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Fright Night Part II

by

Jeff Nelson

Fright Night Part II isn't terrible, but it doesn't stand up to the first film.

Fright Night Part II
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There isn't any doubt that I'm a large horror fan, but I have never been a huge vampire fan. There are only a handful of ones that I enjoy and can watch multiple times. The original Fright Night (1985) is one of them. After enjoying the first one, I was cautious to check out the sequel. It's rare to find a sequel that's just as good or better than its predecessor. Does Fright Night Part II hold a candle to the first part of the story?

After the death of vampire Jerry Danridge, Charley has become a well-adjusted college student. He pursues coed Alex, he soon falls under the spell of Regine. He seeks help from Peter Vincent to aid him in battling a group of nocturnal bloodsuckers. I was pleased to find out that Charley was brought back for the sequel. It just wouldn't be Fright Night without him. The screenplay definitely seems to lack the wit that was found in the original. The buildup to the ultimate showdown wasn't quite as good as the first one. However, Fright Night Part II definitely has some moments that makes it shine all on its own. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough of them. The film is entertaining from start to finish and never becomes dull, but it just lacks the charm found in the first movie.

From the first Fright Night, only two actors returned. William Ragsdale as Charley and Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent. The rest of the cast are newcomers to the story. Both Ragsdale and McDowall do fine and are consistent with their performances in the first film. Traci Lind plays the love interest while Julie Carmen performs as Regine. There aren't any standout performances, but they fit the nature of the film. Some of the supporting roles definitely have a weaker quality to them. Nobody will be paying much attention to the acting here anyway.

An effort was clearly made to keep a similar atmosphere from the first film. However, with the absence of director Tom Holland from the first film, quite a bit was lost. Tommy Lee Wallace has his own style that isn't bad, but fans will notice the difference. The FX are certainly tacky compared to today's technology, but I feel that it adds to the character of the film.

When it comes to sequels, most shouldn't have been made. Fright Night Part II isn't terrible, but it doesn't stand up to the first film. It's an entertaining movie, but this sequel wasn't very necessary. Fright Night (1985) stands just fine on its own. I'm sure that those who are big fans of the vampire sub-genre will most likely enjoy this film more than I did. Fright Night II lacks the charm that made the original so enjoyable.

My Rating = Two and One Half Stars

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