…What happened? As you probably guessed, I was trying to get the Fright Night sequel from the previous century. I didn’t even know the 2011 remake had a sequel—and it doesn’t, really; this is more in the vein (…) of another remake, now with a female vampire.
On the other hand, that female vampire is played by Jaime Murray, best known in the US as H.G. Wells from Warehouse 13. (To me, she will always be Stacie from Hustle, an excellent British crime show everyone should watch.) So how bad could it be?
You’d think a horror fan would know better than to say things like that.
The Premise: The study trip to Romania was supposed to be fun times for Charlie, “Evil” Ed and Amy; they’ll even get to tour some of the haunted sites featured on Peter Vincent’s ghost-hunting show! Unfortunately, Amy and Charlie broke up right before the course started.
Lonely, creepy Charlie thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he realizes he can spy on his hot lecturer, Gerri Dandridge, from his window—until, of course, she turns out to be a vampire. (This happens about five minutes into the movie, so Charlie isn’t happy for long… which makes a nice five-word summary of the entire Fright Night franchise.) Ed and Charlie figure out that Gerri is really the Blood Countess Bathory—who was from Hungary, not Romania, although per Wikipedia she apparently owned land there. They enlist (read: bribe) Peter Vincent to help them out.
Cursed to wander the earth until she finds a very special kind of virgin blood, Gerri/Elizabeth is at first concerned with making sure the teenagers don’t out her dining habits. She soon realizes that Amy is the vintage she’s been looking for the whole time, setting off some zippy special effects, very neat echolocation, and a climactic battle at a blood-filled swimming pool I imagine would smell just awful.
The Verdict: As a movie, Fright Night 2 is… okay. It has some great visuals, an entertaining take on the Peter Vincent character—it seems I will never get tired of watching cynical ghost hunters get their comeuppance—and a lift-the-curse plot I shouldn’t complain about, even though I’d like to, because I loved the Dark Shadows revival. The charm of bringing a Dandridge to Dracula’s home notwithstanding, New Blood is strictly for completists.
My viewing did suggest that, for me at least, Jerry Dandridge and Fright Night have become iconic. Just as I’ll happily watch a movie with Count Dracula as a woman/a CEO/a 1970s Chelsea nightclub dweller/George Hamilton, I’ll enjoy any variation on the Fright Night story.
Might go well with: Goulash. You know, the Hungarian dish. No, I’m not going to let it go.
Next time: I review a book it took me months to get through. Weird fiction ahoy!