige, is a vampire responsible for the disappearances of several victims. Charley tries to tell his mother and asks his friends for help.

In desperation, he contacts the police, Detective Lennox goes with Charley to Jerry’s house to question him but his roommate Billy Cole tells them that Jerry is “away on business” Charley reveals his suspicions and the detective furiously leaves. That night, Charley meets Jerry but is frightened to see him at his house (after Charley’s friend “Evil” Ed Thompson tells him a vampire can’t enter someone’s home without an invite).

Later on, Charley gets a visit from Jerry, who offers Charley a choice: forget about his vampire identity – or else. Charlie refuses, brandishing his crucifix at Jerry. When Jerry stops Charley and slowly tries to push him out the window to his death, Charlie stabs Jerry’s hand with a pencil. Enraged, Jerry destroys Charley’s car in retaliation and informs Charley that he will do much worse to him later.

Fright Night (1985)

Charley turns to Peter Vincent for help, but Peter dismisses Charley as an obsessed fan. Charley’s girlfriend, Amy Peterson, fearing for Charley’s sanity and safety, hires the destitute Vincent to “prove” that Jerry is not a vampire by having him drink what they claim is “holy water”, but it turns out to only be tap water; Jerry having claimed to Peter that drinking actual holy water would be against his religious convictions. Vincent discovers Jerry’s true nature after glancing at his pocket mirror and noticing Jerry’s lack of a reflection, causing him to accidentally drop and smash the mirror. Vincent then flees, but Jerry learns of his discovery after finding a piece of his pocket mirror on the floor.

Jerry hunts down and turns Evil into a vampire. Evil then visits Vincent and tries to attack him, only to be warded off when injured by a crucifix. Meanwhile, Jerry chases Charley and Amy into a club. While Charley is trying to call the police for help, Jerry hypnotizes and abducts Amy who bears a resemblance to Jerry’s lost love (whom Jerry has a painting of). Jerry then has an intimate moment with Amy and then bites her.

Fright Night Movie Poster (1985)

Fright Night (1985)

Directed by: Tom Holland
Starring: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall, Stephen Geoffreys, Jonathan Stark, Dorothy Fielding, Pamela Brown
Screenplay by: Tom Holland
Production Design by: John DeCuir Jr.
Cinematography by: Jan Kiesser
Film Editing by: Kent Beyda
Costume Design by: Robert Fletcher
Set Decoration by: Jerry Adams
Music by: Brad Fiedel
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: August 2, 1985