Fright Night dual-format Blu-ray/DVD

Monday, 09 January 2017 00:00 Written by 

Fright Night - out bow on dual format Blu-ray and DVD“Fright Night” is a horror-comedy that riffs on Hitchcock’s paranoia classic, “Rear Window”. High school student Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale – "The Reaping") witnesses the arrival of his new neighbour… in a coffin! Then some prostitutes are murdered and Brewster is convinced that his strange neighbour (Chris Sarandon – “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “The Princess Bride”) is responsible, but nobody will believe him.

To make matters worse, Jerry - the fanged freak - turns up on his doorstep, endangering both Brewster, his family and friends. Desperate to protect them, he approaches one of his idols, a washed-up TV horror star called Peter Vincent (the iconic Roddy McDowall – of the original “Planet of the Apes” and “The Poseidon Adventure”) who he prays will be able to transfer his on-screen skills into the real world.

This cult movie spawned a sequel and more recently a blockbuster 2011 remake starring Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell and David Tennant. It has a lot in common with other horror comedies released in the 1980s, including “Gremlins” and “The Lost Boys”, in that it strives to amuse and scare in equal measure, and it does a fair job on both fronts.

Sarandon is particularly good as the suave vampire who has no problems glamouring his female quarry, much to Brewster’s dismay. McDowall is pitch-perfect as the timid, aging star who experiences a constant tussle between the urge to do the right thing and an overpowering sense of self-doubt.

Quirky support comes from Jonathan Stark (“House II: The Second Story”) as Jerry’s slightly disturbing man servant and body guard. Brewster’s buddies are Amy (Amanda Bearse – Married with Children) and Ed (Stephen Geoffreys – “976 Evil”); I found Ed rather grating and was hoping he would be killed off seconds after he first appeared! I imagine he is supposed to be annoying but Geoffreys pushes the performance too far. Judy Brewster, Charley’s mum, is played by Dorothy Fielding (“Kiss Me Goodbye”).

Whilst Ragsdale is amiable enough in the main role, the characterisation of Brewster is a bit weak to begin with. Once he gets into his stride and gathers in confidence, the lad becomes more likeable and I got behind him.

There are very few real shock scares in this film but the gory, gooey special effects are first rate and hysterical in an ‘Ew!’ kind of way. Characters undergo impressive transformations from their human incarnations to full-on, monstrous vampire and back again, more or less matching the brilliant “An American Werewolf in London” in effects standard.

The tone of the movie is quite erotically charged in places, but feels slightly uncomfortable at the same time. I felt that director Tom Holland (“Child’s Play”, writer of “Psycho II”) might have been better off toning the sex down, or alternatively going all-out to make a more adult horror flick.

In summary, “Fright Night” is a lot of fun, with some great special effects and quite tense action scenes. It has cheese by the bucket-load but makes perfect popcorn fodder for a cosy night in.

Special features include:

  • 4K digital restoration
  • Original stereo PCM soundtrack and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio options (on the Blu-ray)
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired
  • “You’re So Cool, Brewster!” - a new two-hour version of the definitive 2016 documentary on the making of Fright Night, focusing on the first film, created exclusively for this release
  • “What is Fright Night?” featurette, a 2016 video piece featuring cast and crew interviews (BLU-RAY ONLY)
  • “Tom Holland: Writing Horror”, a 2016 video piece featuring interviews with Holland and his collaborators (BLU-RAY ONLY)
  • “Roddy McDowall: From Apes to Bats”, a 2016 video piece featuring archival footage of McDowall and cast and crew interviews (BLU-RAY ONLY)
  • Fear Fest 2 2008 reunion panel featuring Tom Holland, Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Stephen Geoffreys, Amanda Bearse, Jonathan Stark and moderated by Rob Galluzzo (BLU-RAY ONLY)
  • Shock Till You Drop Present Choice Cuts with Tom Holland and Ryan Turek, a three-part video interview on the film (BLU-RAY ONLY)
  • The full electronic press kit, featuring extensive on-set interviews and behind-the-scenes footage (BLU-RAY ONLY)
  • Stills and memorabilia from Tom Hollands personal collection (BLU-RAY ONLY)
  • G-rated and R-rated theatrical trailers (BLU-RAY ONLY)

There is a crazy amount of bonus content here – hours and hours of old and new interviews and behind the scenes information. To top it off, the picture quality is fabulous!

“Fright Night” (1985) is out now in a limited edition, dual-format steelbook featuring a Blu-ray and DVD (two discs), courtesy of Eureka, with a regular plastic dual-format release following on April 10 2017. The main feature has a running time of 106 minutes approx, carries an '18' certificate and retails for £19.99, or less from BY CLICKING HERE.


Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2017 19:11

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