Tuesday, September 05, 2017


The first two dozen or so times I saw the film FRIGHT NIGHT (1985) I had absolutely no idea how much of the image I was missing. This was the 1980's and the way you saw a film that you did not catch in the theater was either a television broadcast or on a VHS tape. In my house we owned the pre-record of FRIGHT NIGHT because everyone loved the movie.

The first time I saw the film in widescreen it was a bit of a revelation. It was shot in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio and all that extra image pointed out just how carefully and smartly director Tom Holland had used the screen. Seeing the full picture explained the length of certain sequences and showed lots of detail that would have made the film an even bigger hit with me when I was a teenager.

The other night I rewatched the film for the first time in probably 20 years. It was the first time in a long time I've had the urge to view the film because I honestly think I burned myself out on it long ago. But having recently picked up the excellent British Blu-ray of the film (because I just had to see all the extras on it) I cracked it open and checked it out for the first time in decades. Luckily, it stood up very well. FRIGHT NIGHT is still an excellent horror film that takes vampires and their mythology in fresh directions, modernizing things to make them scary in new ways and bringing a sense of realism to just what it might mean to have a blood sucker move in next door to you.

Special props to the excellent score which had somehow slid away from my memory as one of the great, moody joys of the film. The music is phenomenal and marks another high point in  composer Brad Fiedel's career. I can actually imagine just listening to the score on it's own which is something that I can't say about a lot of music done for movies in the 1980s.

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