Friday FaBOOolousness – The Boo Factor: Fright Night

Most vampire movies today want the audience to fall in love with the vampire.  Take the Twilight series for example – none of the Cullens actually feed on humans (not that we see, anyway).  No, the bad vampires (like Victoria) are the evil vamps killing innocents; and the good vampires, like the Cullen family, fight these bad seeds to protect Bella and the other humans.

The same can’t be said about Tom Holland’s 1985 classic, Fright Night.

That’s not to say that the viewers don’t secretly love Fright Night’s vampire lead.  Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) possesses all the qualities we love in vampires; he’s sexy, seductive, brooding, and he’s not afraid to sink his teeth into a nightly feed.

But, Jerry is not the character that the audience is supposed to cheer on during the big showdown at the end of the movie.

Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) lives a normal teenage life with his single mother, Judy (Dorothy Fielding), quirky best friend, Edward, aka “Evil Ed” (Stephen Geoffreys), and girlfriend, Amy (Amanda Bearse), until one night he notices the new neighbor moving in with what looks to be coffin-like boxes.

Being a horror fan, Charley immediately questions whether or not a vampire has just moved in next door and he begins investigating.  He reaches out to a television vampire hunter, Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) for ways to prove, or disprove, that his new neighbor is indeed a blood-sucker.

Watching women disappear after joining the mysterious man next door, Charley decides to sneak over and put some of Peter’s ideas to the test.  His suspicions are confirmed when he notices Jerry’s image does not reflect in a mirror.  But, unfortunately for the teenager, Jerry learns that his young neighbor has been sneaking around when Charley leaves behind a piece of his mirror.

Jerry stalks Charley, terrorizes him, and makes his life a living hell.  He lures those closest to Charley by turning them and compelling them to do as he wishes.

Charley’s only hope is to trust Peter.  Armed with holy water, crosses, and wooden stakes, Charley and Peter enter the vampire’s house with one goal – kill.

Fright Night is not a feel-good vampire movie.  It’s mysterious, dark, and at times spooky.  Even the music was eerie, particularly the instrumental “Come to Me” by Brad Fiedel.

The movie won awards, spawned a novelization, a sequel, a comic book series, and a computer game.

What has this child of the ‘80s so excited about Fright Night today?

DreamWorks (Steven Spielberg) has remade the classic film, and cast Colin Farrell as Jerry.  Colin Farrell!  Who doesn’t think this is the best casting for the sexy, dark role of Jerry?

The casting all around is FaBOOolous: Anton Yelchin (Terminator Salvation, Star Trek) plays Charley Brewster; Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, United States of Tara) plays Jane Brewster; David Tennant (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) plays Peter Vincent; and, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Role Models, Kick-Ass) plays Evil Ed.

A few other notable roles to watch for include: James Franco’s (Freaks and Geeks, Spiderman, 127 Hours) little brother, Dave Franco, playing Mark; Sofia Vergara’s (Modern Family) little sister, Sandra Vergara, playing Ginger; and, Lisa Loeb (1994 hit song, “Stay”) playing Evil Ed’s mom.

Fright Night 2011 hits theaters August 19th.

Are you a fan of the 1985 classic? Do you plan to see the 2011 remake?  What do you think about the casting of Colin Farrell to play Jerry?  What’s your favorite vampire movie of all time? How much does the music play a part for you? Do you like the traditional role of cinematic vampires or the newer heroic roles? I’d love to hear from you!

32 Replies to “Friday FaBOOolousness – The Boo Factor: Fright Night”

  1. I haven’t seen this movie, but have a feeling I’ll be getting it from the library on my next visit. I love the cast for the remake, so inevitably I’ll be watching both of these. Too fun and creepy!

      1. It does kinda remind me of The Burbs, Jess! Oh, I am so very excited. Do you have the cable channels? If so, Fright Night has been on quite a bit lately preparing for the new release. Make sure you don’t accidentally catch the sequel. It’s no where near as good as the original!

  2. I think, especially in older movies that weren’t as techically advanced, that the music plays a huge role in making you feel scared. The music can indicate badness is coming! It would be interesting to watch a movie like that without the music and see if it affects you the same way.

    1. I remember watching the Inside Halloween on the Biography channel where they did exactly that – they removed the music. The movie really lost the Boo Factor without the music! Thanks for stopping by, Jill!

  3. Loved Fright Night. Roddy McDowall is a favorite of mine and did an excellent job in this movie. Sure, its a bit corny, but then what wasn’t in the mid-80’s? Remember the “hair blossoms”, leather pants and Camaro’s featuring a mullet-top?

    Great post, Tiffany!

    1. The ’80s definitely fall into the corny category, Gene! But, I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. Did you catch the sequel? I still watch it if it’s on TV but it is no where near as good as the original. The original really spooked me – the second one, not so much. Thanks for stopping by!

      1. I tend to avoid sequel’s, unless its Lethal Weapon, Aliens or Indiana Jones, all of which I find personally interesting. I haven’t seen Fright Night in years, will have to see if I can find it online, would be fun to veg with it for a bit 🙂

  4. LOVE Fright NIght…I was 16 when that came out! Good fun. “Welcome to Fright Night!” Thanks for the pass down memory lane. No way would I see the remake – plus dont like Colin Ferrell 🙂 I am boycotting all remakes – seems everyone is remaking so much – they should come up with new art!

    1. Oh, Donna, I’m sorry to hear you won’t see the remake. I was worried about it at first too, but the previews actually look like they have done the original proud. I will let you know what I think – I’ll be sure and see it opening weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I liked the first movie, and I’m excited after seeing the previews for the remake. Colin Farrell looks like he’s going to do a great job as the creepy vampire.

    Great post!

  6. It’s been so long since I’ve seen this movie, I don’t remember much about it. I need to give it another look.

    I’m a little puzzled by the casting of Colin Farrell simply because I can’t picture him as “dark”. But I haven’t seen the previews, so I can’t really judge.

    My favorite vampire movie? I just don’t know. I really like Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Keanu Reeves (and Gary Oldman playing Dracula). If you asked me which vampire movie had the HOTTEST vampire, I would have to say Dracula 2000. I think Gerard Butler was SO hot in this movie. But that would be the biggest reason for watching, because it was one of the cheesiest movies I’ve ever seen. But I think that was the intention. I hope it was….

    1. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was fantastic! That is actually one movie where I didn’t feel Keanu was playing his typical surfer-boy role. I also felt like the audience was being compelled – or at least hanging on to the edge of our seats.

      I watched Dracula 2000 this summer and almost fell out of my chair when I realized the vampire was Gerard Butler. What can he not do? He’s a vampire, the Phantom, a gladiator, a romantic funny man, and on and on. Great pick, Lauralynn!

  7. I love vampire movies, and I’ve seen so many of them 🙂 So I’m all for the nice romantic vampires, and the sexy evil vampires, and even the gross monster vampires- just leave out the angsting whiny vampires- cause that is just not sexy. I will be seeing The new Fright Night- and I loved the original.

    1. Haha, great response, Alica! I’m not big on the whiny vampire either. Stefen Salvatore immediately comes to mind. I really hope Klaus toughens him up a bit this season on Vampire Diaries.

    1. Once Bitten with Jim Carey? I LOVED it, Claudia! You are my girl….I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen that movie. The clothes – hilarious. The dance-off and Halloween costumes – great. The “sex” scenes – corny as all get out. Remember the coffin at the end? HA! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Even though I haven’t seen the original, I knew there was a remake in the works, and Toni Collette can do no wrong, so I’m sure I’ll check out the new film when it comes out!

    “Friday FaBOOolousness” – love the theme! 🙂

    1. Hi, Mark! I agree that Toni Collette is pretty amazing; she deserves an award for the United States of Tara if she hasn’t already taken one home. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  9. This is one remake I halfway want to see. I loved the original–loved it, loved it, loved it. Last Halloween, it came on cable. I DVRed it and sat down with relish to watch this movie I hadn’t seen in probably 20 years. I was so disappointed. This movie I had loved so much (heck, it scared me back then) hadn’t aged well. So I’ll be curious to see if the remake is worth its salt. 😀

    Thanks for the good post. I’ve been visiting with my Mom today and just now got around to commenting.

    1. I hope you had a nice visit with your mom, Catie! Isn’t it amazing how time can really age a movie? I think the remake timing is perfect for Fright Night, because as you said, the original has lost so much of the Boo Factor. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. I saw this preview last night! I’m stoked and so seeing it! I LOVED the old one! Ole Charlie’s come along way since FN. I watch his goober character on Justified.

    I fell in love with Vampires long before they became good. Gary Oldmans portrayal of Dracula was excellent. I had to have a pair of those blue sunglasses. TMI?lol

    I also thought the guy that played Dracula on Buffy (the show) was pretty incredible. And last I thought the guy from Dracula 2000 was pretty dang awesome! I’ll stop now!

    1. You have named some great vampires! Did you know the guy from Dracula 2000 was Gerard Butler?

      OMG – is Charley Winona’s husband? I watch Justified and NEVER put two and two together. Holy Cow….you got me on that one, Jessica! I usually never drop the ball on the “That’s so-and-so from such-and-such” game. 🙂

  11. I loved Fright Night! It was a great little horror flick. I’m not a fan of Colin Farrell; he’s so not my idea of an updated Jerry. Admittedly I could be as wrong about him as I was about Tom Cruise in Interview With A Vampire. I doubt whether I will see the remake at the theatre, it will probably be on cable.

    Speaking of which, it’s a toss up for me; I have several vamp movies I really like. Salem’s Lot (1979 tv mini series version), The Lost Boys, Buffy The Vampire Slayer (the movie with Kristie Swanson) and Interview With A Vampire are all favs for me. The Twilight movies are good but I liked the books better.

    1. Hey, Angela! I will definitely see Fright Night in the theatre so I’ll let you know whether or not it’s worth a watch. 🙂

      I remember seeing Interview with a Vampire in the theatre late one Sunday night with my good friend. It was so much better than I was anticipating. GREAT vampire movie – along with the others that you mentioned. Buffy was a bit too silly for me, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t watched it a ton of times. Thanks for stopping by!

  12. I love the original and was a little leery when they announced a remake in the works. After having seen the trailers, though, I’m more excited about this movie than most other summer releases! The casting seems spot-on. In the interest of full disclosure, however, I’d go to the theater to watch David Tennant read aloud from the local pizzeria’s menu.

    I’m not a fan of the Twilight books or movies, I don’t begrudge those who are, it’s just not my thing. I think vampires are supposed to be scary — they are predators, after all. That doesn’t mean they can’t be sympathetic, heck even Dracula was a sympathetic character.

    I can’t wait to hear what you think after you’ve seen the movie. I hope it’s as good as it looks.

    1. Danielle – that is exactly how I felt. “Oh, no – another remake,” but then I saw the casting and googled the trailer and immediately got excited. I’ve been waiting on the new Fright Night since last year. It feels like it has taken August 2011 forever to get here!

      I personally think The Vampire Diaries television series is better than the Twilight movies, but I still make sure and go to theatre to not miss a beat. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  13. I never saw the original, but I love Toni Collette so maybe I should try the remake! As for favorite vampire movie, I don’t think there are many great ones out there. Lost Boys is probably my top pick. I do have Once Bitten in my netflix queue since you recommended it!

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