Re(focused)views: Fright Night Part 2 (1988)

by Brian Eggert

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DIRECTOR:
Tommy Lee Wallace

CAST:
Roddy McDowall, William Ragsdale, Traci Lind, Julie Carmen, Jon Gries, Russell Clark

RATED:
R

RUNTIME:
100 min.


In the very 1980s way it explores a standard my-neighbor-is-a-vampire yarn, Tom Holland’s 1984 horror-comedy Fright Night has established a considerable following over the last thirty years, enough to warrant a respectable remake in 2011 and a pop-culture status that rises above unwarranted cult enthusiasm. The same cannot be said for its sequel, Fright Night Part 2, released in 1988 to indifferent reviews and poor box-office performance. In the years since its debut, the sequel has been virtually forgotten, unavailable on various home video formats and rarely shown on cable television. And, no matter how much of a cult classic the original remains, it hasn’t resulted in a burning interest for the maligned sequel. Given this trend, after tracking down the film one might expect to find a product worthy of its dismissal; but this is not the case. While it may not have all the charm or originality of Holland’s first entry, it’s a capably made sequel that contains some expected horror-sequel clichés and yet, in the end, stands as an entertaining and underrated follow-up.

Of course, Fright Night Part 2 contains plenty of moments plagued by sequelitis, where the filmmakers employ some standard Hollywood sequel-isms as an excuse to once more explore Holland’s likable characters. Holland, busy shooting Child’s Play (1988) with his Fright Night star Chris Sarandon, gave up director duties to Tommy Lee Wallace, a frequent collaborator with John Carpenter and helmer of the destined-to-fail-but-nonetheless-underrated Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)... Read the full article

 

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