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720 Words About “Fright Night.”
We watched the remake of Fright Night on Christmas Eve, as is our habit: every year since the first year we did this, we have watched a horror movie of sorts on Christmas Eve as our family movie, with the sole exception being 2010, when we watched The Other Guys, which was not in any sense a horror movie unless you count the fact that it begins with two men jumping to their death horribly, which is kind of funny to think about in the sense that it’s not funny at all that two men jumped to their death in a comedy and we called that a comedy while in Fright Night, which is a horror movie, we don’t actually see anyone die except [SPOILER ALERT!] McLovin’, who is turned into a vampire early on and who I’m pretty sure dies of being decapitated later on even though he didn’t have to because the end result of the movie is that everyone is cured of being a vampire.
Here’s your very-spoilery plot of the movie: A single mom is raising a kid who has inexplicably become popular and gotten a superhot girlfriend:
over the summer, and like everyone who suddenly becomes popular, the newly-popular kid has problems that geeks like me can barely understand, in that he doesn’t want to have sex with his superhot (and, they kind of hint, slutty) girlfriend
and also the guy who just moved in next door is not just Colin Farrell, whose name, it turns out, isn’t even kind of spelled like ferret, although it seems it should be, but also a vampire.
What really jumped out about this movie to both Sweetie and I, as we watched it on Christmas Eve (remember?) while the Babies! Slept in their room: Man, Colin Ferrell doesn’t even try to hide that he’s a vampire, does he? The movie jumps right in with a bunch of vampire-y stuff and about halfway through it Colin The Vampire is not just slinking around trying to be creepy, he’s ripping up gas lines in the backyard to blow up the house (because he can’t come in as he hasn’t been invited, see, so if he blows up the house, then he can just eat them all, a plan Edward Cullen would have never moped his way into thinking up.)
I do not remember the original Fright Night very well, although I’m sure I saw it. Why I’m so sure I saw it, I don’t know, as I haven’t seen practically any of the iconic 80s movies that everyone my age talks about loving. I spent the 80s reading sci-fi books and comics and being unpopular, and not the kind of unpopular that leads one to get a superhot and kind of slutty girlfriend. The kind of unpopular that leads one to, 25 years later, watch Fright Night and think, of the scant few high-school scenes, “High school was not like that” but secretly worry that, yes, it was, for everyone else.
Beyond Colin Ferrell imprisoning strippers (the movie’s set near Vegas, which kind of confirms what I secretly think about people who live around Vegas) and trying to molest teen boys, Fright Night doesn’t offer much: There’s a half-hearted attempt to throw some mythology into it (Vampires are dirt-dwellers, or something dumb) and the de rigeur self-referential thing horror movies have to do because Scream existed once (a vampire killer stages a Vegas show about killing vampires but he doesn’t really, unless he does really, kill vampires.) There is a car chase, a cameo appearance by Vampire From 80s Fright Night, a not-so-great fight in the Hall of the Vegas Vampire Killer, but the end result is entertaining enough to pass.
And, in the end, the teenage boy has his slutty girlfriend turned into a vampire and has an excuse to actually not sleep with her:
but he comes up with a plan to save everyone by lighting himself on fire and hugging Colin The Vampire to death, which really happens in the movie and which causes all the people Colin made vampires to become not vampires anymore, and so everyone is as happy as can be expected.
Except for McLovin’, who they decapitated and who is still dead at the end of the movie.