Tonight for Friday Night Horror, we watched Fright Night, which is one of my all-time favourite horror films. I suspect it’s another one of those films I discovered through that 14 inch TV with my friend Will, but I remember all manner of catchphrases from the film following me through various friendships.
It is soooo eighties; so much so that it almost looks like a film that was made to look like it was made in the eighties. It’s also gothic: it’s got the Hammer aesthetic down pat when it needs to (including the schlocky gore). And it even throws in a dash of that suburban horror feel that’s been a staple of the genre since at least Halloween.
It also has some perfect casting. Chris Sarandon is appropriately oily and intimidating as the undead serial killer next door, managing to thoroughly convince while wearing the worst of eighties fashion and keeping his tongue firmly in his cheek. Roddy McDowell, sadly missed, makes for an excellently self-doubting Van Helsing/Peter Cushing stand-in.
It doesn’t get the credit or acclaim that a lot of its eighties brethren receives, but if you ever want a perfect eighties horror movie then Fright Night is it.