Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Fright Night Part II" (1988)

12 Days of Halloween 2016 (6)

This film is a bit of a gem. Not that it is truly great. It is really just pretty good. But it is a hard to find, and not too many people have ever seen it. Only screened in around 150 theaters upon its release, it was also limited in its release on home media. It is currently out of print.

Picking up three years after the original, Charlie has headed off to college. Only now he has been convinced by the world that everything he experienced in the first film was just something his imagination cooked up to help him deal with his run in with a serial killer. Vampires do not exist. Cue another vampire moving into his (and Peter Vincent’s) life. (Don’t worry, the film gives us a reason for the plot. It isn’t as if they coincidentally have two vampire encounters.)

The film has generally the same mix of horror, gore, and humor as the first film, just not as quite of a tight plot. The director is Tommy Lee Wallace, who would later go on to direct Stephen King’s It. That gives you a pretty good idea of the tone.

The fun thing here—as in the first film—is the way the story is used to explore bigger ideas. In the first one it was staying true to what you believe even when the rest of the world rejects what you know to be true. Here we get another look at that idea with a twist. Charlie—like a lot of college students—has been exposed to a whole bigger world with clever arguments as to why he is silly to believe what he does. Again—like a lot of college students—he needs to rediscover that what he knows to be true is real even if the rest of the world can’t handle it.

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