Despite being a big fan of the first movie, I’ve never once really wanted to see this one, partly because I am such a big fan of the first. I knew that this had returning characters, but I wasn’t really sure where this one was going to go, and I just knew that while the first movie was fantastic, the second probably couldn’t compete.
After having seen it, I can sort of say I was correct, because I did find this film below average, but to my surprise, I did find this a bit better than I thought it would have been.
A big reason for this is the return of Roddy McDowall in the role of Peter Vincent. He’s just as fun here as he was in the first movie, and it’s obvious that he really cares for the well-being of Charley (William Ragsdale, also returning from the first movie). The two of them share some solid scenes, and while nothing is really too emotionally-moving, it was nice seeing the pair of them again. As far as love interest is concerned, Amanda Bearse was dropped entirely in favor of Traci Lind, which was a move I was okay with, as Lind has a very attractive look (especially wearing those glasses – hubba hubba).
One move I didn’t much care for was having the antagonists being a group of vampires (as opposed to just a single vampire and his assistant, as the first film had). Having four vampires here, led by Julie Carmen’s Regine, wasn’t something that really interested me, and led to most of the more comedic scenes (such as that pointless bowling sequence, and the whole of Jon Gries, a character I really didn’t like). In relation, Ernie Sabella’s character was another one that, while a twist was present, I thought was unnecessary. The best I can say about these antagonists is that Brian Thompson was there, who I know as the Alien Bounty Hunter from The X-Files.
Story-wise, Fright Night Part 2 is decent. It’s not great, but I liked Charley seeing another vampire attack, alerting Vincent, and then finding out that it happened during a vampire-themed party. Vincent in particular during that sequence seemed to be having a fun time (at least until he pulled out his trusty mirror). Lind’s character development throughout was somewhat fun, and the scene in which she goes to the state institution was perhaps her highlight.
I’ll give the movie a few mores props for both the music and special effects. The music they use here isn’t too far removed from the first film, and has that wonderfully 80’s synth feel to it. Definitely brought with it a solid vibe. The special effects were pretty solid throughout too, and though I didn’t care for some of the vampire characters, I can admit they did some cool things with them toward the finale.
All-in-all, though, Fright Night Part 2 isn’t anywhere near as good as the first film. It’s still okay, and it’s not nearly as much a degrade as I was honestly expecting, but I much preferred the story of the first movie to this one. The antagonists here were probably my biggest issue, and I think the best thing this movie did was drop Amy for Traci Lind’s Alex. Not a great film, in my view, but certainly not a disastrous one.
This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss Fright Night Part 2.