"You're so COOL, Brewster!"
First off, let me start off by saying this: Fright Night and The Lost Boys were the top two Vampire films I would watch ALL the time when I was a kid, so needless to say, this review is pretty near and dear to me.
This film is by far the definition of a perfect eighties Horror film. It has original characters, setting, and when you get down to it, the story. It also shows a great deal of hard work that must have been put to create those undoubtedly scarier then shit transformations for the characters of Jerry Dandridge, Evil Ed, Amy, and Billy Coal. It's effects like that which have always cemented my backing to practical effects over CGI. There is more work as it's all hands on...and alot of that, and more, went into movies like Fright Night.
The character of Peter Vincent said to Charlie that his, "generation prefers movies where a masked looney kills virgin innocents". Which, looking back on it now, plays alot on the fact that this movie was released in 1985, when the Slasher genre has reached a pretty high peak, practically nobody cared about Vampires. But, this film came out with so much potential with it's story, make up, setting, and it's actors; basic elements that a Slasher movie needs. The result: A very entertaining, sometimes chilling, and very well done horror movie.
Chris Sarandon does a superb job throughout the entire flick with his performance as Jerry Dandridge. Without a doubt, he completely steals the show. Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent is quite a pleasure to watch. William Ragsdale did a pretty good job as Charlie Brewster, the main teen character in the movie. Worked fairly well with what he could. Many other actors brought their A-Game to this film, and it all works incredibly well. Perfect casting.
It has aged fairly well. There is something here for everyone, so I think many will likely be satisfied. The strengths of 'Fright Night' though are all of it's performances... and the great sense of fun that it has. Still rewarding, fun, and always worth a view.