Blu-Ray Review: Fright Night (1985)

For many young boys (and girls), growing-up watching late night horror shows used to be a ritual. The likes of The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt or The Night Gallery lit up screens and young imaginations alike. This was the case for director Tom Holland, whose childhood love of these kind of shows inspired the idea for his first film, Fright Night. A love of Peter Cushing and Vincent Price morphed into the character of Peter Vincent.

Teenager Charlie Brewster (William Ragsdale) is an avid fan of a TV horror show called Fright Night, hosted and starring Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall); a self-proclaimed former vampire hunter. After discovering that his new next door neighbour Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon) is a vampire and responsible for a spate of local murders, he contacts the police to no avail. Enlisting the help of Peter Vincent, his girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse) and best friend ‘Evil’ (Stephen Geoffreys) they set out to battle a monster.

Fright Night is a blast and one of the best vampire movies ever made. Holland, previously known for his writing on Psycho II, brings all the tropes and trappings of the genre and lets them run amok. It looks beautiful with the new 4k restoration and retains all the charm of its era without losing anything with the passing of time. Fright Night is brilliant film-making; understanding exactly what the audience wants and delivering it in spades. The extras on the are the best I’ve seen all year. Particularly the brilliant retrospective piece ‘You’re so cool, Brewster!’ which runs at over two hours and could stand up as a documentary in its own right.

Special Edition Features:

  • 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)
  • Rowdy 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 Holland’s personal collection (BLU-RAY ONLY)
  • G-rated and R-rated theatrical trailers (BLU-RAY ONLY)
  • PLUS: a booklet featuring a new essay by Craig Ian Mann (STEELBOOK EXCLUSIVE)

Fright Night is released on dual format Limited Edition Steelbook by Eureka on 26 December. The Special Edition will be released in April.

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