Fright Night 2: New Blood (2013) ***
D: Eduardo Rodriguez
C: Will Payne, Jaime Murray, Sacha Parkinson, Sean Power, Chris Waller
Plot Synopsis: A group of college students, visiting Romania, discover that one of there professors is a centuries old vampire.
REVIEW: A remake of a remake, labeled as a sequel, that's been released directly to DVD with minimum ad support. Doesn't sound like the most promising of films, huh? However, Fright Night 2, (surprisingly) turns out to be the film that the 2011 remake should have been.
I appreciate how this version honors the characterizations of the original Fright Night, while still keeping the characters grounded in modern times. I remember someone connected with the 2011 remake making a comment as to how there is no such thing as horror hosts these days and so that necessitated that they change the character of Peter Vincent to a magician in the remake. In this version, they stay true to the origins of the Peter Vincent character by making him a host of Syfy channel esque show in which they travel the world with a camera crew, hunting down monsters.
In my opinion, the reason that it was so important that the Peter Vincent character remained a horror host was, because it gave a reason for the other characters to turn to him in determining whether someone was or wasn't a vampire. After all, why would someone turn to a magician for help in determining whether someone is a vampire or not?!?
Some other things that stood out to me was Jaime Murray as Gerri Dandridge. She exudes the right balance of menace and sex appeal, just like Chris Sarandon did in the original 1985 version. I liked how this version expanded Gerri's origin story and found a way to connect the Amy character with Gerri.
I liked how this version integrated classic vampire elements, but gave them a fresh, new twist. In the film's opening sequence, a character is attacked by a vampire at a gas station. In the surveillance footage, we see that this character is clearly being attacked, but since vampires don't cast a reflection, the vampire that is doing the attacking is never seen in the footage that is recorded.
I also loved the film's use of makeup, lighting and special effects. In the film, we see that Gerri appears as three different versions of herself. In some scenes, she is an old woman who looks quite monstrous. In others, she is a femme fatale. And in others, she is a bat like creature. The bat like creature effects are the icing on the cake. They're a real show stopper.
The people behind Fright Night 2: New Blood obviously have a fondness for the original 1985 version, its sequel and for horror films in general and have token great care in creating a film that is worthy of the Fright Night moniker. It's not easy making a horror film in this day and age. Horror fans like things that are nostalgic. On the other hand, they complain about wanting to see something new & different. Fright Night 2 manages to accomplish both in one single swoop. It's only fitting that the film's title harkens back to the past while incorporating the words New Blood. [R] 99 mins.
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