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Scream a Little Scream
on May 24, 2003
After dealing with one cast of vampires, you'd think that a person would have had enough excitement to last a lifetime, right? Well, in the case of Peter Vincent - Vampire Killer, and Charlie Bruster - Vampire Killer Admirer, you'd be right, but there's a little problem with that. When you find yourself entangled with one of a multiple undying brood, it can only be the beginning of a very long, very endearing nightmare. After finding himself in therapy for three years after his little "outing" with Jerry Dandridge, Charlie thinks himself cured of all his ailments. The delusions that led him to believe that Jerry was indeed a vampire and that group hypnosis that made he and Peter see the same things confirmed that fact, they have all been explained away and now he's on the road to recovery. On this highway of discovery, he has forged himself a new life, taking on a newer, lovelier, girlfriend and finding that he now has something to look forward to besides thoughts of a high school mind and a bloodsucking neighbor living next door. Yes, he seems to have so much to look forward to. Unfortunately for him, in this series of newness, he has other things to look forward to, namely new vampiric admirers as well. And that type, well, they are the kind you never want to find.
Before looking over both Fright Night and its sequel, Fright Night 2, one has to remember that (1) sequels are rarely the original in form and effect and (2) it is an odd event when the 2nd chapter in a series is anywhere near the first. The reason I say this is not to make excuses for the movie, however, but to say that this entry, it is an abnormality in the world of potential failures. Yes, in the case of Fright Night 2, there is a strange exception to that ruling on sequels because the movie is both commendable and it does hold its own in an arena clogged with many forms of disposable outings. In it, the theme of revenge is one that reigns supreme, with someone from Charlie and Peter's past, namely Dandridge, surfacing once more - but in a rather twisted manner. His revenge, it isn't in the atypical "defying death" arena that most films give you, but rather in the sense of having friends and family that live forever and those individuals taking it rather seriously when one of their own is "dealt with." This is something that is welcome, a cast of faces that isn't the same person returning and being banished once more, and the methods they wish to adopt, while primed with ways to fail, are ones that are delightful. The original actors return in the starring roles, too, making things easy to keep up with, and the prosthetic effects are some of the better portions from the array of movies that flocked to the screen at the time. When you take all of that, blend it together, and think that vampires are going to run amok in a film that makes fun of films with vampires while using them, then you have a wonderful combination to the safe called "comedy."
For anyone that missed the movie, enjoys the campiness that vampire films carry from that time frame, appreciates good effects alongside their vengeful motives, and is willing to find it on VHS (it has yet to make its way to DVD), then this would be something worth checking into. This is especially true for those who liked the first film and wanted to find it carrying on, with the unfortunately loss of everyone's favorite character; Evil. It has many things to offer in the sharpness of wit and whittled wood.