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Retro Review: Fright Night (1985)

Fright Night is the first horror movie I saw in a theatre, and it scared the crap right out of me.

I'd seen scary movies before, but at home on TV. I knew well and good vampires weren't real, but I wasn't prepared for the immersive experience of seeing a vampire movie on a giant Vancouver screen with full audience participation, not to mention big-budget gore and special effects.

It terrified and excited me, and I was hooked!

Fright Night doesn't scare me anymore. Hundreds of viewings have diminished its impact to do so. But it has aged really, really well, and the effects still have an impact. I'm a particular fan of the almost demonic vampire makeup. No glittery, Emo douchebags here!

Chris Sarandon is probably my favourite vampire ever put on screen. He's charming and funny, but is also monstrous and scary. Pretty much everything a vampire should be. And I get why all the ladies would flock to him. This is an iconic horror villain.

It goes without saying the humans deliver the goods too. Williams Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall have amazing chemistry. McDowall seemed to relish playing a washed-up horror actor. And Amanda Bearse and Stephen Geoffreys are great as Ragsdale's girlfriend, and best friend, respectively.

Fright Night was a perfect intro to big-screen horror, and remains one of my faves. If you haven't checked it out in a while, do so. It's still a Good.


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